If you’re single in today’s world, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll try your luck with online dating at some point or another. With some of our staff having experience in the POF/Match.com/Tinder world, we found ourselves revelling in the fact that online dating is not so different than building a relationship with a media contact. Yes, it may sound crazy.. but hear us out!
Let’s count the four similarities together, shall we?
1. Investigating Their Profile
When seeking out the perfect mate online, most tend to be pretty analytical of the copy and photos that appear in their prospective mate’s profile. In PR, we’re constantly seeking out media contacts (dare we say potential “media mates”?) who would find value in learning about our clients. PR pros perform extensive research to obtain background information on their “media mate”, understanding what types of beats they cover, past work, what they talk about on social media and any other relevant interests that might be publicly available. This information is vital in moving on to the next step — which brings us to…
2. Sending The First Message
The first message is crucial in online dating — you don’t want to be one of those boring “hey” people, and “your cute” doesn’t really impress anyone (mainly because the misuse of “you’re” is a turn off, but also because ugh). Effort has to be put in to your first communication with a prospective “mate” — for example, incorporating their interests as talking points in your first message. The same goes for reaching out to your “media mate”. The first message (read: pitch) should take into consideration all the profile investigation you’ve done, making sure that the person you’re writing to will not only appreciate you sharing client information, but also will know that you’ve done your research and genuinely have an interest in their work.
3. Going On The First Date
Between the outfit, planning what you’re going to say and general nervousness, a first date can be a lot to handle. Not only that, but if this initial meeting doesn’t go well, your future with your potential “mate” could be lost forever (sorry, it’s true). On the PR side of things, after your pitch (first message) has secured interest from media, there’s a good chance you’ll be going on that first date — whether it be a phone conversation, in-studio or perhaps for a desk side appointment. This time is crucial in building a strong relationship. Making sure you have talking points, relevant visuals for your contact’s use, and (yes) a put together appearance are important factors when heading on your first media date.
4. The Follow Up
After a date goes well, it’s natural to want to send that follow up text, or (gasp!) call your potential mate. Perhaps you want to schedule your next date, or just want to say what a lovely time you had. The same procedure applies after you secure a placement for one of your clients in media. Sending a note of thanks and letting your contact know what you thought of the piece is an important part of continuing your relationship. Please and thank you can go a long way, but we’re sure your Mom and Dad taught you that years ago.
Can you think of any other ways online dating parallels working in PR? Share them in the comments below!