Building relationships is not about transactions – it’s about connections.”
— Michelle Tillis Lederman, networking speaker and author
The importance of relationships is as true in business as it is in our personal lives. The start of the new year – and the legislative session in Florida, site of our headquarters – has us thinking about what’s at the foundation of great partnerships. Across multiple marketing verticals – from public affairs to media relations, influencer relations, partnerships, multicultural communications and more – our success stems from the strength and quality of our relationships.
Here are three key takeaways to help your team build relationships that will last:
- Remember, it’s people, not transactions. While many aspects of marketing and communications can feel transactional because budgets are involved, there are plenty of opportunities to remember it’s people, not transactions. Unlike our robot counterparts that are quickly growing in popular discussion, people are at the heart of relationships – and they can be flexible. So be accommodating, go over and above, and if something like a deadline needs to be adjusted, your contact – whether an influencer, partner or client – will be more flexible and apt to agree. Simply put: AI can’t substitute for relationships (sorry, ChatGPT).
- There is no such thing as being too giving. The saying about it being better to give than to receive holds true. When you are giving of your time, of your knowledge and even just the occasional “surprise and delight” card or gift, you’re sending the signal that this relationship matters to you. So give the way you would like to receive:
- Make their life easier. A good partner is one who lightens the load, so be thoughtful about how you can help. When pitching media, for example, show up prepared with the correct information, available spokespeople and easily accessible photos and videos. When working with partners, show up to events with everything necessary to make their event successful.
- Be generous. Gifting might not be everyone’s love language, but an unexpected handwritten note or “just because” small gift can go a long way. We have, for example, surprised influencer partners by sending them on-brand unboxings to launch a new campaign or sent them a thank you card when they do something extra generous, such as attending an event as a courtesy.
- Communicate often. Be the first to inform your partners on what’s happening in the community and any updates that impact them. Whether the scope is media relations, public affairs or something outside the marketing realm altogether, they’ll be grateful to hear updates from you first.
- When you do good, more good will come. A good tip: Show up when you don’t have to. In media relations, for example, if you act like a good partner for the media (let’s say by finding them sources for stories you aren’t even involved with), it’s likely to strengthen the relationship – therefore resulting in multiple opportunities with the same reporter vs. one-and-done (which is inefficient and not strategic). Moore helps its employees practice these habits inside and outside of the agency. From professional development to time off to volunteer, our team is consistently encouraged to develop relationships that matter in business and in life.