Meaningful relationships make life more enjoyable and your business more successful. Building and maintaining a variety of relationships should be an important part of your Public Relations (PR) strategy and your overall marketing goals. However, relationship management is more than who you know and goes beyond just exchanging business cards.
Relationship management includes strategies to build support for a business and its products or services, often with the goal of building brand loyalty. Most commonly, relationship management is thought of as building and maintaining relationships with your clients or customers (B2C). However, relationship management, especially in PR, can also include creating and maintaining valuable business connections (B2B). Regardless of which area you’re focusing, here are a few important tips to help you build and maintain important relationships for your business.
Evaluate your needs. Beyond your clients or customers (your #1 relationship), think about other areas of your industry or your market where it could be beneficial to have a connection. Do you have a strong advocate in the community? Is there a trailblazer you could approach to begin a mentorship with? Perhaps you’re missing a reliable media contact? Consider what kind of relationships you may be missing and don’t be afraid to reach out!
Reach out! It’s rare that a great connection just happens in a vacuum. Consider an important business relationship you have, it’s likely that one of you had to make the call, send the email, or offer the handshake. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. You certainly won’t be any worse off if you strike out, so take the chance, be confident and start up a conversation.
Focus on your audience. You’ve certainly heard this before, but it’s important enough to repeat, it’s all about your audience! While we’ve focused on the consumer audience in past blog posts, many of those same tips can apply to B2B audiences. Consider who you’re talking to (or want to), what they’re interested in, and why they should connect with you. If you don’t know anything about your audience, it’s tough to reach out and establish common ground or provide value. So, do your research and click here for an audience analysis refresher.
Consider what you can offer. Business relationships can take many forms but they should never just be about what you need. Check in to see what you can offer a connection or how you can help them succeed. What goes around comes around in the business world and if you’re offering value and demonstrating trustworthiness, dependability, and honesty, you’ll likely get that in return.
Put in the time. Be sure you’re checking in just to see how things are going. Don’t make every conversation about what you need or what you can provide. Long-term relationships are more about genuine care for another’s well-being. So, give a connection a quick call, ask them to coffee and just spend time catching up; it will serve you well in the long run.
A bad relationship has the potential to negatively impact your business. Whether on a B2C or B2B level, relationship management should be an important part of your PR strategy. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to establishing and maintaining fruitful connections to help your business thrive. Looking for more PR tips? Contact LŪM Studio. We’re always happy to help!