How to Network with PR Professionals

By: Shellie Teague – President, PRCA Mobile

Shellie TeagueAs public relations professionals, we’re often in the know of ALL the events. Networking after hours, coffee chats, speaker luncheons, and special events are on our calendars and radars at all times. While I enjoy a good luncheon or after-hours event, I’m here to tell you to toss out what your Facebook Events are telling you about networking.

You read that right. Ignore those event reminders when it comes to networking with your colleagues.
I’ve met great people and learned so much at the events I described above, but nothing compares to one-on-one interactions with my colleagues. When I joined PRCA, I didn’t know anyone in the Mobile Chapter. Fortunately, the speakers were great and the members were welcoming so I kept coming back. These luncheons proved to be a great time to not only grow in the profession but also make great connections.
Taking these connections to the next level didn’t involve any complicated steps. It was as simple as sending an email to meet for coffee.
Yep. In the day of being connected to everyone and everything, I took a chance and sent an email to a few colleagues I didn’t know very well to meet for coffee. We shared our professional journeys and current challenges over a $3 cup of coffee. These meetings turned into valuable connections that turned into mentorships and friendships. They later turned into a recommendation to join the PRCA board, which opened up a host of opportunities with it.
We have a tendency to over complicate things (guilty!) in the day of tools, social media, apps, networking, etc. When it comes down to it, networking is best done when it’s genuine and not in the “speed dating” style at so many events we attend. I’m fortunate to be able to call on these friends for advice and feedback on any type of project–and their feedback has never led me wrong!
I challenge you all to make one new connection with a PRCA member before the end of the year. I’m proud that we are offering more opportunities to connect outside of our regular events and I hope to make several new connections with you all over the course of the next few months!