Working in PR, we are constantly networking – making connections through meetings, conferences, social events or social media. It really is one of the most crucial factors of working in Public Relations.
But, the last two years have proven tricky. We couldn’t network in person with a pandemic thrown into the mix, which has meant many of us have been left working from our homes and feeling a bit isolated.
Though networking was previously based mainly on face-to-face exchanges, the birth of social media and the pandemic has meant online networking is rising faster than ever.
Have you ever questioned why networking is important? In this blog, I want to share with you a little more about the importance of networking and why we should value it.
Why is networking important?
Working in PR, you can never have too many contacts. Building key relationships with other PR professionals, journalists and clients can all assist in obtaining the best results. Through networking, we build connections with people from all kinds of different industries. These contacts are great and can be mutually beneficial. Even if we don’t have a direct contact, people in our network will often know the person we need to reach. By having a good relationship, we are often able to help each other out and lift other businesses and professionals. This also increases our reach and exposure.
Through networking, we often meet new clients. By connecting with these contacts online, we are able to develop our relationships which often leads to further collaborations.
It’s inevitable that the more connections and contacts you have, the more exposure you will get. Creating ties with journalists alongside other influential business leaders opens up opportunities to reach new audience members that you haven’t been able to reach previously.
Another key advantage of strong networking is that it opens up opportunities to learn about other businesses and their industries. The more knowledge you have on current affairs and key industry players, the easier it is to appeal to journalists and your contacts.
As PR professionals, we pride ourselves on building great relationships. The give-away is in our title… Public RELATIONS. There is no denying that building strong relations is one of the biggest components of what we do.
Networking is hands down an essential part of our day to day lives. It’s important that we maintain a healthy relationship with our contacts. It’s also really important that we give back to our network and not just benefit from what they offer us. We must remember to interact often with others to develop and build on our existing relationships; whilst helping others where we can.
Ask others about their projects and show a genuine interest in what they are working on. Where you are able to, offer your help and if you don’t have the knowledge of that particular topic, share your contacts instead. Just by sharing this information you are helping them yourself.
Remember that relationships are two-way. If you are supported by your network along the way remember to be appreciative. Show your gratitude to them.
Are you thinking of starting out on your PR journey? Why not take a look at Seven things every small business should know about PR