PR Food for Thought: Relationships & RSVPs in the Digital Age

Most of us have done it numerous times. Responded “maybe” to an event you know that you’re not going to. But since when did “yes” become the new “maybe”?

In pr, the success of an event, press trip or outreach visit largely depends on the quality and quantity of media that attend. After all, relationships are often created in person, right?  The digital age has changed the way we view relationships. With tools like Vocus, Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy for pr pros to maximize media relations without ever leaving their desks.

The reality is that nothing beats face-to-face meetings. Whether it’s spending time with a journalist over dinner or at an event or press trip, that time spent takes relationships to a different level, as you’re able to find personal ways to connect.

Even if the hardest part may be getting there, those types of connections help break through the clutter in today’s digital world. So whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or the fifth time, remember what they have or haven’t already committed to via an RSVP.’s Etiquette page describes what happens in an event that a person needs to cancel or change their response to an RSVP.

“If you’ve sent an RSVP saying you’ll be at the event, you are obligated to go. If something better or more interesting comes along after you’ve agreed to attend the first event, too bad. Cancelling an RSVP without a good reason is bad form and rude, so if you do this, don’t expect the host to ever invite you to anything again.”

So there you have it. Next time there’s an e-vite waiting in your inbox or a Facebook event popping up in your notifications, take more than your average eight seconds to consider which way the relationship may sway.