Tomorrow, November 18, at 9pm eastern, my BurrellesLuce colleague, Debbie Friez, will be joining the #PRStudChat (PR Student Chat) community on Twitter as part of a special panel of experts who will be discussing events for professionals. Whether she is attending events on behalf of BurrellesLuce or helping to lead them as President of Washington Women in PR (WWPR), Debbie has an innate understanding of how to maximize the value of an event.
Debbie notes that social media offers many opportunities to create awareness and generate enthusiasm for events. “With WWPR, we try to post information and teasers on the event across many social media platforms, like Facebook fan pages, Facebook events, LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn events, and Twitter,” she shares. “If the speaker(s) have a Twitter handle, we like to promote it and our hashtag #WWPR. And, we encourage live tweeting from the event. We have found several free calendars on the Internet, which we use to promote our events.”
For students, and seasoned media relations and marketing professionals, alike, Debbie offers valuable advice — “In Washington, DC, networking is big, but not always taught in school.” She suggests that attendees looking to maximize learning and relationship building at events:
- Make a goal to meet X number of people at each event you attend. And, try to spend only two to five minutes talking to a new person before you move on to meet more new people.
- You should always carry business cards, even if you are in school, to help people remember you. After the event, send them a personal note and invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn or other social media.”
Have you found industry events to be an effective means of building new business relationships? What best practices would you recommend? What challenges have you encountered? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of Fresh Ideas.
I hope you’ll join Debbie (dfriez) and I (ValerieSimon) Thursday evening for what is certain to be a dynamic conversation that helps bridge the gap between academia and the public relations profession. If you are new to Twitter chats, be sure and download Using Twitter Chat for PR Success available for free in the BurrellesLuce Resource Library.