Pastries and people from her past serve as the inspiration for Sidekick's Kirstie Nickson in her most recent blog, all about the importance of relationships in business and PR. 

My week started in Pret with a piping hot mug of black coffee and a chocolate-covered croissant, sharing some of my ambitions and plans for the year ahead with one of Sheffield’s most renowned bloggers, Daisy, who runs PrettyGreenTea.

We discussed training and development, the new skills we’d each like to learn, the places we’d like to visit and the career goals we’re both aiming for. Our hour-long catch up flew by and I stepped back out onto the street feeling inspired and energised to work harder to achieve my own personal and professional ambitions in the weeks and months ahead. 

Today, my week has ended with an unexpected but thoroughly enjoyable catch-up with one of my oldest friends, Sally Hogarth, who is now running her own business specialising in bespoke installations for public spaces and events. 

The reason? A potential collaboration for a client - and it struck me after our conversation how funny life is. How somebody I met when I was just five-years-old can become a business connection, too, adding great value to Sidekick’s offering. 

Both instances reminded me that relationships, not just ‘connections’, are vital in business. 

To me, a ‘connection’ is someone you may be LinkedIn with, or somebody you’ve met briefly at a networking event and exchanged details with, perhaps. Of course, there’s often a mutual benefit and you may refer business to each other once in a while, but a relationship is far more meaningful.

It’s the ability to meet with a client and catch up on life in general, as well as the project or campaign you’re working on.

It’s knowing what type of story makes a particular journalist tick. 

It’s having the trust to speak honestly and openly about budgets and pricing with suppliers and the customers you’re working with. 

And in PR, this kind of approach is essential.

At Sidekick, we’re all about building great relationships with our clients, our suppliers and the media. 

Taking the time to have a chat about future projects, explore new ideas and share your ambitions can spark potential new projects and partnerships, as well as leave you feeling inspired and enthused. 

So next time you meet someone at a networking session, or make a new connection on LinkedIn, why not take the time to leave the office and link-in with them in the real world?

You never know what you may have in common and how your businesses could work together – now or in the future. 

Plus, it’s a great excuse (not that you need one) for a nice cup of ‘proper’ coffee and a slice of cake, and who doesn’t love that?