The Art of Building PR Relationships

Relationships in PR are vital to the success of any agency, client and project. They’re what separate the good from the great and move the ball forward. Relationships can’t be forced, they have to be natural and take time to cultivate and thrive. Like any good relationship, it’s a two-way street with give and take, and it’s no different in PR. The relationships can’t be one sided and have to be mutually beneficial.

The journalist and the publicist or account manager have to be on the same playing field. It’s all about the common interest; getting news out that is relevant and newsworthy for the journalist to share that also includes the client being pitched.

Coffee dates. Pitch emails, phone calls and press releases only go so far. It’s about the face to face relationship. Coffee dates are key. A $3 Starbucks can go way farther than you think. It’s putting a face to the name. It’s creating that relationship beyond email and learning about the person behind the computer screen. It’s about working together towards the same common goal.

Short, punchy pitches. Let’s be real, everyone wants the condensed version most of the time. It’s the same thing in pitching. Be tactful about the words you use; think about what grabs the most attention while getting the key points across. Short and sweet applies here and short and punchy is the ideal.

Put yourself in their shoes. Follow up is truly a balancing act. You don’t want to come across nagging or pushy and how soon is too soon to follow up? Your client wants you to go after a specific target but you don’t want to damage the relationship that you have with a reporter. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to be pitched on a Friday in the summer at 4:30PM? Probably not. Would you want to receive an email a day after someone writes you? Would you want to have three missed calls and a voicemail on non-breaking news? Be considerate, while being proactive to get the job done.

PR Relationships are an art, get crafting and cultivating!