I gladly work with PR people and reporters all the time. They are an essential part of messaging, for my own personal “brand”, and for communicating what I do at Hendrix College.
I have worked with extremely talented PR people. And I have worked with firms that barely qualify as professionals.
Without publicly embarrassing the firm that reached out to me this week, let me offer the following tips for a successful interaction:
- Call when you say you are going to call
- Know my name
- Know who I work for
- Know why you are talking to me
- Don’t send someone in your place, unannounced
- Have your questions prepared ahead of time
The call I was on yesterday (with a new PR firm representing one of our vendors) was unbelievably bad. So bad, that the vendor may lose me as a reference.
And I absolutely love, love, LOVE the vendor’s product.
Entrusting key customer stories to second-rate PR is a recipe for disaffection, disengagement, and disaster.
Business is complicated. Relationships matter.
Don’t outsource your relationship management. Unless you don’t care about the relationship’s long term prospects.