Relationship building is the corner stone of gaining success in public relations – especially in the world of business schools.
How well do we know the client, the faculty and the journalists?
Gaining trust and respect isn’t something that is achieved overnight. It involves a high degree of diligence, knowledge and communication.
It’s important the client appreciates the level of expertise and media opportunities being sourced. The most important catalyst of all, of course, is the results – that wealth of coverage raising the client’s profile.
Communicating these opportunities and actions is vital, to keep the client aware of the high level of activity. As well as providing ‘new’ thinking (those out-of-the-box ideas), it will also spur them to come forward with their own initiatives.
To carry this out demands the skill, discipline and nous of a skilled public relations operator.
Integrated in a first-class rapport with the client is a strong working relationship with professors. They provide those valued insights, whether they be pertinent comments or articles which are going to provide journalists with the copy they yearn.
Developing relationships with professors combines an understanding of their sphere of knowledge, media potential and time availability, together with the PR operator’s good communications.
Meeting up with them for an exploratory chat is ideal, but often that’s not possible. Invariably the introduction has to be by email or phone where their incisive contribution can be triggered by the structure of the questions.
Any phone conversation can illustrate our interviewing knowledge. This can be helped by the structure of the questions, perhaps where we also connect to our own experiences, to draw out of the professor newsworthy content that is going to heighten the profile of the business school.
Using editing skills can also enhance a professor’s comments, to gain further respect.
Communicating updates on the progress of the PR activity is vital, too, to advise on the publication status – when it’s likely to be published and when it’s made it into print. Following up with further opportunities can boost the relationship.
When it comes to those all-important journalist contacts, the approach isn’t much different. It’s about knowing how journalists operate, getting the content, they need and in time to meet their deadline, as well as feeding pitches that are succinct and hit the spot.
In time, the relationship grows because of the knowledge capability and the quality of the content. Content that is delivered when they want it.
These key relationships are all essential to win that blue riband coverage which clients expect.
Experience, knowledge, expertise and passion are critical qualities to enable that to happen. And, indeed, exactly these qualities here at BlueSky PR have achieved a track record of success in the world of the business schools.
To build a winning PR relationship that gets results, contact BlueSky PR today.
Author: Chris Johnson