PR develops a conscious relationship between you and your customers. For it to flourish it has to be open and honest.
But making a positive connection isn’t easy without genuine dialogue.
So to fully appreciate that special connection your public relations strategies can bring, turn your back on the superficial and open your heart to the boundless opportunities PR can offer you and your business.
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If you’re ready to develop strong relationships with your customers that accomplish so much more and will build brand loyalty then consider these three main points to get you started:
Having an emotional connection is vital in any relationship. Without one, it’s highly likely your relationship will not stand the test of time. When in business it’s important to act with integrity, compassion, and let the personality of your business, and the individuals behind it, shine through in your communication. This allows you the opportunity to create friendships that are built on trust.
Invite those journalists out for a coffee or your next event without pushing an agenda and see how the relationship develops. Wear your heart on your sleeve to connect emotionally with your audience and give them insight into how hard you work and the unique value your business has. It’s not just a product or service, it’s like your baby. Let them see that.
Once the trust is there almost anything can be accomplished.
It’s got to be open and honest, anything else would be selling everyone short and ultimately start to show the cracks when things aren’t running as smoothly as you’d like. Good communication between a business and its customers builds a solid foundation to move forward on if something does go wrong (knock on wood).
If you’ve already built a good relationship (see Tip 1 again) then they will be more forgiving if you’re honest about it. Good communication is about showing your customers you care, taking the time to communicate and directly relate to them shows you care about them.
How does it make you feel when you’re not heard? It’s incredibly frustrating isn’t it? Listening is part of communicating and it’s a very important component of a two way process. In a business, listening is a vital skill. Whether it’s your customers or even your own employees, once you start to listen you can tune into their needs and really develop a fulfilling relationship or even improve on your original product or service for the better.
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If you aren’t listening to your customers, you won’t know what’s good or bad about your business.
Listen to your people and find out why it is or isn’t being supported. People who feel heard are more likely to promote your product if they receive positive feedback or attention than if their thoughts go unheard. Let them feel the love and they will reciprocate ten fold for a product they feel a connection with.
Good relationships are hard to maintain, that’s why companies embrace PR. By its very nature public relations develops relationships; through consistent interaction and communication PR keeps your relationships alive and therefore allows your brand and business to grow and prosper.
Building brand relationships can be hard, when has good PR helped your business? Tell us in the comments below!
Colette Lowe is the Founder and owner of Chew PR. Colette has worked in PR for over 15 years. She has seen both sides and worked for consultancy and in-house teams providing her with an insight not many see. Colette will be contributing to the Public Relations section. She is based in Wakefield, England.