Tag Archives: Networking

PR and Entrepreneurship

Twitter chats are becoming my favorite way to learn more about the industry and how to grow as a professional. Last night, @PRStudChat moderated an awesome Twitter chat about public relations and entrepreneurship that featured some experienced solo PR professionals who gave great advice.

Below are a few of my favorite responses to the great questions moderators Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon asked to the attendees.

Q4: Who are the key business partners every PR entrepreneur needs?

From @shonali: A4: Depending on how you plan to grow your business, look for partners who can complement, not supplement, your skills. #PRStudChat
– I never thought of finding business partners who had complementary skills. Shonali made a good point; if everyone’s strengths are the same, your business will only be focused in those areas.
Q5: What percentage of time/budget should be spent on pro bono or philanthropic work?

From @prtini: Q5 I’m a big believer in the idea of “doing well by doing good.” And it works! The NP we adopted led to multiple paying clients. #prstudchat

– I’m glad the moderators brought up the idea of pro bono work because that was my original idea of how to start my own agency one day. Heather’s answer proves the value of pro bono work.
Q7: What are the best ways to network and grow your business?

From @arikhanson: A7: When “networking”, look to HELP others. Simple, but brilliantly effective in developing relationships that lead to biz. #prstudchat

– Networking is SO important but not everyone understands that it should be reciprocal. Arik’s response is a good reminder for young professionals that you need to show your value as well when reaching out to industry professionals.

I really enjoyed last night’s Twitter chat and found everyone’s advice very helpful. The topic of discussion is one that I think several young professionals are interested in but just don’t know where or how to start. The conversation on Twitter last night led me to other resources, like new people to follow and new blogs to subscribe to. Overall, I’m glad I paid attention to @PRStudChat’s chat last night and plan to attend more in the future. Special thanks to my friend and mentor Jason Mollica for pointing out the chat to me.

Do you agree with the answers above? Have any other advice about starting your own business? Share your thoughts!

Broadening My Board of Directors

I can remember sitting in one of my first college classes listening to my professor talk about building your board of directors. I was confused; what did I need a board of directors for? I was just an 18 year-old freshman who didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. At this point, my board of directors consisted of my mom, my best friend and the professor from this class. Luckily, I’ve built up my board of directors during the last few years.

During college, you don’t realize how many relationships you establish and maintain. From professors to professionals, if you do it right, your list should be very long. Throughout my college career, I made sure I got to know professors and introduced myself to every professional that spoke at our PRSSA meetings. By the time I graduated, I had a nice group of contacts. I had used these people as my board of directors, asking them questions about classes, internships and anything else I needed help with. However, after graduation, I wanted to take my board of directors to the next level.

When I started my job search, I would send tons of resumes out each week via email or online applications. After a few months of that failing, I started reaching out to my board of directors. If they didn’t know of any jobs, they gave me the name of someone who did. Within the last two months, I’ve talked to about 20 people. Each has given me advice about my résumé, cover letter and the job search in general. These connections have proven much more effective than just sending my résumé everywhere. During this process, I’ve grown my board of director from primarily Philadelphia contacts to contacts in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

I never thought something I learn during freshman year would turn out to be so helpful. I’m glad I paid attention to what my professor said and used it to my advantage. Making contacts and building relationships, both inside and outside of your field is always going to be beneficial.

How have you built your board of directors? Feel free to share your tips and stories with me!

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