As a PR veteran I am often asked for my top PR tips. This is the one that my experience has shown to be most impactful: The Invisible Factor.
Wait. Isn’t PR all about… visibility???
Let me tell you a story.
A while back, I was worried about my precious dog, Kayla. She had a lump. I took her to my local vet who is very close by. It’s a nice place, convenient to get to, very professional and everyone there seems to know what they are doing.
Any time I take my dog there, she jumps on me like a scared little kid, “Don’t leave me here pleeeease! I am soooo scared!”
But my dog has never had any major issues, and I have never had to leave her with the vet, so this place did the job just fine.
But now Kayla had this lump, and it had grown. I started out scared enough, but when we got to the vet I got even more scared as the vet started listing off all the alarming possibilities.
The vet wanted me to leave my dog with her immediately and agree to have her operated on with all the extras, of course.
My gut was telling me no.
If you’re not a dog person, at this point you probably think I’m a crazy woman. But if you know dogs, you know they are more intelligent than many people think. So it was, in part, my dog’s scared reaction to this vet that gave me pause. But also something else. I could not put my finger on it, but I knew I did not feel 100% confident in this vet who is literally just 3 minutes from my house. Maybe it was because the last time they called to check on Kayla’s wellbeing, they spent most of the call telling me about all the (expensive) vaccines she should come get, ASAP!
I listened to my gut.
I decided to take Kayla to a vet that is nearly an hour away from my house.
Many years ago, I went to school with this vet’s wife, Caroline, who is a vet herself.
As kids, going to her house was like going to a farm. You never knew if her mom or a duck would answer the door! When she told me she wanted to become a vet, I thought how well that suited her. In fact, she gave my dog her very first checkup! I never went back only because of the distance.
But now we had an emergency.
Caroline had once told me that her husband was more of a veterinary surgeon, so I made the 50 minute drive out to see him.
We had a quick chat where he told me that he had grown up in a house much like Caroline’s, except they also had ostriches! He had told me about his passion for animals and I could see Kayla feeling comfortable with him.
He had the invisible factor.
He had built his veterinary hospital and staffed it with wonderful people who all had the invisible factor too. I felt confident leaving my dog in their care.
I felt that she could be operated on and everything would be alright.
My husband thought I was crazy to drive so far when a perfectly good vet was just 3 minutes away. But when he came with me on surgery day, he got it. He felt it.
You see, this vet, nearly an hour away, loves what he does and so does everyone who works with him. He took the time to find solutions for me that the other vet never told me about. Kayla was confident with him and never tried to jump on me as I left her to be operated on.
Before and after the surgery, he called to answer all my questions and explain exactly what was happening.
My husband, my dog and I could all feel just how much he cared. And that’s it. That’s the invisible factor. Caring.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a vet, a restaurant, a retail store or even a bank. When you care, when you truly, deeply care about what you do, and you bring that passion to every interaction, people feel it. They can’t see it. You can’t put it on a billboard. But it can be felt, and people know, instinctively, when it is genuine.
Look for people who care and be someone who cares.
When looking for help or guidance, seek out people with that invisible factor. You won’t see it, but you’ll feel it.
When thinking about your own PR, aim for the invisible factor to shine through, not just in marketing or advertising, but in every interaction with clients and your audience. It’s this factor that makes video testimonials so powerful. The camera does not lie. When someone speaks from the heart, their words come to life!
So my best PR advice to you is this: Care about your clients. Care about what you do. And don’t be shy about letting that care shine through. It may be invisible, but some of the most powerful things in life are.