Spiders are amazing creatures that can build webs almost anywhere. The orb weaver spider, which is most common in the United States, works quickly to shoot out silk strands. These sturdy strands can attach themselves to a variety of surfaces, including leaves, branches and poles. The purpose of a spider web varies from being used as protection to serving as a form of travel or a trap for food.
Public relations professionals create their own webs. The purpose of our webs revolves around creating and expanding our connections. Each connection that we make allows for us to be introduced to new opportunities. Making connections is essential for PR professionals to become successful.
According to Carnsight Communications, “Working in PR, you can never have too many contacts.” The best way to obtain new contacts and connections is through networking. Networking allows for relationships to form and can strengthen our webs. It is important to have a strong web with a multitude of people you can rely on.
Do not get discouraged if your web is different than those around you. Each PR web is uniquely based on our connections. British anthropologist Robin Dunbar concluded that humans can only maintain 150 relationships but debated that the number might be larger now due to social media. Occasionally our strands, or in other words connections, may cease to exist, yet new ones will always form.
Shared media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin, are good ways to stay up to date and maintain connections in your web.
Scheduling face-to-face interactions will also make connections more memorable and personable. Checking in monthly is the recommended amount of time, as it will not come across as pestering. By maintaining relationships, you can reach out for favors or help — and reciprocate — when needed.
Spiders typically create 100 to 200 webs in their lifetimes. Often their webs are destroyed or must be relocated. For those in the PR world, we create just one web that lasts for our entire career. We build our strands through other people, companies and brands to experience growth by utilizing the PR web’s advantages.
Now is a good time to get out there and start building your web. With PRSSA offering so many opportunities to form connections with fellow students and distinguished professionals, members have the perfect foundation to build strong webs.
Sophie Gregor is a senior at The University of Alabama majoring in public relations with a minor in global and cultural perspectives. She currently is an editor and writer for Platform Magazine. Gregor is looking forward to continuing her PR career in Copenhagen, Denmark after graduation.