As a public relations professional I am often asked about how to best network. Building relationships is part of my job so this is a sensible inquiry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics concludes that 85 percent of jobs are filled by networking. This can apply to landing a consulting gig as well. If you are looking for work or have a spot on the client roster, remember the tip that many jobs are filled before or right when they are posted. That’s because of networking.
Today I attended a talk hosted by a group of PR professionals: Smart networking tips were discussed. The speaker was Robin Beaman, a PR agency owner who worked for the likes of Oprah Winfrey.
Here are a few networking tips from the talk:
Networking is true relationship-building. It’s making and maintaining a friendship. Think about how to treat a friend. Buddies are nice and supportive to one another through good times and bad.
Giving the other person what they want is part of networking. Yes, this says help someone else. Not all networking is about what the other person can do for you. It’s a two-way street.
Call and follow up. This is definitely true when setting up a job interview or PR agency introduction meeting. However, it can also be applied to networking. Ms. Beaman said that it was not a smooth one step process securing her PR advisor opportunity with Oprah Winfrey. She followed up several times.
Perseverance works. Have a can-do attitude when pursuing opportunities. Robin Beaman said she didn’t just get in touch and immediately get hired to work her PR magic at B.E.T and Oprah Winfrey’s company. It took the right mindset, accompanying hard work and a massive amount of follow up.
In summary, my advice is that attitude plays the biggest role in landing a work opportunity. When you set your mind to doing something and hyper focus on that goal you have a higher likelihood of achieving it.
Michelle McIntyre is a self-proclaimed Silicon Valley PR Diva, IBM PR vet, and syndicated blogger. She’s achieved 11 awards for outstanding media relations results. Follow her on Twitter @FromMichelle. @PRSASV hosted the event featuring Robin Beaman.