The public relations business is not so much about what you know as it is who you know. Miatta David, owner of New York-based public relations and event planning firm MVD Inc., offers four tips for expanding your network.
Don’t overlook your circle. Though David sought out entertainment journalists to publicize her entertainment clients, she made use of the business media contacts she already had. Not only did some of them introduce her to their entertainment media colleagues, but David gained a reputation for cultivating contacts that other entertainment publicists didn’t have.
Consider every contact important. “Some people believe they are too established to talk to certain people,” says David. However, the intern who asks for career advice today could put you in touch with the decision maker for a million-dollar contract five years from now.
Provide contacts with value. Learn the interests of contacts and use any opportunity to let them know about news, events, or opportunities pertaining to those interests. You’ll have an excuse to stay in contact, keeping you in the forefront of their minds.
Remember persistence counts. People may not immediately respond to your overtures because of timing, politics, or another reason. “Don’t take it personally,” David says. “Follow up and revisit.”