By: Gina Mason
As many of you know, the public relations industry is all about building relationships (after all, you can’t spell relationships without “relations!”). In fact, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
On a daily basis, publicists work to develop and cultivate relationships between their clients, the media, the public, vendors, sponsors, corporations and their peers. However, relationship building is not solely for PR practitioners. It is vital in any industry to know how to work with others and create positive connections. Building strong professional relationships can open new doors for your business and your personal network as well as establish credibility, which can make you more attractive to potential clients.
Here are a few tips on how to build and maintain positive business relationships:
Stay on their radar
The saying, “out of sight, out of mind” applies to building business relationships. If you just met someone or have known him or her for years, make sure that you communicate with them frequently so they don’t forget about you. Emailing a simple hello or inviting them to meet for coffee will go a long way. Also, be sure to keep them updated on what you are working on whether it is an event, project, etc. just in case they or someone they know have any interest in working with you.
Stay updated on their business
Whether your business contact gets a promotion, their firm signs a huge contract or has a noteworthy media placement, stay informed on what they are working on or doing. One way to do this is by following their company’s social media accounts and subscribing to their RSS feed or newsletter for frequent updates. Keep in mind that this also gives you a good excuse to reach out and congratulate them (yet another way to stay on their radar).
Share business leads and make introductions
The key to maintaining successful business relationships is helping each other out. If you hear about a potential business lead or know someone who may be interested in their product or service, let them know and make an introduction. People truly appreciate any help when it comes to making business connections and will generally reciprocate the favor if they can. This simple act can go a long way and can establish a sense of loyalty in any business relationship.
Ask their opinion
Don’t be afraid to ask your contact their professional opinion. Everyone has had different experiences and may have knowledge in an area that you may be unfamiliar with. People love to share what they have learned in business and can bring a different point of view to the table. They may have experienced a similar situation or know someone who has and may be able to provide some great insight. Also, be sure to thank them for their help!
These are just a few basic tips on how to build and maintain good business relationships. If you utilize your relationships and help out your contacts when you can, you can grow your business and be extremely successful.
As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.