Posted by: Amanda Fier | March 20, 2012

PR Primer: Two little words that have a big impact on your brand, your relationships

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics [or between you and other people].

Regardless of what you do or who you are, PR is (or should be) part of your business and life. Today, as part of our PR Primer, I’d like to underscore the power of saying “thank you” and its ability to build your and your company’s brand, as well as your relationships.

Recently, Olson Communications, Inc. hired Nibblers Catering for an upcoming lunch reception at Sundt Construction. We engaged the company because the menu was tasty, the price was right and the team had worked with our client before.

We finalized the contract and onward we went with our flurried PR lives. Then, a few days later, a puffy envelope turned up in my mailbox. With my birthday three weeks behind me, I didn’t have any idea who would be sending me something and I couldn’t remember ordering anything online. Not one for unsolved mail mysteries, I slit the top of the envelope and out came a set of heart-shape stainless steel measuring spoons and a handwritten note from Nibblers Catering owner Diane Eicher thanking Olson Communications for the business.

[insert tablespoons of glee]

This thank-you gesture was so thoughtful, timely, appropriately themed AND useful that it compelled me to call Diane and leave HER a thank-you voice mail. Furthermore, it made me feel good that we had selected Nibblers to cater our client’s event and confirmed the company’s professionalism – thus elevating our opinion of Nibblers and our relationship with the team there. Assuming everything goes well at the event, you can bet we will be likely to recommend this company to others, use it again ourselves and write a rave review for the online world to see.

How and when you say thank you matters, and this experience is a solid case in point. This experience also got me wondering about who I should be thanking today and how I can do it better, more creatively, going forward?! My list is underway, starting with a freelancer regarding her recent coverage of a resort client. For additional thoughts and ideas on how a thankful (or thankless) interaction can affect your or your company’s brand and relationships, these articles can help.

Career Coach: The Power of Thank You, Washington Post
How to Tap the Power of Thank You, Entrepreneur
25 Ways to Say Thanks, Wisebread.com

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