Business owners might see a need to network, but public relations representatives often don’t. They sit in their offices and write up the company news, but they don’t realize they are missing an opportunity if they don’t get out of the office once in a while and meet other people. P.R. reps should be networking with others in the field, with journalists, and business colleagues. Read this article to understand why networking is important.
by Louise Harris
Talk to any small business owner and you will hear that they spend a portion of their time networking. They will tell you that networking increases revenues, improve brand awareness and provides advice from colleagues they respect. While these reasons don’t apply to public relations people, they still should network. Three reasons why it works for P.R. staff are listed.
1 - Get Advice
When you network with other people in your industry, you could get advice about a problem you might be having. For example, suppose you have been trying to reach a journalist, but he or she doesn’t return your calls or e-mails. Others in your field might have dealt with him or her and could offer you advice. You also might be the one to provide advice to others in your field. Your colleagues might have new software they want you to try or know some tricks you haven’t considered. By networking with other P.R. representatives, you could grow in your field of knowledge, could become a thought leader in your industry or could solve everyday problems. Besides, it is good to talk shop with people who truly understand your pain. You also could have fun while you are doing it.
2 - Hook Journalists
It is important to network with journalists. When you are having drinks with journalists or talk with them in a setting away from your computer and theirs, you get to know them. You find out what journalists like and dislike. You could discover if you are wasting your time by targeting that journalist. You also will find common ground, something you can use when pitching a story. On the flip side, journalists get to know you better. They will remember you when your release comes across their desk. In addition, journalists use those networking events to get story ideas. Some of my best stories came when I attended trade show receptions or other events where public relations and marketing people were gathered and socializing.
3 - Share Your News
When you network with other businesses, you are able to spread brand awareness to other companies. Businesses who need your company’s products will remember meeting you and discussing your company’s news. This is especially true for companies that have special products and niche markets. The more often people tout their wares, the more likely people will remember them when it comes time to buy. P.R. staffers are poised to spread the information about the company more than others at networking events. They write up information every day and send that news to reporters. Mentioning that same news during networking events helps the company sell even more. In addition, networking with other business owners will give you ideas on how to promote your company and possibly give you connections when you need something.
Therefore, it is important that you network with other public relations reps, journalists and other businesses.
THE NEXT STEP
Every representative should be meeting other people in their fields and outside their industry. Submitting a press release will get more attention if journalists already know you. Companies could help you spread your news. And, fellow representatives could help you solve your problems. Connecting journalists to P.R. people is what Faselis does every day. You should check Faselis PR features on Faselis websites.