We recently had a U.S. client visit us in Vancouver for planning meetings and media updates. At AHA, we’re very fortunate that we have clients in the U.S. and Canada – on both the east and west coasts. That AHA is based in Vancouver – with our head office in Gibsons (a short 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver) isn’t an issue with our clients or with media. We communicate on a regular basis by telephone, email, and online chat. The world has evolved enough that where we are based isn’t relevant, the work we do is.
Having said that and, I think, because we have clients that are located in different cities, we have always been aware of the importance of connecting with clients, media, bloggers and other stakeholders in person.
Having our U.S. client come and visit once again reminded me of the value of developing and maintaining strong relationships. To do this, you need to be in the same room every once in a while. Along with the professional benefits, there is also a personal connection that happens. For us at AHA, when we provide PR services, it isn’t an agency/client thing. It’s about the people involved, individuals with interesting stories, opinions and ideas. Having the opportunity to connect on a personal level is important to us. It helps to create a solid foundation for the professional side of the relationship.
I know I write a great deal about the social media aspects of PR here. The past few days reminded me that the online aspects of connecting are only one part of the bigger picture of building and maintaining great relationships.