Are relationships always the key?

June 17, 2009

Every day there are discussions about how important “relationships” are for PR executives, with extra emphasis placed on social media. So many experts talk about how now, more than ever, in this world of social media, relationships are so important. When were relationships not as important in the past? They have always been top priority but they will only get you so far.
The exchange of ideas and knowledge between audiences has only gotten more exciting as there are so many new ways to connect with people. Social media gives everyone a voice that wants one. That's more ideas and sources for everyone who trades on information. Instead of the past where PR folks relied mainly on the phone and the fax, you can now search online for more background information. Instead of waiting every Monday morning for all the trade IT and business weeklies to arrive and receiving the newspapers everyday to read, we have the Internet too.
We are all processing information much faster these days but the fundamentals are still the same. You still have to do your homework. You still need to have a strong working knowledge of your outlet, audience and beat coverage. Providing the industry with timely and relevant information is always the most important priority and that will never, ever change.
Finding a common ground is always great but it's always about the story. Regardless of whether you and a journalist share a mutual love of antique trains, Wilco, Fenway Park or dance movies, it's always about the “so what?” If you don't start with a great story, no one will care. If your news is meaningful, people will respond.

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