Dr. Dan Eller
California Polytechnic State University
public relations professionals are quite adept
relationships with their clients and publics, but how do we
carve out a pathway that facilitates a smooth road for these
relationships to travel and ultimately expand?
What I’ve found in my professional
public relations practice is focusing on friendraising. You ask,
what is friendraising in terms of public relations practice and
how do I get started?
Really the answer is simple…FOCUS ON THE FUTURE! Who are the
people that you need to network with today, and how will this
experience create future opportunities for everyone involved?
How does friendraising differ from networking?
First, be on the lookout for new individuals
and groups that will allow you to build effective and
sustainable relationships by developing your use of
friendraising. Don’t stay inside the box, or just look outside
the box, throw the box away and be open to creating and seeking
new opportunities to meet and develop a relationship with those
who haven’t yet discovered what you have to offer to meet each
Second, develop the strategies necessary to
implement your friendraising tactics. Do your homework to
actively seek out and interface with those who will benefit
through a mutual relationship. Craft the message that will
resonate with these new friends that draw them in to what you
have to offer and how what they bring with them helps each
Third, develop and implement the tactics that
will allow you to practice the art of friendraising. Be creative
and do the things that show your forward thinking as a public
relations practitioner. Remember not everything we do always
hits a home run, but choosing a different bat may be just what
you need to hit the ball out of the park.
Finally, always look at the new people you
meet, and who they represent as an opportunity to collaborate
with to build a relationship through friendraising. Now that we
have successfully created new relationships through our
friendraising efforts, focus on continued collaboration and look
for further friendraising opportunities that create almost a
I am always actively looking for new
opportunities to develop friends, and foster a relationship with
them that will build the foundation of my public relations
efforts to develop and succeed!
Dr. Dan Eller is a professor of Public Relations at California
Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA; and
Director of Communications at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA.
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