Three ways to make networking seem effortless

Living in DC as a young professional, college student, or person new to the working world, you may find yourself plugging into all kinds of events where you can meet people – happy hours, panels, conferences, meet-ups. When you’re at an event, it can be all rainbows and butterflies – you meet someone from your Alumni network, compare professional paths with colleagues, make new friends and share favorite brunch spots – and suddenly you’re on top of the world, wondering what life would be like without successful networking events.

But post networking event, you have to think – now what?  Here are a few tips I came across that may minimize the overload in a follow up.

Business or Pleasure?

If you struggle with the personal vs. professional connection issue one easy solution is to have two cards! Vistaprint always has FREE deals floating around – you can’t beat that. Otherwise, it’s $10 for 250 cards. There’s really no excuse to not have them now, eh? So, if someone is interested in my book club, or is a person I just think would be good to know for partnering on PRSA-NCC goodness, I give them my personal card. If they seem more like a good business contact, I’d hand over my professional card.

Twitter. The new email?

Don’t people love to hate email? Do you ever cringe opening your inbox? For me, I get hundreds of emails a day at work so there’s no great excitement when I get yet another email. When I’m mentioned on Twitter/Facebook, however, you have my full attention. Leveraging these social media tools to send a quick shout-out that it was nice to meet them and actively commenting on their posts/replying to their tweets can seem more personal. Email is obviously needed at some point should there be a particular inquiry, but Twitter can help keep contact alive through touching base regularly.

Keep the party going!

Ask your new found PR colleagues about other events they know of. Do they attend the morning PRSA PD sessions? Maybe these colleagues came across an awesome panel that is perfect for you. Or they know of a LivingSocial yoga deal that just came out. You’ll not only expand your social circle but can guarantee yourself other ways to stay connected.

Now it’s time to put this into action! And where better than the next PRSA-NCC happy hour? You are invited to the Summer Networking Happy Hour June 27th! Come hang out with us, we’d love to meet you!

By Lauren Schultz, PRONet Committee. Co-Chair. Lauren is a Buckeye transplant in DC. She loves books, dogs, yoga & all things Public Relations. For work, she is a Project Coordinator at the Association for Career and Technical Education. It’s all about tha kids.

Say Hi: lschultz.274@gmail.com | @lashleyschultz

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