Your physical therapist, dentist, hair dresser and that friendly waiter in your favourite restaurant… What do they have in common? Well… that is you! By keeping it personal, working from a ‘service state of mind’ and getting to know you a little bit more every time you visit them, you keep coming back. Sounds like an open door, right? Especially for people working with people. But tell me, why is this not always the case at PR agencies?
At Check-in we meet with people all the time. And by ‘meeting people’ I mean meeting: face-to-face and in person. While enjoying a coffee from our office machine, a fresh cappuccino in a inspiring place somewhere in the city, through Skype or while visiting an event or fair. Our goal is to give Check-in PR a face. If you work with our agency, you work with us: Eline, Peter and Eline. No general info address and changing names following the ‘kind regards’ part of the email, we believe in reaching out to ‘real people’.
Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Definitely. We see the effort of meeting with people and taking time to get to know our contacts is paying off. Big time. Smoothly running connections with our clients, high quality media publications, extended contracts and ‘free word of mouth’, simple because people know who we are and why we do what we do. And the other way around.
Five easy tips that will improve the quality of your ‘connections’ and your results:
Schedule a weekly Skype call with your clients. Sometimes it takes you 30 minutes to discuss ongoing activities, sometime only 5. While talking things will pop-up in your mind, even if you did not think of it before.
Try to meet with at least two people every week that are part of your network: journalists, bloggers, venue managers, suppliers, translators, event organizers, photographers etc. This will keep you up-to-date and will help your network becoming more personal and therefore stronger.
It is easy to make appointments at your own office. But why not take the time to plan a small road trip and visit a couple of contacts all in one afternoon? They will love to welcome you at their office and you will see it makes your connection much stronger. Remember: every connection had two sides, not only focus on yours.
Not only talk to people but also ask how they are doing. If you get to know your contacts better, the relationship will improve and becomes much closer. Even the toughest conversations and connections will run more smoothly if the person on the other side has the feeling he/she know you, and you know him/her.
See all people as people. From the receptionist behind the welcome desk to the marketing trainee or the CEO of the organization. From the journalist that just started working to the editor-in-chief. Remember: everyone single one of them is a valuable contact. You will never know where you will meet again or who will end up where.
You see, it is no rocket science, really. Take the time to meet in person and you will notice your contacts will become closer, working together becomes much easier and even more important: you will enjoy your job more than ever. Just like the at the dentist or hairdresser, PR is a peoples business… ‘Personal Relations’, let’s keep it that way.