Posted by: Jessica S. | Posted on: December 5th, 2013 | 0 Comments
The holiday season is a great time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. And for those in professional service industries such as consulting agencies or law firms, you will typically find yourself attending holiday parties that offer a great opportunity to network. Working the room as you hop from one event to the next is simpler than you think. Just follow these four networking tips:
- Develop a relationship — Many people are afraid of the term networking since the concept of “selling yourself” is rather intimidating. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to develop a relationship with a peer. Questions like “How do you know the host?” or “What have you done to celebrate this holiday?” are a good way to open up a conversation without any awkwardness.
- Volunteer to help — The host might need help putting out an appetizer or your boss might ask someone to grab more chairs. Whatever it may be, lending a helping hand will give you the chance to be useful. Chances are other people will see you helping and ask to pitch in and then you can introduce yourself. This is a great way to circulate throughout the party as well.
- Always bring business cards — Whether the party you attend is work-related or casual, chances are you won’t talk about business the whole time — you may not even talk about it at all! And that’s okay. Even if your conversation is not business related you can make a connection with a fellow party attendee and hand them your business card with a promise to follow up in 2014. This way you are fresh in their mind, without the memory of trying to force business discourse the whole night.
- Throw your own party — It may seem intimidating at first, but it will pay off in the end. Invite colleagues and friends and encourage them to bring a guest. Since you’re the host, feel free to introduce yourself to any unfamiliar faces and ask who they came with. As an added bonus, people might even bring gifts for the host! This provides an extra opportunity to connect with them through a thank you card.
What additional advice do you have for networking at holiday parties? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by: Jessica S. | Posted on: December 2nd, 2013 | 0 Comments
In the public relations arena, it is crucial to know your audience. Casting a wide net when it comes to pitching media contacts doesn’t translate as covering all your bases. In fact, this tactic wastes your time and strains the media’s patience.
Recently, The Haggler from the New York Times decided it was time to take action on the countless number of irrelevant pitches he received on a daily basis. Reaching out to the company of a poorly pitched product, the reporter found out that a public relations firm was responsible for the spam. Horrified that budget was being wasted with irrelevant pitching, The Haggler attempted to reach the firm for comment. No reasoning was obtained.
This story is a great example of how important strategic pitching can be. There is never a time when blanketed outreach is acceptable. Follow the below suggestions before your next campaign.
- Research – Make sure you are targeting the right industry publications and the right reporters. Take the time to research relevant outlets and journalists who may have interest in using you as a resource. Know and follow those who cover your client’s beats. Read their articles, determine their interests and then, and only then, pitch accordingly.
- Personalize – Instead of spamming 50 reporters in a mail merge with the same pitch, tailor your outreach individually. Even though this does require more time, your sincerity will be noticeable and appreciated.
- Provide value – Make yourself and your client a reliable resource. Sending unrelated content to a reporter can cause them to ignore you, block you or ultimately publish a negative story about you. Ensure that your pitch is valuable to your media contacts before sending.
What additional tips do you have on strategic public relations? Leave them below in the comments!