Monday, March 30, 2009


Networking 101

I've always been one that loves to learn. I'm a firm believer that if you aren't constantly learning new things, you're doing yourself an injustice. Being content, for me, is boring. I like to be challenged. In today's current economic crisis, it's vital that you differentiate yourself. Setting yourself apart from the competition is key to a) keeping your job, b) getting a new job and c) coming out of the recession successfully (both for yourself and your company).

My goal for 2009 was to get more involved in the PR landscape here in Minnesota. If I wanted to make a name for myself in PR and if I wanted to find success as a PR professional, I believed it was vital for me to become active. My first step was to join Minnesota PRSA. I went back and forth on this and debated whether it was beneficial to join a professional organization. Although I've only been active for 3-4 months, it has been my greatest decision as a PR pro. Through PRSA, I've met, in my opinion, some of the smartest PR people out there. Through MNPRSA's mentor program, I've met @bskogrand of Risdall, who was instrumental in suggesting I blog again and get involved in PRSA. This has led to many professional relationships I've begun to develop as well as hone some basic PR skills.

One of my favorite experiences in networking is the availability of new and useful information from like-minded professionals. I've mentioned Twitter on previous posts and I continue to believe it has the biggest ROI & ROE of any social media platform. Twitter has allowed me to connect with people across the country, as well as locally. @arikhanson is full of experience and useful information (check out his blog). @cubanlaf, @djwolter, @harvatin are all folks who I've learned a ton off of by simply sitting back and listening/reading their tweets. Smart folks that I wouldn't have met had I not networked and gotten involved.

A few keys to networking:
I've gained more in the past 6 months by getting involved, networking and finding ways to use my PR skills than I would have had I simply skated by. There are ways to network and get involved, go look for them. Networking is a blast. You get to meet interesting people and you learn so much valuable information. Everyone has a unique background. Whether you are in PR or retail, it doesn't matter. You can only better yourself by getting involved. Make a lasting impression!

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