If you attended PRAdvanced you’re already one step ahead in creating your personal network of PR professionals. But all these great connections won’t mean anything if you don’t maintain a relationship with these professionals. So where do you start?
Here are 5 quick tips to help you stay connected:
1. Jot Down Notes – Write a quick note about the person you met on the back of each business card you received at the conference. When you refer back to the card in the future you will be more likely to remember the conversation you had with that person. Mention the conversation when you contact that person. It will impress him or her that you remembered what you two talked about. This will also make you conversation more personal.
2. Follow Them – Obviously, I don’t mean stalk them, but if the professionals you met gave you their links or usernames, follow and connect with them! Connecting with people within your network through social media is an easy way to keep in touch. Simply say thank you, comment on a link or just say a friendly hello.
3. Connect on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the number one online networking tool for business professionals. It is a great way to keep track of professionals in your network, what they are up to and vice versa. Keep track of new job opportunities your connections may post and reach out when you’re interested.
4. Send an Email – When you send an email you can thank the person for his or her insight/advice, but also mention something unique about your conversation with him or her, if you had one. If not, mention something that he or she said that you found interesting. You could also ask a question to express your interest further in something he or she mentioned.
4. Don’t Wait – Now is the time to follow up with the professionals you met. The conference is still fresh in their minds, and in yours. You will have a better memory of your conversations with them, and so will they.
5. Keep Contact – Follow up with a short message every three to six months. Even though it may seem like a lot of effort, if you make it a habit, following up will become easier and is definitely worth it in the long run.
I hope these tips can help you, like they’ve helped me! The reason I have my internship now is because I kept in touch throughout the year with one of the professionals at PRAdvanced last year. A simple thank you email, LinkedIn invitation or tweet can go a long way. You never know when that person will have an opportunity for you.