By Caitlin Gailey, Director of Staff Relations
In the public relations industry, who you know is sometimes just as important as what you know. Throughout the course of our careers, we are fortunate enough to meet dozens of talented people in our industry. These incredible opportunities are something to take advantage of, not to waste. While networking can feel awkward at times it’s never as bad as you think! Here are a few things to remember when networking your way to the top:
LinkedIn Is Your Friend
Don’t overthink things and grow your network through LinkedIn. After meeting with someone at a company event or through a mutual friend, a great and professional way to keep in touch is through LinkedIn. Asking to connect with someone is always more intimidating than it seems, but it’s a great tool to utilize in your networking toolbox.
Master The Email
Mastering emails is crucial to building your network during and after college. Whether you are updating a previous employer, introducing yourself to a potential one or thanking someone for your time, email is the way to go. It’s a short 15 minutes out of your day, but it can mean a lot to someone who wasn’t expecting it.
Everyone Wants You To Succeed
The best thing to remember when walking into a networking opportunity is that everyone wants you to succeed. Whether you are meeting someone for the first time or reconnecting those in the public relations industry want to share their knowledge with you and see you put it into practice. Their kindness is your key to success and something that you should never be intimidated by. When you walk into a room realizing everyone wants you to do well, it makes introducing yourself to strangers a lot easier.
Networking with people outside of your inner bubble is a great way to make unexpected connections and experiences. Reaching out to those outside of your internship department or team is a fantastic way to expand your skill set and take advantage of unique opportunities others may never have.
If you have learned nothing new about networking at least think about this. Remember back to your first day of college freshman year. Moving into a new building, a new town, potentially a new state was intimidating. However you put your best foot forward, put yourself out there and made an entirely new life for yourself in just four short years. If you can do that, you can do anything, so get out there and network.