Invite Your PR Team to the Next Company Event – You’ll Be Glad You Did
posted on February 13, 2024
In 1990, an advertisement from United Airlines called ‘The Speech,’ sent shockwaves through corporate boardrooms. The time of its airing coincided with the dawn of the digital era when phone calls and faxes were replacing in-person communication. Technology had become an advantage over costlier – so-called – traditional business practices.
Nearly 25 years later, the fundamental lesson, so bluntly laid out in The Speech, remains a hot-button issue. Simply replace its references to phone calls with Zoom meetings and faxes with work-from-home scenarios and you’ll agree that its message seems timeless.
United Airlines, “The Speech” 1990 – Youtube
I was recently reminded of this spot because – after a long stint of remote work – I found myself on the road for a client’s annual Sales Kick Off. These are always great events for PR people to meet their day-to-day client contacts and others within the inner workings of the business. In such settings, PR practitioners often summon their internal investigative journalist, which, when combined with their extroverted nature, resembles a candidate hustling for votes.
Any concerns that I’d lost my knack for glad-handing and the sometimes awkward but always rewarding networking moments were quickly dashed. This SKO was a treasure trove of opportunities that would set in motion new, exciting ideas to explore that were guaranteed to be aligned with the client’s corporate direction.
- I sat down for coffee with a mid-level manager who shared an amazing story that we’d never otherwise learned about. Now, it will become part of our 2024 activities.
- Breakfast with a key partner offered me a chance to introduce myself and explain what a public relations person was doing at an SKO. We’re now planning to collaborate on joint marketing activities.
- The client’s willingness to include PR in their agenda provided us the opportunity to speak to everyone in attendance. We used the platform to share recent successes, the lessons we’d learned from the SKO sessions, and provide a roadmap for PR priorities in the year ahead.
We’d be the first to say that PR isn’t the easiest marketing discipline for the uninitiated to understand. It’s all the more reason why face-to-face opportunities are always met with appreciation and excitement to deepen existing relationships, make new ones, and align on priorities.
It’s worth your while to invite your external PR team to annual company events. Whether it’s a sales kick-off or partner and customer showcase the right PR team will make sure their participation pays dividends to your brand.