If you want to transform your public relations program into a tool for building personal relationships, think about how you establish connections and trust with people. When you want to connect with someone, you do the following: you listen to them and show that you’re listening, you empathize and share personal narratives, you find out more about them, you pay attention to what they say and how they say it, you meet them on their terms.
You should adhere to these relationship guidelines when using any of the following public relations tools..
· Press relationships: Yes, press releases will be part of your public relations activities. Make them thoughtful by thinking about the recipients. Explain why your news will be valuable.
· Social media relationships: We’ve all witnessed the power of the consumers’ social media voices to uplift or tear down brands and individuals. Focus on genuinely connecting with followers, not simply building a follower base. Manage your social media relationships wisely by investing time to a) listen, b) personalize your content, and c) respond thoughtfully and appropriately.
· Customer service interactions: The team members who interact with your customers are public relations agents. When they deliver responsive and empathetic service, they demonstrate that you care about your customers’ needs and experiences with your brand. Customers will post, tweet, and blog about their interactions with you. Get your team on board with making sure customers have good news to share.
· Community engagements: Becoming a contributor to and participant in your community shows that you are concerned and interested in making life better for your customers. Yes, you can publish news about your activities, but the true benefit of community engagement is how you deepen your relationships by giving back.
· Industry events: Press releases, targeted e-mail communications, luncheons or coffee hour events can work to boost awareness of and interest in your brand. Personal contacts via phone or email after the show solidify your commitment to providing value and solutions to prospective customers.
· Thought leadership: Creating relevant, honest, thought-provoking content is another PR activity that can help build brand credibility. You can position your brand or your company as a leader through digital media, at industry events, or through traditional media. As your brand becomes more known and trusted, its value will increase.
Remember to make sure your brand identity is consistently evident across your PR program. Encourage everyone on your team, from customer service teams to third-party vendors, to follow your brand guidelines. In addition to outlining your approach to public relations activities, your strategy should address how you’ll identify and communicate with stakeholders. Contact CIPR Communications for more help with your public relations campaigns.