As a PR professional, you’re always networking. It's how you build relationships and get your name out there. But that doesn’t make it easy. It can be hard to keep up with our peers in the ever-changing PR landscape, especially when so many of us work from home.
This article examines why your PR network is so important and how you can build one in 2023.
Why you need a network
Relationships are a non-negotiable part of PR. You need relationships with journalists, but what about other PR professionals? Are you paying them enough attention? From supporting your learning to amplifying your success, you need them as much as you need journalists.
A strong network can also act like your employment insurance. Your network should be full of folks who recommend you when an opportunity pops up or give you a helping hand when times are hard.
Put yourself out there
As daunting as it can be, sharing your personality, opinions, and work is essential to build genuine connections. If you’re serious about growing your network, it’s time to rip the band-aid off and show up as yourself — after all, you’re dealing with folks who can smell spin a mile off.
LinkedIn is the perfect place to start growing your network, and now, with the bizarre decline of Twitter in recent months, is the right time to make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
How? Post regularly, share what you’re learning or struggling with, and engage with other people’s content. Don’t focus on vanity metrics, like how many people have liked your posts. Focus instead on building meaningful connections and quality over quantity.
Start a blog or podcast
Starting a blog or podcast about public relations can feel like an impossible task, especially if you feel constrained by imposter syndrome. To overcome this, explore topics that are interesting to you or subjects where you’re the expert — even if that simply means discussing your own experience. The chances are someone will resonate with you, and your audience will grow. Don’t believe me?
Don’t take my word for it; check out Iliyana Stareva’s rise to PR guru. Now author of Inbound PR, she began by sharing her musings and experience online as an early career professional.
Join a professional body
Joining a professional PR organization can be a great way to advance your career, build your network, and stay connected with the latest industry trends. As a member of a professional body like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), you will have access to exclusive (virtual) events with industry professionals, invitations to member-only forums and the possibility of getting involved in the organization’s governance.
Join online communities
Founded by the fantastic Gini Dietrich, SpinSucks is an online community of approachable PR professionals, marketers, developers, and designers. SpinSucks members are keen to learn from one another and are happy to answer your questions on their Slack channel.
Michelle Garrett at @PRisUs
Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant, writer, and speaker specializing in PR. Naturally, she is interested in selling her services, but she is also a great networker. She uses her Twitter platform to host a PR lunch hour every Friday.
Michelle Garrett at @PRisUs Solo PR
Are you a lone wolf? Solo PR could be the community for you. Specifically designed for solo PR pros, it's a great community to support your learning and to help you check in with other professionals.
The community is full of folks who are there to build a genuine network of like-minded folks who engage with content. As a bonus, Solo PR also offers a host of downloadable whitepapers and how-to guides.
Attend events face to face events
As convenient as social media and forums are, building relationships through a keyboard can be hard. To keep us connected with our community, we co-host PR meetups with our partner PRLab.
Although we’re a fully remote company, we’re still true to our Dutch roots and regularly hold events in Amsterdam.
Sign up to our event mailing list to make sure you don't miss the next one.