Pr Agencies Must Not Underestimate The Importance Of Physical Networking

Networking is a crucial element of any new business strategy. As an agency grows, word of mouth recommendations increase, but there is no place for complacency in any PR agency and as such, new business efforts must always be top of the list. Social media has facilitated online networking for businesses, and platforms such as LinkedIn have been utilised with great success for many – so does this mean the death of physical, face-to-face networking?

The physical chemistry when two like-minded individuals come together to discuss a common goal cannot be recreated online – and that’s exactly what networking is about. The art of conversation and where it can lead plays a significant part in a new business strategy. Below are some top tips for successful networking.

  • Firstly, establish your networking objectives and research the best networking events to meet those objectives. This may be a trial and error process, as sometimes just getting out there and attending as many events as possible is the best way of honing down which ones are right for you.
  • Pay attention to others and what they have to say. You’ll learn the most about the group by observing how they interact and support each other. With networking groups in the main being subscription based, you usually get a free session or two to ascertain whether it’s suitable for you – so don’t feel obliged to make any quick decisions about joining.
  • Use any opportunity to talk about your offering wisely – prepare a succinct speech beforehand so that you’re not floundering – you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Perhaps mentally prepare some case studies so you can illustrate what you do by describing how you’ve worked with other companies.
  • Talk about any links you have with synergistic services – if you are seen as a credible and useful resource you’ll be remembered and valued.
  • Follow-up with people for whom you’ve gathered contact details afterwards to try and take any relevant or beneficial discussions further. If you were lucky enough to get any initial leads, be prompt in following up.

Above all, be genuine and take the time to listen to people rather than hit everyone with a sales pitch and expect to come out with a bunch of leads. Some great leads can come out of a genuine conversation that isn’t forced towards the immediate gaining of business. Similarly, it can often take sustained attendance over a period of time for the rewards to be reaped. Networking won’t provide an overnight stream of new business leads, but as you build relationships with your group each one of them becomes your sales force – and this is why physical networking needs to work alongside online networking for the best results.

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Emilie Legrand is an account executive at a PR company. Punch communications is an integrated social media, public relations and SEO agency. If you are currently looking for social media agencies, contact the team on +44 (0)1858 411600.Author: Emilie Legrand