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Get personal with your contacts for success

By Jacob McKimm

Remembering contacts’ personal information can lead to powerful friendships


Jason Mudd talks about how important remembering personal information can be.In today’s world of constant stimulation and zero down time, it’s easy to get caught up in your work because of how much needs to be done to keep things running smoothly. When you have so much on your plate, thinking about other people becomes more difficult. However, you should make a point to cultivate personal relationships with the people you know—it’s a springboard to building lasting partnerships and friendships.


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One of the most powerful things you can do in public relations and business in general is to keep things personal with people you want to stay in touch with. Make it a point to remember or, better yet, write down important things about the people you’re in contact with. This info can include:

  • Birthdays
  • Particular likes and interests
  • Hobbies
  • Information about their family


Remembering personal details and using them to create friendships between you and others is an especially useful strategy in public relations. When you build meaningful relationships between yourself and media contacts such as reporters, they become more interested in pitches you share with them than they are in stories sent by complete strangers because they know you. Some examples of how to get personal with reporters include:

  •  Inviting them to lunch at a restaurant they especially enjoy
  • Wishing them a happy birthday
  • Bonding over mutual interests such as a favorite sports team
  • Congratulating them on their children’s big milestones, like getting married

This also works for business contacts. Learn some personal information about your connections and use that information to start developing a closer bond. A good friendship will pay dividends later on and can open up opportunities your company might not have had otherwise.


This may sound like a pretty basic concept, but when you have a lot of contacts to manage, it can feel like you’re trying to juggle too much. Software such as Microsoft OneNote and Google Keep are great tools to help you store and organize personal information so that you can refer back to it as needed to connect with your contacts on a personal level and prove that you care about them as people.


Hang onto that information and make sure you’re following up with your new friends regularly in some way, no matter how big or small your overture is. Even a simple “happy birthday” message can really brighten up someone’s day and show that you remember and care about them.


Success in PR and business is tied to personal relationships, so get personal and strike up friendships with your media and business contacts. Forming lifelong friendships with reporters, fellow professionals in your industry, and pros in related industries will pay off big-time in the long run.


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McKimm_Jacob-1.jpgClients love Jacob’s speed. Jacob is an inbound marketing-certified webmaster. He earned an integrated communications degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville. Jacob joined Axia PR as an intern in August 2015 and earned his way into a critical role at our PR agency.

Topics: PR tips

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