By Tracey Mendrek, Senior Consultant

Have you ever finished an engagement with a client and realized that you never really knew them?  Can you look at a co-worker and name the thing that worries them most about their job? Have you ever asked your boss what keeps him/her awake at night?

The wonders and magic of the electronic age have put basic interpersonal relationship skills on the back burner.  In fact, so far to the back that people don’t even know where to start.  Much is written about our fast paced world, but the truth is humans crave social interaction – not just social media.

A wise friend of mine once said that the best thing you can do after an interview is write a personal thank you note.  You will stand out to your potential employer.  I say take that basic theory and stand out with the people you interact with every day.  Stand out in the eye of your client, your co-worker, your boss or your friend.  Can you go through your contacts and name one thing, that’s right, just one personal thing about them?  Do you know their favorite food?  Do you know the name of their kids?  Wait, do you even know if they have kids?  A pet? A passion?

To be successful in the crazy world of PR you have to connect with people.  Remember the last time you ducked into the nearest doorway because you couldn’t remember the name of the former client headed your way?  Imagine their surprise and your success when you meet them head on and say hi, how are you.  And how was that marathon you were training for?  Did you run a personal best?  Or, are you settling into your new apartment in the city?

Take the time…and don’t bill for it.