Don’t let it scare you.
With thoughtful preparation and a little bit of audacity in networking, navigating a new space in preparation for your new PR or media role can be less painful than you’d expect.
Here are a few things I like to remember—and used when I made my big move to Washington, D.C. and in my move back to Detroit, Michigan.
- Be Organic and Intentional: Memorable networking is more than small talk. Having a purpose for the reason you are connecting with someone goes a long way. Don’t solely look at it as an opportunity to get something from someone in that moment – begin to foster an organic relationship so when the time comes for you to need “one another,” it’s an easy arrangement. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t force it. It’s a big city. 🙂
- Know Your Info: Know some background on the people you are looking to meet. If you’re attending a networking event or a general event and you know certain professionals may be there, have a few cool points about them handy to use in conversation. Maybe you have something in common. Networking is about being remembered so when you send your follow up email, they’ll actually know who it’s from.
- Be Authentic: It’s simple…Just. Be. Yourself.
- Get Involved: This is an important element in networking and getting to know your new city and its people. Volunteer, RSVP for local events, visit local coffee shops, etc. It shows you’re engaged in the culture and you never know who you’ll meet! (I’ve been to plenty of go go’s in my D.C. days, and it was worth it!)
- Follow Up (within 48 hours): Probably the most important piece to networking and getting prepared for your new position as a PR or media pro is following up. Send a quick thank you and even briefly recap your interaction and ask to meet in person to speak more. Following up helps you be remembered while building that organic connection – keeping your intentions authentic. These new interactions should be more than passing out a business card.
Getting to know new people and new places can be hard, but don’t let it scare you – it gets easier!
If you have some additional suggestions on preparing for your new job in a new city, let us know in the comments box below!