For Up and Coming Young PR Pros: Networking in Person Tips
By: Christina Roman, Intern
In Public Relations, networking is essential for a successful career and is the best way for PR pros to keep up with all the latest trends, best trade practices, meeting the right people and showing your skill set to others who may eventually help you in your career. As a young person breaking into the industry, networking can be very intimidating. It’s also not the easiest task to do, especially if you’re new in the field like me. Here are some great tips that I’ve come across while delving into the hundreds of related articles in my research to jumpstart my career.
- Do your research. When you are preparing to attend a networking event make sure you know what you’re talking about. Look up who’s going to be there, what they specialize in and interesting topic points you can bring up in conversation. When you’re prepared it can easily impress others and open many doors.
- Ask insightful and open-ended questions. Once you’ve done the research it will make it a lot easier for you to think up appropriate questions to ask. Open-ended questions are perfect because you won’t get a yes or no answer, giving you a great opportunity to delve into a topic. Asking the right questions and generating an interesting conversation shows your interest in not only the field, but also the person you’re conversing with. Aside from showing interest, these questions also show you’re willing to learn and grow.
- Go With a Purpose. Remind yourself why you’re there. Make a short list of goals you want to achieve while at a networking event. For example, meet new people or learn some new information about various topics. This way you don’t show up unprepared or get easily distracted.
- Split up. If you’re like me, you like to attend events with someone you’re close with just for the support. Split up once you’ve arrived. Don’t throw your friend to the wolves but don’t travel the entire event together. Sticking together will limit your chances of making new contacts. Just meet up again after you’ve accomplished your goals.
- Be Memorable. When you’re making new contacts make sure you’ve made an impact. Don’t be too casual, but when an interesting personal topic comes up that you can take part in, make it known. The more interesting you are it is the more likely you’ll leave an impression and guarantee a future meeting. Don’t be shy!
You may have heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, use these tips and gradually you’ll see the difference and success will be in reach. Like I said, networking is not easy and success won’t come on the first go-around. You need to keep trying and remember be professional, but also be yourself.