According to CIPR, PR ranks as one of the top three most popular career choices for university graduates. Competition for jobs can be tough.
Whether online or in person, networking is an essential part of being a public relations professional. Whether it’s with with journalists, clients, or influencers, networking helps you build relationships. In time, you’ll develop your own own database of valuable contacts whilst helping other people grow their networks too. As they say, it’s not what you know, but who you know!
With the rise of professional social media sites such as LinkedIn, networking is now easier than ever before. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, we live in a world consumed by social media and, of course, it’s the easiest way to promote your business – and yourself!
We’ve compiled a few simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to professional networking.
Know each platform
Yes, many social media platforms are starting to look similar, but they still have their individual quirks.
LinkedIn is probably the best for professional networking as it’s basically an online resume. It’s great for showing off your history, skills and developing new contacts, along with reconnecting with existing ones.
Know your audience
It sounds obvious, but avoid what you’d normally put on a personal site and focus on the message you’re trying to get across. Are you trying to sell a product or sell yourself for a potential job?
Either way, focus on a simple and clear idea that helps show your expertise and don’t tell your life story – no matter how interesting it may be.
Don’t be afraid to share professional details; after all, that’s the whole point. The more information you can provide about your past work and career interests, the more chance you’ve got at hitting the right audience.
Similarly, make sure you adapt your profile or story to those you want to attract. Whether it’s new customers, clients or business contacts, tailor your profile so that it communicates directly with them, so find out what they’re looking for!
Become a thought leader
The best way to demonstrate your knowledge is to share professional insights into relevant industry matters or points of discussion.
By posting regularly and sharing useful and engaging content, you can help position yourself as an expert in your field. This will help you build credibility and become a trusted and valued contact.
Building relationships via your social media is important, but most often overlooked. Once you’ve built a valuable relationship with somebody, don’t just forget about them. Make sure you build on the relationship; you don’t want people to think they’re just another contact.
Professional networking is a two-way street, so you need to be able to offer something back in return. Write recommendations on their profile, like and share their posts and engage in conversations.
Don’t give up
The most important thing is not to give up. Networking on social media can take time to get used to, but once you’re familiarised with it, it can become a lot of fun.
Speaking of professional networking, we’re recruiting! If you’re looking for your next challenge, we’d love to chat to you over a cuppa. Email Jaime@jampr.co.uk