"I like her because she smiles at me and means it." - Anonymous
Calling all PR pros! I think I can speak for many of my blogging brethren when I say, "PLEASE put RELATIONSHIPS back into Public Relations!"
I got a great email the other day from a PR pro at Convio, a software provider to nonprofits. (Note the love I am showing them here!) It totally impressed me, which is a shame because the email was so basic. See below. Monica simply reached out to me to ask what I was writing about and say "hello."
Stop the presses! I think she is trying to build a RELATIONSHIP with me. The thing is, in almost 4 years of blogging, I have NEVER received an email like this before!
Now, I'm not saying that all of the pitches I get are poor. However, I am saying that most of the people who ask me to publicize their work DO NOT ask me about my needs and RARELY follow up with me just because.
I know it's hard to pitch people all day. (I'm a sales person!) But if you want to get more press hits or donations, you've got to get people to know, like and trust you. This can only happen through a dedicated commitment to relationship-building.
"But relationship-building takes so much time!" you say. TRUE! That is why it's so important to identify the bloggers, donors, members and advocacy supporters who love you most and and show them the love!
Put people ahead of your work objectives and see what happens. I bet you'll be surprised. I'm sure your donors, employees, clients, coalition partners, board members and bloggers will be too!
P.S. For more great advice on how and why to build better relationships with all the constituents in your organization read, Trust-based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships.