Frustrated with the lack of follow-up by aspiring PR professionals (see previous post), I decided to pick the brain of a Millennial I recently met who is a LinkedIn 500+ member and consummate networker.
Following graduation from Michigan State, Allison Dreiband traveled the country with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which she says is “the best PR training I could have received.” After being a “hotdogger,” Allison held communications jobs in Austin, TX and Chicago for a few years. She joined Walker Sands Communications nearly two years ago where she’s now a senior account executive. All along the way, Allison built an impressive network. So I asked her to share her networking insights and tips, which follow:
- In a relationship-based business like PR, nothing is more important than following-up with someone, especially when you say you’re going to do so.
- I always give interviewees my business card at the conclusion of the interview. If I don’t hear from them within the next couple of days, I immediately eliminate them from my candidate list. It may seem harsh, but a simple and short email is one of the easiest things you can do to show your interest in a position.
- Follow-up emails do not have to be formal or stuffy. In fact, the more personal the better. After you’ve met someone in person, you should be able to refer back to at least one thing that came from that interaction. Even remembering a small anecdote can go a long way.
- A lot of the advice I received as a student said to restate why you’re a good candidate for a position in your follow-up. I think the best way to do that is to remind the person on the receiving end of why they liked you. Showing a little personality is key and it helps candidates stand out in my mind.
- Like any interaction, a good follow-up has value. Never send an email just for the sake of sending it. That will seem contrived. Instead, send a meaningful, personal and genuine note. I love when I can tell an email was written specifically for me.