Speed Networking Tips

In addition to gaining experience, building connections is one of the most important skills for a public relations professional to have. Our parent Chapter, PRSA Silicon Valley exemplifies this by hosting their “Perfect Match Meetups” every other month. When partaking in a speed networking event, remember you only have 2-4 minutes with each person. Here are some tips to ensure you leave a good impression:

Do your research:

  • Understand what the event is about, who’s going to be there and how it can be useful for you

Set goals

  • Who do you want to meet?  Why do you want to meet them?  How many new contacts do you want to make?  Remember to focus on quality not quantity

Self-Promotion

  • Have business cards
  • A portfolio and a few copies of your CV
  • Maintain a personal website (up-to-date & relevant)

 Think about your image

  • Dress appropriately (business attire/business casual)
  • Keep an open posture
  • Remember to smile!

Prepare a short pitch

  • (about 1 minute) Mention the work you do and the skills you can offer

Network effectively

  • Be proactive, be confident
  • Remember to listen to what others are saying
  • Look engaged and interested

Don’t do the hard sell!

  • Networking is not about selling but about developing relationships

It is important to mingle

  • Don’t spend all of your time talking to one person.  Exchange business cards and exit politely

Follow-up with contacts

  • Send a courteous email to the contacts you’ve made within the week (Best: NEXT DAY)

Recommended Materials

  • Business cards
    • Moo.com, Vistaprint.com, Zazzle.com, Tinyprints.com
    • Include your name, major, email address, telephone, LinkedIn URL, personal website, & something that makes you stand out
  • Portfolio
    • Include written samples, social media results, press releases, media alerts, blog samples or work from previous experience
  • Elevator Pitch
    • 30 second pitch about who you are, what you do best, and what you can offer (3 strengths and skills)