The Importance of Networking
On my way to being an undergrad graduate in two short months, I have learned a valuable lesson while at my internship with Portland tech PR firm the Hollenbeck Group: the importance of networking. I hate to make such a bold statement but networking is everything in the business world. It’s all about who you know. You may be smart and have great business skills and ideas, but without a connection in the right direction you are bound to go unnoticed and your great business idea will probably never blossom into success.
There is a common misconception that only small businesses use networking, big businesses can speak for themselves. This is false, even at big PR agencies, networking proves to be one of the things that can help you rise to the top.
Especially when you are graduating from college, it is important to reach out to those around you. The people in your network may be able to help you get your foot in the door at a company, as well as, you, offering that company a set of new skills and fresh eyes to their business. Over the past year-or-so, I have heard my professors preach about the importance of networking. This became true for me when I started at Hollenbeck. I wasn’t aware how much networking goes on, on a daily basis. I have discovered, that we are constantly looking at our connections on Linkedin to find out who we can offer our services to that might really benefit from a partnership with us. I see networking take place daily if not hourly right in front of my eyes.
All of this networking talk might seem a little dis-genuine, but don’t get me wrong, I value people for people as well. I don’t think any of us would have gotten into the PR field if we didn’t enjoy conversing and making meaningful connections with people.
Don’t forget that even though we haven’t been around as long as some of our peers at future companies, we still bring a lot to the table. It has shocked me how many people I know that are second or first degree connections to a company that I never knew about. This can be helpful to future employers who just might need that one connection that you have. By providing that introduction to a possible client, your boss is sure to remember it and could add incentives to your working for the company.
I think networking, in the future, will be even more important than it is now. As the economy continues on a roller coaster ride businesses are going to want a PR agency they can trust and rely on. Networking is becoming the future of business. As soon-to-be-grads we need to harness and perfect this skill so that we can be assets to any company, especially in the PR field.
What are some of the ways you are using networking to get your footing in the PR world?