Today’s guest post is by Peppercomm associate, Chris Piedmont
To help land the coveted first job, young professionals spend their entire college careers laying the building blocks of their professional network. But, the networking that was oh so important to get hired is pivotal in building a successful, long lasting career in public relations. Your newest contact could be a new business lead, job opportunity or best friend in the making. Having people who understand the daily life of a PR pro also gives you an outlet to bounce ideas off of someone for a fresh perspective. As a fairly recent southern transplant to New York City, I’ve also found networking events to be one of the best ways to make new connections with common interests and goals. Here’s a few tips for continuing to grow your network in the early stages of your PR career.
4 Tips for Building Your Network as a Young Professional
- Join a Professional Organization: Organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) are a great way to meet other professionals in the field while also building your skill set through professional development opportunities. PRSA also has a section specific to New Professionals to network with others beginning their careers.
- Connect With Your College Alumni Groups: Most colleges have active alumni groups in major cities. Getting involved with your alma mater’s alumni base can introduce you to others outside of the communication industry.
- Utilize Social Media: Embrace the power of social media to expand your network and continue learning. Follow and interact with the leading minds in the industry and participate in regular Twitter chats sponsored by PR News, PRSA and others.
- Continue to foster existing relationships: There’s an old song that goes “make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” The same can be said for network connections. Stay in touch with those you met during your time in college and continue nurturing those relationships.
What other tips do you have for building your network?
In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm Boulder, CO intern and future industry star, Eric Graff.
I graduated from the University of Colorado Denver. I am from Parker, Colorado a little suburb area outside of Denver. I began my college career at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kansas on a baseball scholarship. I pursued broadcast journalism where my speaking and writing skills improved. After 2 years, I transferred to Washburn University to continue a Journalism degree and a baseball career. During my year-and-a-half stay at Washburn I became homesick and came to a quick realization that journalism was not the best fit for me. So, I transferred to the University of Colorado Denver and graduated with a communications degree with an emphasis in public relations. Graduating and earning a degree that is applicable to many businesses as well as my personality, was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Persistently searching on LinkedIn for an internship/job in my related field is what brought me to Peppercomm. One day, I stumbled upon an open internship position at Peppercomm posted to LinkedIn. I saw the number of applicants and said, “why not?” After submitting my resume, I did my research and found that Peppercomm has an all-around great atmosphere. At Peppercomm I found a humorous and personal work environment that still maintains a high standard of professionalism.
What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?
I find the concept of understanding the clients’ needs and strategizing ways to better their overall brand image to be the most appealing. This is appealing to me because I am a spirited individual that enjoys engaging and interacting with different types of people and problems. “Listen, Engage and Repeat” is the vocal point of my interactions with clients and staff in this industry.
Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?
The biggest surprise was the amount of time given to multiple projects. I found it hard to believe that everyone could wear multiple hats and still maintain a balance. I admire this attribute because this is an area I need to improve. The surprise of it all was seeing everyone at Peppercomm maintain sanity as well as being positive about the multiple tasks at hand.
Where do you see yourself going in the industry?
The tools I have developed here throughout my internship at Peppercomm have truly been essential to my growth in this industry. It taught me the importance of researching and to never take one solution and run with it.
The path in the industry I wish to pursue further is client relations and creative branding strategies. I am very talkative, personable and enjoys understanding the true message of the client and developing that idea for others to understand. Also, I believe creativity is the juncture of critical thinking and originality that connects all those involved in one exciting project. Thank you Peppercomm for this opportunity!
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re trying to get work done. Maybe you are at your job or internship and a friend sends you a link that you just have to read. You click on that one link and before you know it you have spent more than 30 minutes browsing through random articles.
What can you do to help prevent distractions like this? Here are several ideas:
- Temporarily disable your personal emails on your phone.
- Do not sign into your personal email accounts while working.
- Set a specific time in your schedule, about 10-15 minutes that you can use to check personal emails and social media.
- Watch the below video about how to disable or block websites on your web browser.
Time management is key when working in public relations or any industry for that matter. It’s up to you to figure out what system and practices work best to help you stay on track when you need to get work done.
What are you time management tricks and secrets?