photo-2By nature public relations professionals are creative and one of a kind. Beyond writing, their daily responsibilities require innovation, being detail oriented and lots of brainstorming. We work together to deliver the best communication for our clients and audiences. We learn about trends and discover new ways to present ideas. Our jobs also require constant networking.

Networking can be a little scary. Sometimes being in a room filled with such outgoing and social individuals can be overwhelming. I’ve discovered the more I put myself in these situations, the more people I know and the less uncomfortable I am. I found an article by Franny Oxford on that also discusses “How to Talk to Strangers at Professional Events.”If you read it, you might find you’ve used these tips without trying. 

As a student, my favorite networking trick involved my iPhone. What PR student/professional do you know that isn’t near their phone 24/7? I’m truly a kid at heart and for Christmas my dad gave me a phone case that looked like an Etch-A-Sketch. The case was an easy conversation starter and made a tense situation more comfortable.

The most important thing to take away from this article and my Etch-A-Sketch is that networking is about connecting with other people.  Everyone has a unique story.  The key is moving past the nerves and learning another person’s story.  Find something to talk about that will be interesting.  Be observant. It might be in the strangest places like a phone that looks like an Etch-A-Sketch. 

What’s your best networking trick?