I’ve spent the last week at the Consumer Electronic Show here in Las Vegas seeing some pretty amazing technology and building lots of relationships with potential sponsors and manufacturers of some of the technology I review on Facebook, TV, and SocialGeek.tv. Going as media can be quite overwhelming. Prior to the show, with over 700,000 followers and an influencer pass (you have to prove you have over 500,000 followers to get one of these), I got pitched by LOTS of PR professionals trying to get attention for their brand on my social media channels, some going to the extent of emails with the topic, “Help This Poor PR Girl Out!” Every one of these never gets read.
There was one PR person that stood out to me – in order not to embarrass them I’m not going to mention them by name, but they did PR and relationship building the RIGHT way I think. Here’s what they did: they focused on FRIENDSHIPS! That’s it.
When I got to CES I went and hung out with a few of my other influencer friends – yes, we’re all friends and we all talk together and often party together at these events. These are truly some of my best friends. This individual had already built friendships with a few people that knew some of my friends and were invited to hang out with us. At the event they didn’t spend time pitching their product or their clients. They waited until they were asked what they do and then had the opportunity to say they were doing PR at the event – “Oh, you do PR? What brands do you represent?” That opened up the opportunity to talk about their client and share more about the things they stood behind.
I hung out a bit with this individual after that just because of those conversations. We had fun together. We partied together. I genuinely enjoyed hanging out with them because I felt we were friends and I wasn’t just PR meat to get visibility on a product. This was genuinely one of the first PR professionals (I can name just a couple others, especially this year, that took similar strategies) I truly wanted to hang out with! They’re a new, good, friend now.
At the end of my stay here in Las Vegas at CES 2017 I ended up asking them how I could help them with their product, not the other way around. They didn’t need to pitch me. I wanted to help them because they were a friend and not because I was being bugged over and over again. THAT’S the right way to do tech or any sort of PR!
When I was pitching SocialToo.com’s new features (which grew to over 100,000 users of the likes of Pepsi, Britney Spears, and MC Hammer) my best stories in the media (You can see all of our coverage via bookmarks I saved in that day here) were a result of the connections and friendships I built there. It was some of those relationships and friendships that enabled me to build my own audience and built the career I have today. I’ve hung out with them. I’ve stayed at some of their houses. We’ve shared intimate experiences together. We’re truly friends and I can say some of them are actually a few of my best friends to this date.
If you’re in public relations stop trying to just pitch the individuals you’re trying to reach out to. Instead find ways to network, and build real life friendships with those you work with. I was truly impressed with this approach and I felt like it wasn’t even an “approach” at all – it’s just doing what real people do. Go out and try it!