PR Networking – How to Embrace Networking
Networking is an integral part of growing any business or startup. By the nature of the role, PR professionals spend time at industry events, roundtables and networking events. However, some preparation and simple tips can turn you from network novice into confident communicator:
Do your research – Your time is precious so don’t waste it at events that aren’t going to do anything for you or your company. Think about who you’re trying to target, i.e. media, investors, customers, retailers, and go to events accordingly. Websites such as Eventbrite or Meetup are a great place to start.
Be professional – Networking isn’t as formal as a job interview, nevertheless introducing yourself and your business professionally will help build positivity and trust.
Know your audience – Knowing who you’re speaking to is key to getting the best out of networking events. Attendee lists are gold dust but if you can’t get a hold of one, you can look at event page, or on Twitter or LinkedIn and see who might be attending the event.
Know your key points – If you’re a networking novice, it can be easy to fall into the dreaded ‘nervous babble’ and walk away from a conversation not actually being able to recall what you said. To avoid this, think about three key points you want to get across and stick to them. This will help you get important information out succinctly and make it easier for your audience to remember.
Have business cards ready – Companies like Moo.com, allow you to create beautiful and personalised business cards, despite all the new technology business cards are a great way for people to remember you and get in touch.
Don’t leave the follow up too late – Following up is perhaps the most important part of any networking activity. It can be done effectively via phone or email and preferably the following day. By doing it, you are building relationships and opportunities for future business connections.
Getting your yourself out there can be difficult at first, but the benefits to your company far outweigh the drawbacks. So, shake off those nerves, do your research and start marking the events you’re working, work for you!
If you need a helping hand to identify the best conferences and events for you, please get in touch with us!