Networking is one of the most critical pieces of working in Public Relations. Many PR professionals are constantly networking in different situations such as at seminars, conferences, social events, and on LinkedIn. Before getting into how to network, have you ever wondered why it is important? Let’s first think about what we, as PR pros, should know about networking.
Types of Networking
About ten years ago, the most utilized strategy for networking was based on face-to-face interactions. However, since the advent of social media, social networking is rising fast than ever. Aside from in-person events, we are using platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with other PR pros all over the world. Both online and offline networking are essential for our communication careers.
Why Should We Value Networking?
So, why should we care? Here are four reasons why:
Through networking, we build connections with other PR professionals and people from all types of industries. It’s important to have contacts that you can call when you need them, especially when you are in PR. These connections from your network can be a great source to help when you are in need, and vice versa! And, even when you might not have a direct contact, people in your network might know just the right person to help you.
2. Opportunities with clients
Networking might lead to your next client. By attending events and connecting online you will begin developing contacts from all fields, rather than just in PR. You might be pleasantly surprised to see all of the potential clients and collaborations that your conversations might lead to. You might even land your “dream” client!
3. Opportunities with PR pros
If you are looking for a new job opportunity, networking might help you land your next gig. Although your resume, cover letter, and skills are the main factors that determine whether you will get the job, your networks might play a major role. Your connection can refer you to their company. You might also learn about a job vacancy before it’s officially posted, and more.
4. Career advice
Besides identifying opportunities for your future career, your connections can help you shape a better career path. Although we’ve been turning to Google for information and suggestions for almost every situation, sometimes informal career advice from an experienced professional can be a better solution, if you find the right person in your network.
One major component of public relations are the relations themselves. Networking is essential in PR, and we can always go to certain formal or informal events, seminars, webinars, and some professional platforms for networking. But, networking isn’t just about taking advantage of others in your network. To maintain a healthy and balanced relationship, we need to give as much as we are taking. The benefits from networking should be mutual. As PR professionals, we need to constantly remind ourselves to interact with others, build relationships, develop our own networks, and help others build their networks as well.