Simply knowing a person isn’t a relationship. Truly understanding someone, and going above and beyond what is expected, exemplifies a successful relationship — and should always remain a PR best practice.
When it comes to marketing and public relations professionals, the bottom line often serves as the yardstick for value. Success is measured in positive return on investment, and we focus on numbers in the ROI reports. However, they don’t tell the whole story. Relationships established between PR teams, journalists, marketing executives and consumers is a key component in strong, lasting and memorable PR campaigns and the success that follows.
PR teams and marketing executives
Serving as the starting point of any PR campaign is the bridge built between the PR team and marketing executives. By securing a solid foundation between the PR team and the marketing executive, both sides can move forward to achieve success.
Open communication is necessary to attain that type of achievement and is a key factor in any relationship. Taking a unique form between PR teams and marketing executives, it stands high as a key component to align overall messaging, goals and strategy.
With a team-wide understanding of those components, PR teams can confidently reach out to journalists knowing the information they are sharing is reiterated by the company and the company’s brand.
However, true and lasting relationships go beyond PR objectives. PR teams who establish a relationship that exemplifies their commitment proves value beyond the ROI. When PR teams and agencies engage their client on a personal level, they establish a sense of camaraderie and form a bond of friendship. It is through this friendship that PR teams can really show they believe in the brand and the people behind it.
PR and journalists
A relationship between a PR professional and journalist requires finesse acquired through experience. In a relationship that has the PR point person playing a middleman, a phase of frustration can occur. However, if they have a relationship with that journalist from personal outreach, it encourages both sides to work together.
When PR teams reach out to journalists personally and work to build relationships, it shows they understand there’s a human on the other end of the email. Mail merges, though convenient when hoping to reach a large number of people, sends a message that journalists are a dime a dozen and the coverage they can produce is the only thing of value. Through personalization PR teams can highlight the journalist’s work and affirm that they’re not only great writers but also trusted opinion leaders in the industry.
Personalization also sets the stage for a lasting relationship between journalists and PR professionals. We all want to work with someone who sees the value in who we are and what we can bring to the table. When PR professionals highlight that value early on and throughout the time they’re coordinating logistics, journalists know that the PR contact they’re working with cares for more than just the coverage and want to see both sides succeed.
Journalists and consumers
Consumers turn to magazines, websites and the news as trusted resources for which brands to trust and what to buy. With consumers holding the value of a journalist’s word in high regard, journalists become the middleman between a company and their consumers.
Serving as that middleman, they are the trusted information gatekeeper. Journalists inform the public about the latest news and developments. They highlight the key features that are not only important from the company’s standpoint, but to the consumer as well. In doing so, journalists drive a company’s message to the masses and help marketing executives reach sales goals.
A return on relationships
The relationships built and bonded between PR teams, marketing executives, journalists and consumers drives an idea to provision. However, at the end of the day, it all comes to light with individuals who work in good faith that the person they turn to is a person to trust.
In a profession with relations in the name, it comes as no surprise that relationships hold such large stock. When dealing with the public, it’s important to take a step back and remember you are dealing with people and the relationships with those people can stretch across clients and companies.
What’s more, the trust that it built across all parties is carried with each individual far beyond a briefing or news coverage. By building relationships with those whom you work with and work for, you will find yourself with something far more personally profitable than a positive ROI. You find yourself with a positive return on relationships that can lead to growth and success for everyone involved.
Cybill Cempron is an Account Coordinator at Vantage PR.