As Public Relations students, we hear about the importance of networking constantly. It is almost like hearing a broken record at this point. Nonetheless, networking is important – but once you build up your network, how do you turn it into the perfect job?
Once you have started your network, via your online presence and in-person, it is essential to nurture it. Traditionally face-to-face interaction begins like this: first, you look for ways to connect with people, then you introduce yourself and make friends. But once you hit that point, there is a chance that you might fall off the face of their planet. You have to make sure to reach out every now and again with a “Hi, I still exist.” This is the same for networking online and with professional contacts as well. This can be done through a Facebook post that says something like, “I saw your post on networking. It was really informative, thank you so much!”
The opportunities we have within social media are far greater than any other public relations professional has ever had ever in the past. Facebook and Twitter can be key in nurturing your cherished networks. Show that you still exist by retweeting tweets, sending direct messages, and just plain talking with your connections. However, with the advancing state of social media, we must remember it is also important to balance the in-person network with the social network. Be a friend and show that you care, or at least create the illusion for the sake of your network. Try not to be superficial and be passionate about your connections. You should want to stay connected with them. It is all part of the business.
The biggest feat of your network will be proving that you exist. Existing is a step forward. Once you make your presence known, it will be much easier to secure phenomenal references and start transforming your connections into careers. In the process, you will build some professional relationships that could last a lifetime.