Dating clichés, applied to PR

Whether you’re playing the field for a potential soul mate or for the perfect client, much of the same wisdom applies.

We’ve all experienced the well-intended yet clichéd advice that friends and family offer about love and dating. (Not everyone meets his/her soul mate in high school, Grandma.)

Although not always true in relationships, many dating clichés can be applied to public relations practices.

We thought it’d be fun to put a little public relations twist on some of the most overused clichés in the crazy game we call love:

Nobody will love you until you love yourself.

People say you can’t find true love until you’re content with the person you are. In public relations, this rule transfers to finding brand advocates. To inspire audiences to be passionate about your brand, you must first inspire employees to be passionate about your company’s products or services. As the writers of “The Passion Conversation” put it, “Passion is not something you own; it’s something you pass forward.”

You have to put yourself out there more.

No one is going to find the love of their life by staying in every night and watching “How I Met Your Mother.” You may feel like one of the characters, but at least they’re out every night looking for “the one.” The same goes for finding fans. Companies today should connect with their publics however and wherever they can—whether through social media, special events, media relations, or other means.

There are plenty of fish in the sea.

This post-breakup cliché can also be used when communicating with target audiences. In the world of niche marketing, it can be hard to build a brand that suits everyone. Keep searching until you find the right audience, and once you do, cultivate a real, meaningful relationship.

Wait three days before you call.

Every sitcom you’ve seen talks about the “three days rule.” It’s a fact: You can’t be too available or too eager. Pitching journalists can be a similar cat-and-mouse game.

Follow-up phone calls the day after an email pitch is too eager, as the journalists may not have even read your message yet. Let the initial pitch sit for a bit, then make your follow-up calls a few days later to reel them in.

Everything happens for a reason.

After a rough breakup, people may tell you that everything happens for a reason. You had to get dumped so you could make way for true love. For those of us in public relations, we also think everything happens for a reason—we just have to find the reason. Clients won’t always like our ideas, and we must re-evaluate our strategies and tactics to figure out why.

Whether you spend your Friday nights on hot dates like Heather or watch “Love Actually” with tissues and a tub of ice cream like Chris, remember that the dating game can be applied to effective public relations.

Do you have other dating clichés that apply to your professional life? Please share them in the comments below.

Chris Bonelli is national vice president of chapter development with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), where Heather Harder serves as vice president of member services. A version of this story originally appeared on the organization’s Progressions blog.

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Topics: PR

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