My PR Journey: What’s Next? Getting the Tools you Need – Networking (8/31/2015)

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For those of you who have been to a mall, you have seen those directories with the little dot on the map, indicating “you are here”.  For me, that’s where I feel like I’m at.

With my PR journey, it’s like I’m at a mall.  There are so many things to buy and I don’t even know where to begin.  PR has so many opportunities for those who are old and new to the industry but for someone like me, I don’t even know what “store” to shop at yet.

To those of you who thought that I left my racing track analogy, don’t worry.  This is still relevant.  To be able to run effectively in your PR Journey , you need the right “shoes”.  In this case, you need to be fitted with the right wear.  Something that’s comfortable and easy on the feet.  Something that can help you keep your footing when you’re trying to traverse into the industry.

What can help you get there?  For starters, you need the right kicks.  What I am talking about is networking.  Sometimes, the people you know can help you get there.  Especially in public relations.

Now some of you may have a LinkedIn profile that’s all filled out, full of different contacts.  While this is good, it may not be the most effective way to network.

First of all, you want your networking contacts to be people that you have actually met.  Don’t add a stranger.  Why?  It’s all about the purpose of the contact.  What is that stranger going to get you?  All they really want is more attention and publicity.

So networking is like this.

It’s NOT:  Add as many people as possible.

BUT: Add a few people that can vouch for your performance that can introduce you to a few more people.  These are people that can help you get the position that you’re looking for.  If not the position, at least the volunteer experience that you’re looking for.  Volunteer organizations will be discussed in a different post, as getting into PR can be a little challenging if you don’t have the experience.

So how is my network doing?  All I can tell you is that it’s a work in progress.  I got rid of the “strangers” that wanted me to add them.  I can benefit nothing from them and they’re a waste of my time.

This is what I’m doing, and what each one of you can do to make your networking contacts count.

  1. Find someone in your network that can vouch for your performance.  This can be a college professor or one of your previous bosses at one of the jobs that you worked at.  Who it is, just make sure that it’s someone that can vouch for you.  Your performance and potential.
  2. Schedule a time and a place to meet with that person.  You will be talking to that person one-on-one.  During this appointment, you will be sharing your resume with them.  They will look at it for ten seconds, as this is the amount of time that an employee will look at your resume.
  3. Ask your contact to list 2-3 contacts that they know in their network that can vouch for their performance.  Meet with them and talk to them one-on-one.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3.

 

From what I heard, repeating this process will get you a better job.  Or, if you are already working, you can land a position elsewhere.

This is networking 101.  Networking done right.  And if you do networking any other way, all you’re going to do is fill your list with people that won’t be that effective at helping you find the position that you’re looking for.

Having that said, it’s time to review.  In this piece on networking, I discussed the following:

  • I compared the the resources that we have to a mall, and how there are different “stores” with different “supplies”
  • I then talked about networking.  The right way and the wrong way to do it.
  • Finally, I gave the four steps to effective networking.

 

So where am I going next in my journey?  Hopefully somewhere closer to my desired position.  I’m putting in the miles, and I’m certain to reach a destination sooner or later.

So to open it up to you, I have this question.  What is your networking strategy?  Is it an effective one?  Could it use work?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

And by the way, please give my facebook page a visit and please remember to like it.  Every like will make this community more  effective so please tell everyone and click that button.

To all of you in PR, old and new, I look forward to running with all of you!

Your friend in PR,

Kyle

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