Ah, yes. Valentine’s Day came and went. And along with it were feelings of adoration, romance, and other mushy stuff that make men say things like “You know, honey. If you were a booger, I’d pick only you.”
Take that, Nicholas Sparks. Didn’t see that line of love in your stupid Notebook.
Although Valentine’s Day is over, we should remember to keep some warm thoughts for our clients throughout the year. After all, if it weren’t for the love we show them in this reciprocal relationship, we wouldn’t have much to do.
That got us thinking, so please enjoy and share: The 5 Things PR Pros Can Learn from Valentine’s Day.
1. It’s the thought that counts.
An easy definition of romance can offer the following: Proof that you have been spending a great deal of time thinking about your significant other. It’s the proof being the operative word. You can share your feelings all day long but if you forget to buy the flowers, save it Casanova.
Clients can be like that too. If you only decide to call every time you get a hit, that relationship will go cold fast. You need to prove you have been thinking about their brand with monthly reporting, ideas outside your SOW, and sharing stories in the industry that may or may not pertain to the brand. Prove the client is more than a check, and you go from ‘vendor’ to ‘trusted partner’ quickly. Don’t, and enjoy the doghouse.
2. Understand your audience.
Fellas, before you ran out at the last minute to the grocery store florist at 9 a.m., did you split knowing your loved one really enjoy flowers… or was that all you could get in a pinch? Before you answer that, said loved one knows what your motive was.
If that thought scares the living bejebus out of you — and it should — then consider your client the next time you don’t really understand his or her audience. Let’s say you have a client in healthcare technology and you pitch someone in cybersecurity. It may or may not be a connection, but do you really want to risk it if that one stranger at the Wall Street Journal you called isn’t crazy about flowers? Didn’t think so.
3. Timing is everything.
Back to the last-minute dash to Publix: When you come home reeking of Old Spice and body odor, it can definitely kill the mood. Imagine, your loved one has been asking about a 2008 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Wine from Napa Valley, Calif. Understanding the rarity of the bottle, it’s not like you go down to the local gas station and grab what is ever hidden behind the Boone’s Farm.
Love and PR have that in common — getting results in due time matters. Your ROI may look good but if it didn’t come within the expected timeline, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Not many people are smooth enough to make up for a love note written after the fact. Likewise, very few clients appreciate hard work and mediocre results when delivered past the golden hour of whatever is written on your statement of work.
4. The right message works wonders.
NEWS FLASH: Hallmark is not the source that cares enough to send the very best. At least, not on this day and age. When was the last time you did more than merely sign the card? What about a love note?
Written messages — the ones you know the audience will seriously appreciate — will build the emotional connection and draw them closer. Tailor what you say and when you say it to the right people when they least expect it. You want to surprise your audience with a message that matters.
And, in case you’re new to the world of PR, a blind-copy email pitch is not the way to garner the affection of your favorite reporter. You will end up brokenhearted on that one.
5. Feel the love every day.
Fellas, need a pro tip? Tired of the over-hyped Valentine’s Day? Try making her feel the love daily. It’s no longer fun and romantic on Valentine’s Day because some last-minute shoppers have to donate a kidney in order to make it up for the scorned loved one.
Clients can be like that too. Can you imagine the disgruntled contact you would have if you waited once a year to deliver that one big hit? You would not have that client long, that’s for certain. Your agency would get hit with an RFP so fast that your head would spin.
Clients want — and quite frankly, deserve — to feel that love frequently. It may not be mushy to think that way, but with the amount of money they are paying your firm, they do. Just ask them, “Can you feel the love… tonight?”