At a swanky networking party I attended recently, I was having a great chat with some old pals; we’d just talked through wedding (mine), kids (theirs), and holidays (others) and just as the beat of our old banter was getting into full swing, we were abruptly interrupted by one of the hosts. It suddenly got all hand-pumps, air kisses, personal space and praise – for himself.
Not partial to air kissing, I just waited for the awkwardness to pass. In that moment, he could have said the most interesting things to me, but I wouldn’t have heard it. My annoyance at being so rudely interrupted was ringing loudly in my ears; suddenly my gourmet canapé was too large, my feet needed a seat and there was something interesting going on at the bar.
But who could blame him? He had news and he wanted to share; he was excited and he wanted the world to know; he was proud and he wanted to shout it from the treetops. I didn’t want to stamp on his parade, but could he have just waited till we were ready?
This got me thinking, are we all just a little like this guy, fixated on our own business news? Do we feel that our website launching is the most exciting thing this side of the cure for cancer? Or, that our speaker line-up should be front page on every mag around town? Are we listening to the conversations before we dive in? Do we even know what our clients, prospects and industry are even talking about and when? Do we care?
Enthusiasm makes for great projects, but taking the time to genuinely listen helps us build relationships and makes for successful public relations.
The role of Public Relations in business is critical for building strong relationships with your stakeholders (your public); fostering a two-way relationship in which you are communicating openly, frequently and with mutual interest. This will result in building your profile, reputation, managing your brand positioning and ensuring good will and trust.
Businesses in for the long haul love public relations as it supports their strategic objectives; it bends and sways with the growth of the business, keeps them top of mind with the media and, importantly, in contact with their networks and communities. Public Relations also brings businesses golden nuggets of opportunity; for with their ear to the ground they are able to respond quickly when things don’t go to plan, plus through relationship building and raising awareness of their services many people recommend them.
Public Relations done well is highly strategic, measurable, extremely valuable and extraordinarily effective for your business.
No air kisses required.