It’s true as much as I hate to admit it–sometimes clients don’t truly understand public relations and why professionals recommend taking action as part of a larger strategy. Some clients end up bumping heads with the PR professional while others (some of my best and most loved clients) jump on and hang on for the ride wondering where we’re going–but trusting it’ll be a great place.
Here’s a recent example.
A couple of months ago I read a reporter’s request on HARO (Help a Reporter Online). The reporter needed sources for a Mashable.com story about companies that use iPads for work. She wanted to know about the business, how iPads are being used and how the tool has helped business efficiency. Mashable is an online publication dedicated to social media, technology and tech world. It gets about 2.9 million page views a day!
I sent the query to one of my clients who specializes in high-end home remodeling. In my mind it was a great fit. The company has been using iPads for better communications and prospect work (they show before and after pix). The remodeling team inputs notes into the iPad and forwards the action items to each other. Less paper and automatic tracking. Great for customer service. The company owner has a basic philosophy. Us PR Pros call it thought leadership. The client just wants to educate homeowners about remodeling not just locally, but nationwide, to improve the reputation of the business. There are professional remodeling companies. So with 2.9 million readers at Mashable, what a better place to possibly be featured as a professional using a cutting-edge business tool.
That said, the client has later told me he thought I was a bit crazy asking him to hit a fast deadline for information via HARO. We have a great relationship of trust, so he jumped on and went for the ride. Here’s where it led him.
The reporter loved the story about how the company uses the iPads and asked for an on the job picture. The company was one of four nationwide featured when the article was posted. When the piece first appeared, remodeling company owners from several states contacted him. The owners wanted to know more. They too had considered using iPads, but weren’t sure if the investment for their company would be worthwhile. Now my client has access to talk to these owners in non-competing market places for their best practices. He’s keeping in touch with these owners, and he’s meeting his philosophy of being one of the top professionals in his business.
Next the icing on the cake. An emailed arrived from none other than Apple corporate headquarters. At first we were skeptical if the email was for real. The marketing office wanted to know more. They wanted a conference call. What? That’s crazy stuff, but it was for real. The client was over the moon. He talked about his iPad use, apps and more for 45 minutes with two Apple marketing professionals. Within 5 minutes of hanging up, his office phone rang. It was Apple calling again to say they want to feature my client in their business-to-business marketing work as a case study. How cool is that?