Why it's important for you to own your pet business relationships.

After spending many years in the corporate environment and in the pet business world, there are a lot of important things I have learned...but none more important that the need for business owners to own their business relationships and not farm them out to a wide variety of agencies.

Whether those relationships are with your pet business vendors, retailers, suppliers, media or bloggers, building and maintaining those personal connections yourself can be incredibly valuable to your pet business.

Let's say for a moment that you hire or work through a public relations agency to connect with consumer pet magazines on your behalf. They put together a great press release, send it out to the all the appropriate consumer pet magazines in their database, then follow up to see if that media is interested in covering your new pet product or service. 

Sure, you may get some press out of that contact. But what happens when that public relations agency pitch person no longer works for that PR company, or that PR company no longer works for you? And what happens when the media has specific questions that your agency's pitch person can't answer effectively?

Not only have you lost that contact and have to start all over building that wonderful relationship, but the ease and speed of communication is lost. In the fast paced world of communications, this could be a detriment to your business and you may loose out on the great opportunity at hand.

Here's a much better scenario. You hire a PR or marketing agency, they write a wonderful press release about your product/service with just the right pitch, then provide you with a great intro email and a list of the pet business media who would find your information interesting to their readers, visitors, listeners, or viewers.

Then you send the email.

This method creates a means for you to build a wonderful and productive relationship with that pet business media representative or blogger; and allows you the ability to answer any media questions, quickly, easily, efficiently and very effectively.

When I was a VP of marketing at an Internet banking technology company, and on the other 'side of the fence,' I fought tooth and nail to bring the public relations marketing activity in-house and under my guidance after utilizing a public relations firm for a year or so; much to the doubt of the president of the company . Why? So we, as a company, could build and cultivate those great relationships with the tech media ourselves, without outside interference and hindrances; and it paid off in spades. 

Because I had formed these great relationships with the media through email communications, press junkets, catching up at trade shows and conferences, and staying in contact with those writers and reporters throughout the year, not only would they almost always cover our new developments, but many times when they were working on a story that related to a product line or subject matter that we were an expert in, we were one of the first sources they would call for a quote for the article; allowing us even more exposure within our field.

And this happens frequently with my own pet business marketing consultancy. When the pet business trade magazines are in the process of writing articles related to pet business marketing, they frequently turn to me for tips, ideas and quotes that they can share with their readers. This allows me to share some great tips to help pet businesses be more successful, and provides my business with just the type of visibility I want with my target audience.

So the next time you are thinking about outsourcing the important communications and relationships for your pet business, think again...or at least think about how you can work with your agency or agencies to own your own relationships for the long term health of your business.

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