Relationships are a publicists’ most valued asset, which is why it’s extremely important to remain in communication with your network, even when you aren’t actively, pitching, planning or working on a project. For example, when you wrap up work with a client on a short-term project, have a strategy in place to make sure you are the first one called when the next opportunity occurs. In fact, staying in touch and becoming a valued partner year-round is often how you can stay top of mind for press opportunities and client work.
Like clients, journalists, producers, editors and influencers also want to know you aren’t just thinking of them when you need something from them. Here are some tips on keeping the communication open with your network and keeping the relationships alive.
Send an end of year thank you
If an editor works with you on a story featuring your client, send them a Thank You note following the story. It will go a long way and they will appreciate it. The same goes for working with anyone really. If someone helped you with someone, whether they are a sponsor, an influencer or someone who helped you gain a client, make the time to show them your appreciation. Not many people take the time to write a thank you note – so you should be that person.
If you have worked with an editor repeatedly this year, or that coverage was your client’s big break, the holidays are a great time to send a heartfelt note letting them know the impact working together has had on you and your clients this year.
PS: The PR Couture shop has several business greeting cards that are absolutely perfect for this purpose!
Create Twitter lists to stay on top of media & bloggers
Sending an email to an editor just to say hello might be a bit awkward (and may annoy them because their inbox is already clogged to capacity). However, social media is a great way to a) get to virtually know someone’s personality and b) share/comment on a story they posted or their gorgeous vacation photos. The Twitter list function still remains a valuable way to sort media into a curated list which you can then skim easily throughout the day.
There was an editor I spoke with regularly on Twitter. We never met in person, but one day we saw each other in person at an industry event and we screamed each other’s Twitter names at each other, and since then we’ve been friends.
Of course, it’s also all about Instagram. In my experience, when you begin commenting on blogger outfits and food posts regularly, they are much more likely to reply to your pitch emails.
Send congratulations on big changes
Pay attention to media moves – sites like Fashionista and Daily Front Row regularly post when editors play musical chairs and get a new position or move to a new company. Congratulate them on their new role and let them know how excited you are to see what they have in store. Do so on social media, via email or with a hand written note.
Did your former client just get placement in a major publication or receive an award? Send them a congrats, too! Support them even if it wasn’t your doing.
Ask for a date
Invite your contact to something fun out of the office. Do they like karaoke as much as you do? Plan a karaoke night. Or suggest something they need to do anyway, such as get pedicures or blow-outs together. This way you don’t impede on their busy schedule, but make fit yourself into it. It’s a great way to keep the relationship alive without being a nuisance.