In case you didn’t know, PR is changing. Companies are no longer able to procure their voice through paying an agency to write distant, removed press releases and expect them to connect and engage with their customers. Why? Because the press doesn’t form opinion anymore. Because customers have taken matters into their own hands, and found a way to get their reviews and opinions from real people with real experience.
Personally, I find it insane and insulting that companies think they can connect with me through cold and calculated statements that I might happen to read. PR needs to be reborn. Press Releases are antiquated remnants of a broadcast age and printed media. We need a rebirth for the engagement age of social media and beyond.
Allow me to introduce you to the New PR: Personal Relationship.
Say it to yourself, let the saliva flow. Let every rip-off PR agent quake in their boots. Let the Removed CEO‘s blood run cold. Because it is true. Personal Relationship. The public has no interest in a lifeless press release. PR is dead. Long Live PR.
Now breath. Let newness of life fill those lungs. And let it dawn upon you: the customer wants a personal relationship. Not quite a back-slapping relationship. Maybe not a share your lip gloss relationship. But they do want a relationship, and they want it to be personal.
In Case You May Have Forgotten
Whilst enjoying the booms of profit and becoming more and more distant from your customer, you may have forgotten how to be personal and have a relationship. So I’ll help you out.
- First of all you have commonality. That’s what started your relationship with the customer friend in the first place. Remind yourself what you have in common, and build on that. Perhaps through your commonality, you and your friend will find more common ground, or even adapt to be more like each other. But it starts with commonality.
- It takes more than things to be friends, and sooner rather then later you’ll need to contribute to the relationship. One sided friendship is abuse.
- To earn trust, you will need to be consistent. Consistency is the foundation of trust. People who continually change can’t be trusted.
- At this point, if you haven’t already, you care deeply for your friend. Emotions can go up and down, but after you have contributed and been consistent, this care transcends emotional whims and gets to the deeper parts of the heart. At this point, both friends in the relationship are prepared to put up with a certain degree of crap, every now and then — why? — because you care for each other. My friend, Apple, sure has let me down enough times. But I care for them.
- For the relationship to truly last, as any married couple knows, you need communication. And any married couple knows that not all communication is a press release verbal. Remember, up to 93% of communication is non-verbal, according to our good friend Professor Mehrabian.
Personal Relationship. Simultaneously the simplest human instinct yet the most complex. Today I’ve discussed the change. Tomorrow, we’ll look at how we do this.