Build More Than Digital Networks

The Internet wasn’t even a dream when I began my PR career on a Selectric II typewriter.  The pace of communications today is so fast and exciting that I sometimes worry that deeper professional networks are not being developed. 

I enjoy reading the blog of Ohio Northern junior Evan Roberts, who is very much into the digital space but also advocates the type of networking that launched my career many years ago.  I asked Evan to share his views in the following guest post.

  Evan Roberts

Networking. “Thank You” notes. Business cards. Talking points. Etc. Everyone knows that to build a solid foundation for a future career in public relations, your network is crucial.

That old adage that states, “It’s not what you know, but who (“whom” for us sticklers) you know” isn’t too far from truth. As a student beginning their job/internship search, you want to ensure that you have a solid network to work with you. The Ohio Northern University chapter of PRSSA has had several speakers address different aspects of networking. These aspects have mainly consisted of traditional networking, social media networking and finally the appropriate way to call on your network. The last part I feel is particularly important, primarily since I’m the kind of person who hates asking anyone for a favor. Food I don’t mind, but real favors seem to just put too much strain on a relationship for my personal comfort (my girlfriend would say “pride”). However with calling professionals or others in your network it is different and the reason is simple; they expect you to call. People who give you their card aren’t doing it for exercise, they are reaching out and it is your turn to make the next move.

So what do you do and more importantly, what should you say?? I’ve come up with four tips that might help. (The generic “they/them” refers to individuals in your network, as you deem appropriate.)

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