Networking Etiquette

April 15, 2008 at 7:59 pm (networking, PR, public relations) (, , )

We all agree that networking is important within public relations. Social Anxiety: Sincerity and courtesy are key to networking well is an article from the April issue of PR Tactics.

I have always wanted to know how I could network without seeming like I’m doing it for my own good. As a student, sometimes I feel like I don’t have as much to offer to the professionals in my network. More than likely, I won’t know of an available job for them. So far, I have found most professionals extremely willing to answer questions and help me. I try to keep in contact with them, but not overly so because I don’t want to seem needy or self-serving.

Here are a few networking tips derived from the PR Tactics article:

  • Networking won’t get you a job outright, but it will help guide you to opportunities you might have never known about
  • Keep in touch with people on a regular basis. Don’t contact them just when you need something.
  • An easy way to maintain your network is to contact people at regular times of the year, such as holidays. You also may consider contacting them after a promotion to congratulate them.
  • Offer to help them and don’t hesitate to ask them to help you. One way to help them is to occasionally send information you come across that may be of interest to them.
  • When you attend a social event to network, be genuinely interested and hand out business cards.

What is your best networking tip? What makes you think that someone in your network is being self-serving?

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2 Comments

  1. Adam Denison said,

    Great post. The author of the this Tactics article is one of my old professors!

    My best networking tip is to talk about things that are important to the other person, then mention this in subsequent e-mails and conversations. For example, if you find out that the individual has kids in little league, maybe you ask them about how the team is doing.

    One thing that tips me off to someone in my network just being self-serving is when they only reach out when they want something, or are trying to sell me something.

  2. Beth Evans said,

    I really like your blog. It’s the best student blog I know.

    Anyway, about this post: My networking tip is to get a position (ie. student leadership in a professional development group) where you’re forced to network. I’m planning a PRSSA Regional Activity, which requires that I attend networking events and interact extensively with professionals to look for speakers. I can approach people with, “Hey, would you like to participate in my conference?” rather than “Hey, would you like to give me a job?”

    My other major tip is to think of professionals as just like you except older. After taking this approach, proactively approaching possible mentors and remaining calm in my communications with them is much easier.

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