6 Tips for Networking in the Public Relations Industry

by admin | June 03, 2016 |

Public Relations

| 0 Comments
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Computer_industry_entrepreneur_workshop.jpgAt the core of successful public relations individuals, departments or agencies is the ability to communicate openly and freely. How we meet, develop and progress interpersonal relationships is the foundation for partnership. We’ve coined this professional relational development as networking.

At KEF Media, we find networking as one of the more enjoyable parts about our profession. We get to travel to bustling cities, meet new people, learn about their challenges and view the work they do on a day-to-day basis. With the wide variation in tactics, clientele, and approaches to solutions, networking with creative minds is a major reason why we love what we do. We nerd out in order to learn what other PR professionals are doing, and if KEF Media can assist in any way to achieve their needs, that’s an added bonus.

Sadly, some find networking tedious and irritating. Fact is, networking today is essential if you want to grow professionally. Simultaneously, networking increases the likelihood of attracting new business. In today’s landscape networking has proved to be both challenging and, at times, easy. The following are six observations (some reminders) and ways to better your networking habits. 

  1. Get Social! - Social media has connected people like never before. LinkedIn provides a platform to connect with like-minded professionals who could eventually help one another. Twitter has given agencies and public relations professionals the real-time ability to capitalize on breaking, trending and relevant news. Facebook and Instagram showcase a creative and diverse side of people and organizations alike. If you take advantage of utilizing all of the networks together, it makes networking a breeze. 
  1. Develop Diverse Relationships - People rely on others. We can’t do it all ourselves. Public relations professionals understand there are smart people who specialize in areas where they need help. It’s also appropriate, not taboo, to rely on specialists in this industry. Networking leads to those eye-opening conversations and dialogue. It creates the opportunity for fresh ideas and a chance to turn over a new stone. It’s more than encouraged for a creative to connect with a tactical PR technician, and it’s advantageous for a digital marketer to meet with a traditional marketing pro. 
  1. Engage with Experimenters - If you’re in public relations, you’re more than likely an educated communicator. And if you’re an educated communicator, networking and relationship development should be second nature. This industry is not like construction or engineering where preciseness is the goal. This industry is not baking. Instead, PR is like cooking where adding different ingredients and experimentation is celebrated. We like to interact with as many people as possible. And that shared quality makes for smooth relationship development. Ask yourself if you are doing enough. If you haven’t made a new connection in the industry in over a month, you’re doing a disservice to yourself. 

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  1. Overcome the Awkward - While we mention on one side of the coin that the Internet provides easy access to reach people and information, it also means everyone has access. Initiating a conversation has become difficult due to competition. To break through the clutter and unnecessary interactions there’s a debate on how to reach out. Do I try and get clever and cute? Or do I remain matter of fact? The answer is probably a mix between the two extremes, but everyone who receives your message reacts differently. 
  1. Make the Time - To network the right way necessitates you taking time out of your day. It’s a task like anything else and requires your undivided attention. So often, networking centers on an event or you find yourself in a situation and forced to speak. With the focus largely placed on your job, making time for supplementary networking has been tossed aside as purely a social venture. Another obstacle to consider is logistics and where to meet people. This, coupled with time, creates a networking challenge, but the chance to persevere. 
  1. #AlwaysBeLearning - Like any relationship, networking requires people to agree to interact. Frustration sets in when it seems like no one wants to learn what you have to say. A willingness on both sides is necessary and so often outreach falls on deaf ears. Two things here are important to remember. Try to learn more before dismissing the individual trying to connect with you. Don’t assume they’re interacting with you as a spammer, a nuisance or because they simply want to make a sale. See it as an opportunity and have an open mind. Second, the initiator of the message needs to sound sincere and provide value. Otherwise, both parties are missing an opportunity to learn.

As much as we want to educate PR practitioners about broadcast and digital PR tactics, we’re equally eager to learn from you and what your clients expect. Our commitment goes beyond a connection on LinkedIn or a follow on Twitter. We are always scheduling meetings and investing time and resources to network with you. We want to learn from you first. Then, if applicable, we can share our insights with you. As we’ve mentioned, we will provide honest counsel for the services we deliver. We’re also committed to customizing our services to meet the demands of any project.  To get there, networking and learning will remain a key contributor to our program. Commitment to networking is a commitment to our profession. Join us and we look forward to meeting you!  

 

Network with us! 

Yvonne.jpg   Yvonne Goforth-Hanak, Co-President   

Connect with Yvonne on LinkedIn 

Linda.jpg   Linda Buckley, Co-President 

Connect with Linda on LinkedIn 

Alex.jpg   Alex Hinojosa, EVP-Digital, Marketing and Media 

Beau.jpg   Beau Dannemiller, EVP-Operations, Client Communications 

 Connect with Beau on LinkedIn 

Jeremy.jpg   Jeremy Juhasz, Manager of Digital Services 

Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn 

 

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