How many working relationships do you have? Clients, customers, suppliers, contractors, colleagues, mentors, coaches, staff? The cliché “No man is an island” seems to resonate all the more once the man is a woman, and that woman an entrepreneur.
I know for myself that I have countless relationships through my business and each brings to me something different, each is valuable and all need to be nurtured to different degrees. Some might be a lunch date, others a quick coffee, some a Skype chat now and again and others no more than a quick text or FB message to check-in.
I have clients that I need to keep updated and I need to hear their latest happenings so I know what’s current with them. I have ‘colleagues’ like Kerry Sauriol at SAHMedia, whom I enjoy collaborating with on projects so we need to touch base to see what we have going on together. I have contractors like Marilyn at Cursive Web, whom I’m using to create a new project that we need to keep on track and discuss. And my accountant, Sharon Perry, who not only takes care of my accounts, but also inspires and helps me. I have informal mentors, fellow-writers, other Mompreneurs all of whom act as sound boards and, of course, other Moms to discuss all the non-work issues that constantly still cross my desk (like Daughter’s upcoming ENT specialist referral!).
Media & PR relationships are obviously a big part of my business world because that’s the very nature of my business, but the relationships needed for effective media & PR are no different than the other relationships that we manage on a day-to-day basis in other areas of our business and we need to just remember to care for them as such.
Where to start with media relations?
So much as you probably wouldn’t accost a person in the middle of a dinner party to purchase your product or service, so you need to introduce yourself properly to members of the media and find the right time to talk about what’s on your agenda.
Like any solid relationship, take the time to get to know them first, what interests them, what they’re looking for, what they already have versus what they need. Read their publications or blogs, sign up for their e-newsletters and follow them in social media. Find out what they’re doing, what they like and pay attention to what they don’t like!
Lay the Foundation
Once you have a good sense for who they are and how you might connect with them, reach out and introduce yourself in a way that makes you relevant to them. You know how to do that now right? Because you know what they need, what they write about, what is current for them.
Keep Adding Blocks
Once you’ve introduced yourself, don’t just stop there and hope they take the bait. Stay engaged and keep building on the relationship to help strengthen it. Think about how you build strong friendships. Perhaps you’d make a call and ask them how they’re doing or offer to help them with something…the same applies for media relations – just don’t offer to drive their kids to school, even if you’re local (that’s just creepy!). Do however ask if they need anything, share their news and latest issues or articles on your own social media and reply when they ask a question or do a poll.
All relationships are valuable to Mompreneurs because we can’t do everything ourselves (much as we might like to think we can). It’s so much more enjoyable with someone alongside in one form or another. We are so much more when we are connected to others.
And media relations certainly hold the same immense potential to help support and grow your business, bring new customers or clients or provide a greater voice for you.
Build those relationships with care and they will be one of your strongest assets.