Unlocking PR success through the power of relationships

By Dina Zaid, CPRS Vancouver Vice President

In the whirlwind world of public relations, where success isn't just about clever strategies but about the bonds we forge, there's a secret sauce that elevates campaigns from merely good to downright legendary: relationships.

Daniel Tisch, in his discussion paper "The Elevation of Public Relations," drives home the point that in today's cutthroat business arena, the currency of relationships holds more weight than ever. CEOs who grasp this truth understand that it's not just about what you say but who you know and how well you know them.

In our hyper-connected universe, weaving a web of strong connections—both within and outside your organization—is the name of the game. It's these relationships that grease the wheels of progress and pave the way for remarkable PR feats.

Think about it: behind every groundbreaking PR campaign, there's a network of stakeholders, influencers, and mavens collaborating like a symphony orchestra. Take the iconic partnership between Nike and Colin Kaepernick, for instance. By teaming up with the outspoken NFL star, Nike didn't just sell sneakers; they ignited a global dialogue on social justice. That's the power of collaboration!

But it's not just about making headlines; it's about weathering storms, too. When crisis strikes, having solid relationships with the media, industry insiders, and stakeholders can mean the difference between sinking and swimming. Remember, facing the music is easier when you've got friends in the band.

And let's talk authenticity. Authenticity is the golden ticket in a world saturated with sponsored content and paid endorsements. By teaming up with influencers and thought leaders who walk the talk, brands can speak directly to the hearts of their audiences. After all, people don't just buy products; they buy stories, and authenticity sells like hotcakes.

But here's the kicker: relationships aren't just the icing on the cake; they're the cake itself. From maintaining strong relationships with media to connecting with influential investors, every connection counts. It's these bonds that fuel the fire of innovation and propel campaigns from mere ideas to inspiring positive change.

From my experience working in PR for close to two decades, here are my top three tips on leveraging relationships and collaborations for PR campaigns:

  1. Build Genuine Connections: Build authentic relationships with media, influencers, and industry leaders relevant to your company and brand. Invest time in understanding their needs, values, and interests, and find common ground to establish trust and rapport. Genuine connections lay the foundation for fruitful collaborations that can elevate your PR campaigns to new heights.
  1. Identify Strategic Partnerships: Identify key players in your industry or niche whose expertise complements your brand's vision. Look for opportunities to collaborate on projects, events, or campaigns that align with both parties' objectives. Strategic partnerships not only expand your reach but also bring fresh perspectives and resources to the table, enhancing the effectiveness of your PR efforts.
  1. Nurture Long-Term Relationships: Building relationships is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and nurturing. Include as part of your annual planning tactics to continue to maintain your relationships with your network of supporters (customers, investors, media, etc.), including connecting over email, engaging with partners on social media and checking in with your customers.  

So, as we navigate the maze of modern communication, let's not forget the cardinal rule of PR: it's all about who you know. By embracing the power of relationships, we can turn ordinary campaigns into extraordinary triumphs. After all, in the game of PR, it's not just about winning; it's about who you're playing with. 

Dina Zaid is a senior communications professional with over 15 years of experience driving integrated campaigns and initiatives. Connect with her on LinkedIn for more insights into the world of communications.