‘Making connections’ is more than just a LinkedIn term. It is an everyday phenomenon for any public relations professional and something that Grace Roberts, Melissa Stewart and Yvonne Taunton of o2ideas in Birmingham stressed during their recent visit to UA’s PRSSA chapter meeting. These three young professionals, all Alabama alumnae, gave club members advice on how building and sustaining relationships is a necessity for any public relations practitioner.
The first piece of advice shared was to get plugged into your city. Networking is crucial in public relations, and it is not something that ends after you graduate and snag your first job. Network continuously in every way possible, from attending professional meetings in your area to visiting local hotspots and hangouts.
While connecting with your community is essential, building relationships with your co-workers is just as important. These are the people with whom you will be collaborating on projects. Would you like to spend long hours working with total strangers? Of course not! Try grabbing lunch with your co-workers or hanging out outside of work; this can build the trust and respect needed to complete an outstanding project together.
The final step is to never stop. Connections are not permanent just because they are made. You must remember to keep in touch with the important people you meet or know. A quick email or phone call to catch up can go a long way in strengthening your relationships.
Grace, Melissa and Yvonne can attest to the importance of maintaining connections. They have kept in contact with many of their professors and friends from UA, which has helped them both in the professional world and as mentors. “It keeps us relatable to students. It keeps us close to home,” Melissa stated.
Public relations is not a job for the anti-social. Get connected. Stay connected. Build relationships that last a lifetime.
-by Bethany Corne, PRSSA Executive Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.