July 18 2022
To share its 30-year anniversary with all PR and communications professionals around the globe, the Public Relations Global Network is sharing 30 pearls of wisdom from its senior members and agency leaders.
The 30 pearls – some of the network members’ best tips and advice polished in the past 30 years and dazzling to show direction for the next decades in PR and communications – were published in an eBook at PRGN’s anniversary meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, in May 2022. The eBook is also available for downloads on the opening page of the PRGN website.
Below is one of the 30 pearls from members, expanded to fit PRGN’s regular blog series. It is written by Alexandra Dinita, Immediate Past President of PRGN and a former Business Committee Chair of the organization. Alexandra is founder and general manager of Free Communication, PRGN’s partner agency in Bucharest, Romania.
The relationship between organizations and professional communicators is a very complex and intimate one. It takes time for both parties to know and understand each other to achieve success. That’s why we should always aim for long-term partnerships, the kind that can be compared to a marriage.
When you marry, you bind yourselves to a contract in your pursuit of happiness and your visions of happiness coincide in mutual interest and shared benefits. In business, happiness means being successful and success is often measured with money and reputation. But it is more. It also means having fun, living a balanced life and making a difference for the ones around you. You can’t do this alone, and you can’t do it with the wrong partner either.
Whether you have a conversation with a prospect, evaluate an upcoming pitch for a big client, or a smaller client approaches for assistance, look closely at the person in front of you – your future client, stakeholder or business partner. Use your experience, intuition and body language to figure out what kind of person you are about to deal with.
Try to see each other more than once before deciding whether to enter into a business partnership with the company behind the person. Don’t go further with someone who doesn’t match your personal life principles and values. Don’t do it for money or because it seems you have no better choices at the moment. It might evolve into a relationship where the negative side-effects outweigh the lucrative possibilities.
Have you ever heard this famous quote? “We both said ‘I do’ and haven’t agreed on a single thing since then.” Be wary not to make that quote happen to you. Remember it will be you, not the client, who’ll have to make most of the compromises.
Too often, companies expect things to work according to a written contract. Sometimes, a relationship becomes toxic because one expects the other to act, react and behave like a machine.
“We are all human. Never forget that on the other side of the conversation with a potential client is a real person.”
You need to decide whether the person or persons are people you want to work with even when they are having a bad day.
As in life or in love – behind business there are people. Look for the ones you can be happy with.