As the emergence of the Internet, social media and mobile communication continue to steal attention from standbys like newspapers and magazines, I find more and more that the subsequent fast pace of our lives also begins to edge out basic people skills like having a conversation face-to-face or even picking up the phone. A recent Inc. article listing the Top 30 tips for using social media listed “interact with visitors – really” as their No. 7 tip and when social media is the option of choice, I definitely agree. In just the last week I’ve been faced with a number of situations that drove home the importance of the human element – and I wanted to share them here.
Last week I pitched some client news and spent the end of the week making follow-up calls. I was delighted to connect with a reporter who I hadn’t spoken with since her maternity leave, and we quickly jumped into a conversation about her baby and the fact that I am expecting in May. It was a delightful conversation that naturally flowed into the business at hand (the pitch) and wrapped up with a really nice, “I hope to be in touch again soon!” The human connection made all the difference and will be a strong element next time we speak.
In pitching the same news I was researching a blogger in Louisville, Kentucky who has a “pitch policy” on her blog site. The blogger had a section in the policy titled, “I’m a Person, You’re a Person” and went on to say, “Since I’m a real person and you’re a real person, I’d encourage you to make our interaction a person-to-person conversation instead of an e-mail blast to a marketing list. I like people, I don’t like e-mail marketing blasts.” I loved that! While a phone call or face-to-face meeting wasn’t the right way to kickoff a relationship with this blogger, she made it clear that if you do a little research, know who she is, treat her like a person and reveal your human side – your chances of being heard go way up. Her simple statement made a strong statement.
At GroundFloor Media we’re lucky to have a variety of clients from across verticals. At the end of the day, it’s really the relationships we form with clients – and prospective clients – that keep our interactions strong and drive the success we’re able to create for our clients and their brands. The Wall Street Journal, reporting from the National Retail Federation’s annual convention earlier this month, emphasized in this article that retailers not become so dependent on the Internet, social media or whatever else may develop that they lose touch with consumers. While we maintain friendships with our clients via Facebook, follow one another on Twitter and appreciate the occasional quick connection via text message, we also make it a point to meet face-to-face as often as possible to get to the heart of the relationship – the human element.
So, if you haven’t already done so today, make time this week to grab coffee with someone you haven’t seen face-to-face in awhile, or even pick up the phone to have a real conversation with someone who matters to you. If you’re like me, every day there are subtle reminders that the human element will make a difference!