How to network?
Good PR ultimately boils down to having great networking and communication skills. Whether you are working at a PR agency or are looking for some coverage for your brand, networking skills are a must. For some networking skills come naturally while others may have to work at it harder. Whether you are a novice or pro at this, we have some great tips that can help you network better.
When you are at an event or meeting, you must put your best foot forward. Being neat and well-dressed always makes you feel more confident and gives you that good first impression. Be polite and courteous with people you meet. Look confident and you will find more people wanting to get to know you. Make eye contact and smile, this not only makes you appear more confident but also gives you that connect.
Go for events
To be a good networker, you must actively attend events related to your industry. You must also get to be part of associations and clubs relevant to your work or interests. You never know whom you may meet! This helps you expand your circle, your ideas and your boundaries.
No matter what kind of event you are going to, remember that you have to look knowledgeable and have an engaging conversation. This means that you need to stay abreast of current affairs and also lighter news on movies and so on. This will keep you from getting tongue-tied. Carry your business cards. Get the conversation moving by asking open-ended questions.
Keep the conversation going!
At a networking event, it’s important that you are not just a good talker, be a good listener too. Listen and also join in with comments and responses to show that you are really interested. Let the conversation flow and do not attempt to dominate it. If you are not able to get to someone to introduce you to others, take the initiative, watch out for spaces when a person is free and introduce yourself.
Not all networking contacts would be useful to you, if you find a contact who you think is of no use or that you can’t relate to, cut the conversation short politely and move ahead.
A great part of the success of PR is about how well-connected you are with the media. Do your homework well by following journalists on social media. This will help you understand them better and come in handy when you meet and interact.
Make a sustainable impact
Make sure there’s something that strongly differentiates you from the rest and makes people remember you. It could be a hobby or a talent. It could be a way of talking or a viewpoint.
Once you meet someone at a networking event, don’t stop with that! Make sure that you regularly follow-up. Reach out through an email, social media or LinkedIn. However, do this with caution, do not hound someone on social media immediately after a first meeting. You could probably start with an email, LinkedIn connect or with a small whatsapp message. Based on their response, you could proceed.