Why you shouldn’t be networking in 2018.

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They say in every artistic industry - media, journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, digital technology, graphic design, you name it - that networking is key.

Personally, I’ve never found the traditional concept of networking very effective. There’s a lot of pressure on media professionals to attend countless events, make their way around the room o start cold conversations, hand out business cards… and frankly, it can feel very forced and awkward.

That’s why I say you shouldn’t be networking in 2018 - you should be building relationships.

Relationships are crucial to great collaborations, long-term partnerships and just daily fun on the job. Putting the time and resources into creating and maintaining genuine, authentic relationships with other like-minded professionals in your industry has priceless benefits - for work and play!

Here’s a few ways to consider building better relationships this new year:

1. Collaborate outside the box.

Yes, it’s crucial to collaborate and cultivate media relationships - but think outside the box with your connections this year! Try and establish great contacts in related industry organisations, universities, community and government. Great contacts outside the media landscape can lead to referrals for interviews, or recommendations to journalists.

2. Get creative!

Take the time to build relationally, and get creative. Organise coffee catch-ups, media group tours with related organisations - or invite new contacts to your business to present to your teams and staff. Get creative with how you connect - make the moments memorable.

3. Don’t compete.

One of the best decisions you can make is to stop competing with fellow organisations - even if it seems you’re vying for the same media space. Working together to help each other maximise coverage will reap benefits professionally and personally. Always be on the front foot to speak well of the organisations you work with - if you notice one of their stories has scored great media attention - send them a note to say so!

4. Be helpful beyond the brief.

I have lost count of the times I have gone out of my scope and agenda to help a journalist with a story they were working on - when it wasn’t even within my brief. Friends and colleagues ask me to help source case studies for different stories all the time. Become a go-to person for the media - help beyond your brief - and gain a great reputation and great relationships for doing so.

You shouldn’t be networking in 2018 - you should be focusing on building better relationships. Each and every single day!

Katie Clift

*If this blog post helped, drop me a line at katie@katieclift.com to say hi! You can also grab a free copy of my Personal PR Planner, tried and tested internationally for over a decade. What are you waiting for? Upscale your media coverage today!

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