In a world where people have learned to communicate as quickly as possible via emails and texts – the art of connecting with people and building relationships can suffer. However, this isn’t something that should be ignored.
As busy as everyone is, we still all appreciate a few kind words in our inbox. They can help break up the monotony of a long day and the conveyor belt of messages that we need to respond to.
It can be as simple as saying that you hope that they’re doing well or commenting on the weather. But over time, if you take the opportunity, you can learn more about the people you work with and your working relationships can blossom. And you’ll know that you can reach out to them when needed and be able to count on positive feedback for your business.
As someone who has dealt with writers and photographers as well as companies for interviews and ensured that their needs were met, I learned the importance of connecting with them when I could. With my writers, I knew what was happening and would ask them about it when I contacted them. They knew they could reach out to me when something was wrong and it might affect a deadline. They knew I would listen and understand. By cultivating those relationships, I had a great rapport with them for over a decade. They knew that I genuinely cared and that they weren’t just means to an end. They had my respect and I had theirs.
Knowing Your Audience
Another important aspect is to know your audience and who you are reaching out to.
Reporters and editors in particular receive numerous emails and pitches every day. One thing that can leave a sour taste in their mouth is when the pitch has nothing to do with them.
It’s easy to send blanket emails to various publications that you believe have something to do with your product. However, many of these will end up in junk mail or deleted because the company doesn’t deal with that product or it isn’t available in their region. Eventually, the company will ensure that your emails go directly to their junk mail. So that they don’t have to see them. Or they’ll ask to be removed from your list. Either way, they won’t be thinking positively about you or your brand.
Countless times over the years, I have received news releases about companies doing business solely in the United States. None of the publications I worked on covered the United States – unless it dealt with something major with a franchise also in Canada.
I would also often receive releases for openings in the United States. The company didn’t take the time to check who our audience was before sending the email. So their emails were just deleted or automatically sent to my junk mail. I got tired of responding that this had nothing to do with my market and asked to remove me from their list.
Another thing that was annoying was the fact that they didn’t take the time to check to whom to address the email. I was always receiving emails addressed to people who had worked in the position before me – even over a decade after I started. It wouldn’t have been hard for them to take a few moments to check who was in the position. But, they never bothered to check or update their list. A percentage of the ones that were properly addressed had my name spelled wrong. By not making the effort, they showed just how little they cared about what I was trying to do. They just wanted to send their pitch and get coverage. By taking the time, they could have established a better connection.
I’m not saying you’re going to be best friends with everyone you hope to do business with. But by making the effort to build even small connections, you have a better chance at being on their radar – rather than in their junk mail.