You’ve probably said some variation of this in the past to your client: “I fully understand where you’re coming from!” It can be in the context of coming up with a social media plan or aiding them with a problem they need to fix. But do you really understand their position? I mean fully grasp what all of this means to them on a business and personal level?
Is it possible to really get them if you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes?
I say: no, no and no. It’s easy to say you get someone’s point of view, but to really understand where they’re coming from so you can help them you must know their history. How much blood, sweat and tears they put into their business. This makes the difference between good PR and GREAT PR.
Why It’s Important
If you don’t think it’s vital to fully grasp your client’s history and motivations, consider your own career. Would you consider anyone who thought they knew all about the time it took you to get to where you are? It’s not like they were there for all the late night studying and the months of applying for jobs. You would most likely think back on those times and chuckle.
It’s no different with the folks on your roster. There’s so much more to owning and running a business than putting some money down and finding people to buy your stuff. You can’t forget about passion!
For an example, year ago I worked in a cubicle customer service position at a housing company. To me, it was really just a paycheck job to get through school. I thought it was the same for everyone involved, including the bosses. How could anyone care about a business like that deep down?
On my last day, there was a company meeting to talk about morale. Surprisingly enough to my apathetic self, the big boss gave a speech about starting up the company. The man CRIED when he brought up his goals and aspirations. Boy was I wrong!
Of course, there’s no real way to fully understand what a business owner has gone through. There’s only so far you can go with it, and pretending you really grasp their story could come off as false.
What’s really important is that you go that extra mile to get their story. I said before this makes the difference between good PR and great PR. Good public relations is knowing what the clients wants and needs on a daily basis.
Great public relations, though, is going that extra mile to know what really drives your client. This goes beyond “making money and not going out of business.” It’s about achieving goals in life and honoring all the hard work they put in to getting to this point. Helping them do these things usually involves walking a mile (or two, or three) in their shoes.
How much do you really know about your clients?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html