Relationships really matter

Handshaking between men and women in Saudi Arabia

 

I like people. But in the spirit of honesty and transparency, I have to say, I don’t like all people, no one does. However, I generally like people, yes that covers it better.

It’s a good job that I feel this way as relationships and the ability to build them and maintain them are a key element of working in PR.

A wise man, a former mentor, who ran me through an NCTJ distance learning course, in the pub, every Friday, once told me that you should be nice to everyone – especially car park attendants, PA’s and librarians. So I’ve tried my best to do this and it has made life so much easier.

I find that being nice to people, you know, a ‘thank you’ when they’ve helped you, or an acknowledgement when someone has gone above and beyond, go a long way.

Hats off to the journalist who sent me a bottle of lemon gin after I’d taken a press trip to Dusseldorf and huge respect for the people who acknowledge an email, yes we are all busy and we all have loads to do, manners mean a lot.

Respect, honesty and manners all play an important role in relationships. Clients don’t want someone to just agree with them, they want to be challenged, they want to hear different points of view and they want to see creativity.

I’m proud to say that some of the clients I’ve been working with I’ve worked with for over a decade – this is down to the relationships that have been built and fostered a mutual trust and respect.

Sometimes the phone rings and its a contact I’ve worked with before asking advice for a new business they are working with, sometimes its an old colleague wanting to run an idea by me,  its nice when those relationships transcend businesses and develop into new opportunities.

Last week I had a call from someone needing strategic communication advice, I didn’t know them but they’d asked a local journalist who they should speak to and they were pointed in our direction – that’s really good to know and a great recommendation – and its down to the relationships  built up over 18 years of working in PR.

Public relations relies on having a strong network of people who you can rely on and who in turn can rely on you.  These networks aren’t grown overnight, they take time to build and develop and you have to invest your time to make them work.

This is one of the best investments you’ll make!

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