It’s All About Who You Know
How often do you find yourself saying the adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” when talking with colleagues or dishing out advice to family members? Often, right? It’s a popular phrase because, in life and business, it regularly proves to be true.
It goes without saying that relationships are critical to PR success. They help make introductions and then keep opportunities coming. So networking while taking advantage of a PR opportunity, for example while speaking at a conference, is critical to making your PR efforts work harder for you.
With Advertising Week almost here, we thought a few suggestions for networking at industry events might be helpful:
- Set goals. If you set your networking goals ahead of time (e.g., I will speak with three new people, I will pass out ten business cards, etc.), you’ll hold yourself accountable and leave with actual connections.
- Bring business cards. Do not forget your business cards. It is less of a faux pas these days with current technology, but you never know when someone is going to prefer to do things old school. Similarly, if you get someone’s business card, make sure to follow up in a timely manner.
- Be approachable. Say hello, make sure your name badge is clearly visible, and be open to introducing yourself to new people. The worst thing you can do is eyeball someone’s nametag and dismiss them as “not good enough.” Not only is it rude, but you also don’t know who they know!
- Stay relevant. If you’re going to strike up a conversation with someone, why not try to discuss the content that was just presented? It gives you a good ice-breaker, and then you can eventually steer the conversation in the direction that you want it to go.
- Stick around. Most conferences end the day with a cocktail hour. Stick around for it if you can manage. You’ll find a more relaxed crowd and casual environment, making individuals more likely to start conversations. And if that isn’t enough incentive, there’s free booze.
Lastly, the DGC team wants to remind you to put your best foot forward, but be comfortable while doing it. Conference days are long and you’re inevitably going to be walking to multiple venues or across huge conference centers, so wear comfortable shoes. Know, however, that there is a line when it comes to comfort that can’t be crossed — no Zuckerberg flip-flops allowed.