Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Put the 'R' Back in PR

"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 you know this but bloggers are different from journalists.  For most of us, blogging is a labor of love not a full-time gig.  I.e., we don't have time to do tons of research.  This makes good pitches even more valuable.

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!

Cheers!

Jocelyn

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.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that this is not a common approach PR professionals take. The way you explain it, "put the R back in PR" makes so much sense--relations! I think we need to take a step back and realize the importance and impact there is in creating a relationship between reporters/bloggers and PR professionals. We are almost brainwashed into thinking we are supposed to be enemies, but WHY? Note to PR pros: emailing reporters only when you have something to pitch makes you sound needy. Yes they are there to write articles to inform their audience but they're not these writing robots. Treat them like human beings and take the time to just say hello. You'll be happy you did; I sure have been :)

nonprofit help said...

Relationships will get you further sometimes than press releases in any industry whether it's for profit or non-profit. However the email you shared should have been proofread before it was sent out. But this is the sad truth about non-profits they don't have the budget to pay employees so they will take on anyone who is willing to help.

Anonymous said...

A bit of common sense goes a long way. You don't learn it in college, you have it or you don't. It's simple, treat others like you would like to be treated. Would you rather help a friend or stranger?

Anonymous said...

Typo or not (we are all human here) the topic of this article is what matters. Jocelyn, I enjoy how you took the time out to recognize this and remind PR pros the goodness that lies in a kind and simple "hello".

Anonymous said...

To the proof reader, congratulations. You missed the point. What's more important grammar or content.

Diabetic Snacker Giveaways said...

She sounds like a keeper in the pr world. I'm always on the lookout for more pr teams to work with me on my blog.

Dan said...

As someone who also received Monica's email, thumbs up! Many could learn from this very simple outreach.

Social Capital Data said...

To the proofreading comment. My wife tells me that it is more important to "connect" than to be "correct."

Full disclosure, Jocelyn is my wife! Recovering corrector. Budding connector.

Jerry said...

Relationships are key and good relationships they will give you far more longevity and loyalty than press releases.

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