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Public Relations Taken Personally

It is already October. I personally can't believe it.

Speaking of taking things personally...

To me, public relations is really a personal relations business.

Because even though our team's relations with the public are out there for all the world to see, our relations with our clients are kept very close to the vest.

In fact, it's within those agency/client relationships where there is the most trust and opportunity for success. The reasons aren't always obvious.

"Hey" a potential client may ask, "We need you to:

  • write a press release

  • produce a special event or get us a booth at a trade show

  • develop a following for us in social media

  • position our CEO as the maven in our industry

  • secure us a spot on a morning TV show

  • re-write the copy on our website so we get searched for more easily

  • call your blogger list

  • exploit your metaphorical Rolodex

  • put us in touch with Oprah & Kim and Kanye.

That's all some people think PR is.

But to be our most effective, we have to get to know our clients and their products or services on an intimate level. That's why we want to take them home and try them on.

We've got to ask all the juicy questions before we dive in.

  • What led you to the idea for your company?

  • What went into its creation?

  • What need does your product fulfill for the customer?

  • Do you have money to take the business to the next level?

Clients need to know up front that:

It costs a lot of money to get those hair-net adorned ladies at COSTCO to cut up the samples of your gluten-free pizza that my daughter, dad and I patiently wait in line for.

It's pretty exhausting for my friend Erika to sample her Not Ketchup in stores around the country.

Those frozen food managers at Whole Foods like to get some free product (known as "free fill") for their shelves before they really commit. Just ask Chip Milam, president of Oh Yes Foods about the cold freezer gloves he had to gift them.

And those glass showcases in the hallways outside exhibit halls at trade shows can be $400 for one SKU on the shelf. They are not included with your booth.

The more a PR agency knows, the better we can be. And the only way we can know, is to establish a personal relationship that allows for a free and deep exchange of information. It's what allows us to do work that is targeted, passionate and best for our clients.

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