Putting the Personal into PR

Jochem Koole

PR is all about establishing and strengthening relationships between organizations and their target audiences. Although my background is in marketing and project management, the past years relationships have been the focus of my business: Relationships between professionals who work at knowledge heavy B2B organizations and their (potential) clients, to be exact.

After a couple of years at Deloitte, where my colleagues and I helped accountants, consultants, and financial advisors increase their online visibility and reap the related commercial benefits, I started my own company. Ever since, I’ve been working with organizations like consulting company Berenschot, law firm Loyens & Loeff, medical supplier Siemens Healthcare, and the Real Estate division of Schiphol Airport.

The reason I help my clients focus on professional relationships is simple. These relationships are one of the key drivers behind organizational growth. In every organization, but maybe especially in knowledge heavy B2B environments, it’s the combination of a strong brand, specific knowledge and expertise turned into products and services, and professional relationships that results in selling products and services, and acquiring and maintaining market share.

During PR is Key 2017, I will talk about successfully involving your colleagues and your organization’s management in your PR efforts.

With 24/7 Internet access and billions of people on social media, every one of us can now damage, but also strengthen a company’s public image. A simple Tweet or LinkedIn Update by one of your colleagues can reach hundreds or even thousands of people in a matter of seconds. And, as the Edelman Trust barometer shows employees are still regarded as a highly credible source of information, this offers some amazing possibilities for achieving your organization’s PR goals.

Your colleagues on the other hand might be not (yet) be open to this idea. They are “busy doing their regular work”, find “social media a waste of time”, or “just not something for them”. Whatever words they choose, it usually boils down to one, simple question – that has only one possible answer:

‘I don’t understand, how I can use these tools in a meaningful way to contribute to my personal business goals…’

‘Well, let me show you!’

Convincing your colleagues to invest time and effort in creating a client focused LinkedIn profile, follow key people from their industry on Twitter, or write a meaningful blog post for your website, requires you to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself the question ‘If I were my colleague, who would I want to reach online and what would I want them to do after I’ve reached them with my message?’

So, instead of focusing on the target audiences outside your organization, you need to shift your attention towards the people within your organization. Help them reach their goals, and you’ll notice that you will reach your goals along the way. You might have to change some of your ways and to do so you probably need your management team’s support. You will need a combination of time and money to turn your strategy into reality.

During PR is Key 2017, I will not only show you how to convince management to invest in this new approach, we will also talk about their role in PR, about successfully involving your colleagues, the personal branding myth, and employee advocacy that will eventually come at a cost.

On top of that, other speakers will talk about creating the best content for the most popular platforms out there, how to successfully listen to whatever your target audiences are saying online and monitoring your brand. All in all, I believe it’s going to be a great and knowledge packed afternoon that will both inspire you and help you take the next steps in your PR efforts.

I look forward to meet you during PR is Key on 20 April in B. Amsterdam!