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Face-to-Face PR: Networking Works if You Choose Wisely
Guest articles > Face-to-Face PR: Networking Works if You Choose Wisely
by: Robert Deigh
If your 2011 resolutions include better diet and more exercise, keep reading -- because this article will not mention those two words again. You can get that advice somewhere else. You're welcome.
However, since this is a business newsletter, addressing PR specifically, we offer a resolution to increase your organization's visibility. Throughout the year, we talk a lot here about company messages, press, social media, presentations, and writing effectively. This month's newsletter addresses an activity of equal importance - networking.
Face-to-face networking is 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. Whom do you want to meet? Find out which events your peers, prospects and competitors attend and put those dates on your calendar. Subscribe to e-newsletters of organizations whose events interest. 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 per month can you devote to events? Divide up the team and get active in 3-4 of the best organizations.
3) If you go to an event with other members of your team, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 703-503-9321.
Contributor: Robert Deigh
Published here on: 12-Feb-12
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