Making Professional Connections: How To Stand Out and Make An Impression

You attend various PRSA meetings, conferences and professional networking events all the time. You exchange business cards with the professionals you meet. You follow up with them via email. Could it be possible you’re just “going through the motions”? Do you ever feel like everything you do is simply not enough for professional development? Follow these tips to improve your networking skills.

Kate Ryan, University of Toledo
Kate Ryan is president of the University of Toledo Chapter of PRSSA.

Research and Ask Questions

Nothing impresses a presenter more than students who have done their research on both the topic and speaker. The stand-outs are the students asking insightful and relevant questions at the end of the presentation. Not only does the presenter see your hard work, but it’s noticed by the rest of the professionals at the event. Doing research on the topic and asking the right questions will not only get you noticed, but will show you are genuinely interested in what the presenter is talking about.

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

You didn’t attend a PRSA luncheon to watch another presentation, right? Get the full benefit out of it. It will make a lasting impression on professionals if you mingle and break out of your comfort zone by introducing yourself to different people. Make it worth it – meet people and get your name out there as an aspiring public relations professional!

Show Gratitude and Thanks

PRSA Chapters open their events up to students because they want to help. Show you’re grateful for this by thanking them! It really is that simple, isn’t it? Stay after the event has ended and chat a bit. It shows you are going the extra mile because you want to and are interested in establishing relationships. Your PRSA Chapter is there to help. Use your resources. Your PRSA Chapter loves seeing students at its events because it shows the members you actually care.

Standing out as a student in a room full of public relations professionals can be difficult. But if you go about it in a poised and professional manner, who says it can’t be done? Go for it! Make an impression and keep those connections. What steps do you take to accomplish recognition as a public relations student?

Kate Ryan serves as president of the University of Toledo PRSSA Chapter.  She is currently interning at R/P Marketing Public Relations, recently ranked #99 by the PRWeekUS 2011 Agency Rankings.

1 thought on “Making Professional Connections: How To Stand Out and Make An Impression

    • Author gravatar

      Good tips, Kate. I would add to connect with those you’ve met on Twitter and/or LinkedIn as well – doing so within a couple weeks of the event and with a note reminding them how you know one another. You might also follow their blog and comment, when appropriate.

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