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iContact vs. Eye Contact: The PR Value of Networking

 

Guest articles > iContact vs. Eye Contact: The PR Value of Networking

 

by: Robert Deigh

 

Is social networking replacing in-person business networking? Quite the contrary - they have become great complements; people often meet online and then schedule face-to-face meetings. Or they meet at events and agree to join each others' social networks, forming much larger pools of contacts.

It may seem counterintuitive, but in-person networking is growing. Face-to-face networking remains one of the most important elements of your organization's PR strategy and your executive growth. It's a great source of fresh ideas, contacts and a productive break from your daily routine.

But where do you find time to attend events? You don't. You make the time. Here's how:

  1. Know the terrain and be picky. Whom do you want to meet? Find out which events peers, prospects and competitors attend and put those dates on your calendar. Subscribe to e-newsletters of organizations whose events interest you. (See links on the right...apologies to readers outside VA-MD-DC).
  2. Get everyone on your team into the habit of business networking. What organizations do your staff members already belong to? How much time can you devote to events? Divide up the team and get active in 3-4 of the best organizations. Join committees - the exposure will help members remember you.
  3. If you go to an event with co-workers, split up. Get out of your comfort zone. Networking is work.
  4. Have a compelling message. Your "elevator speech" should reflect benefits, not features, of hiring your organization. It should answer the question: "What can you do for me?"
  5. Make sure your business card says exactly what you and your organization do. People forget quickly. A business card with only a logo, company name, title and contact information is useless. Add some version of your elevator speech to the front of the card.
  6. Follow up with good prospects by phone or email within a couple of days while their memory of the event is still fresh. Remember, the next time you see the person in his or her office, it will be your second meeting

 


Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and the author of "How Come No One Knows About Us?" (WBusiness Books, available May 2008), the PR guide for organizations large and small that want to win big visibility. Deigh helps organizations increase their visibility and build their brands by creating strong and positive relationships with the press and other audiences. He is also a well-known speaker and trainer on media and PR topics. Want more free info to build your business? Subscribe to Deigh’s popular monthly 1-page online newsletter “PR Quick Tips” from his website at www.rdccommunication.com. He can be reached via email at rdeigh1@aol.com, or by phone at 703-503-9321.


Contributor: Robert Deigh

Published here on: 26-Feb-12

Classification: Sales

Website: www.rdccommunication.com

 

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