One of the first things I wanted to teach my children was how to say “Please” and “Thank you.” Manners have the ability to take you where education, training, and experience may not. As the saying goes, “People may forget what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” This could not be more true than when it comes to the business of marketing and public relations.
While recently having coffee with a colleague, we lamented at the shared experiences we ‘ve recently experienced with our respective clients. Marketing and PR professionals showcase businesses and organizations for their products or services in various media for a living. Whether the coverage is media-based or perhaps it is a simple word-of-mouth referral, often this brief mention can give said company a boost in business or influx of donations or volunteers due to the great press.
In the digital age, however, it would appear that some individuals have lost their sense of etiquette in PR. Public relations is the building and nurturing of an important relationship. The relationship of trust and respect between writer and subject is a delicate one. And yet the art of saying “Thank you” is seriously waning.
Not saying thank you is not just gauche, it’s bad business. It is proper and polite to acknowledge whenever someone does something positive for your business. Sometimes an email will suffice. There are also online services such as Thankster that send automated cards. But some prefer a more personal approach. This is why it’s smart to have thank you cards on hand. Short and sweet is perfectly acceptable. Do remember to include a few personal details. For example: Thank you so much for featuring our widget in your annual holiday gift guide. The article was very helpful for last minute shoppers. I’ve already bought the last widget you highlighted. Thanks again!
The rule is simple really: Say “Thank you” in some form to every single PR professional and journalist (for our purposes this includes writers and bloggers) who write about you and your business. Every single time we get a client coverage we ensure we take the time to thank the individuals involved (this can include photographers, producers, etc.). We often receive emails from recipients thanking us for taking the time to acknowledge their hard work. During these conversations, they have asked us what else we’re working on and to keep them posted as we require additional coverage. See how simple that is?
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Try to make your gesture personal. You are nurturing a relationship after all. And before you seal that envelope enclose a business card or takeaway item to further brand awareness. Make yourself accessible to those who have helped you and don’t forget to help them remember you. Tend to these relationships and you will see your business blossom.