My boyfriend and I met when we were sixteen and have been, figuratively, inseparable ever since. But when college decisions came along our senior year of high school, we realized our educations would be taking us to opposite sides of the country. His to Baltimore, Maryland, to play lacrosse and study biology, and mine to Chico, California, to study public relations. We knew we had two options, throw away what we knew was too special to waste or make the distance work. We said our goodbyes and we have been in a long distance relationship ever since.
Being in a relationship with someone across the country comes with a learning curve, especially when you’ve never done long distance before. When will we talk? How often do we video chat? When will we see each other again? To answer these questions, we figured out very quickly that communication is key. Through dating him, I have been able to take valuable communication lessons and apply them to public relations. Here are five things I learned about communication through navigating love from 2,000 miles away.
- Never let a problem get swept under the rug
If a problem emerges while completing work for a client, be open and transparent. Hiding even the smallest of issues can cause distrust and could even cause the issue to get worse. Communicate with your client so you can brainstorm a solution together.
- Always reply to texts and emails within 24 hours
Don’t leave your client waiting on your reply. Check email and voicemail one to two times a day to make sure all messages and questions are answered.
- If you’re busy, communicate that, but make sure they know they’re still a priority
It’s important to communicate to your client when you are busy or unable to talk. However, when doing this, always make sure that they know they are still a priority to you, and you will get back to them as soon as you can.
- Be attentive
Make sure to check in on your client often to make sure they are feeling okay about the work you are creating for them and see if there is anything else you are able to do for them.
- Meet as often as you can
Try to meet with your client as often as you are able, ideally once a week or biweekly. If it’s harder for them to meet that often, then consider Skype or Google Hangouts is a viable meeting option.