Stewardship has become a trending practice for public relations professionals because it allows them to establish and maintain relationship-building efforts with stakeholders who should be included in everyday communication. Practicing relationship cultivation strategies shows potential customers and clients the value that they represent to your company. And, it is important to solidify ongoing relationships with your organization’s publics in order to maintain a strong and trusted brand – something we strongly encourage at PRBrandBuilder. Since it is important for public relations practitioners to foster relationships with clients, partners, journalists and key audiences, we explored the four dimensions of stewardship: reciprocity, responsibility, reporting and relationship nuturing.
1) Reciprocity: Recognizing stakeholders and demonstrating gratitude for their involvement with the organization is always important. Treat stakeholders to dinner or send them a company newsletter. Reciprocity will create the ultimate “win-win” situation for both stakeholders and your company.
2) Responsibility: Being responsible means keeping promises to stakeholders while achieving high standards of organizational management and decision making. In order to ensure a trusted brand, company representatives need to make sure they meet client deadlines and put client needs first – that way there is no discernible gap between promise and delivery.
3) Reporting: Organizations should communicate internal developments to their publics when they can. For instance, in a crisis communication, it is extremely important to report to your publics what is actually happening. A more in-depth explanation about the crisis and how you will address it is better than an unclear response.
4) Relationship Nurturing: Organizations will be most successful when they focus on both taking care of existing stakeholders and fostering relationships with new stakeholders. Customer appreciation events are a great way to show existing stakeholders that you care.
By employing these four elements in your interactions with current clients, partners, reporters and key audiences, you will not only build yourself a trustworthy business, but you will find yourself valuing strong relationships with those people who work for your company.