In the public relations field, making professional connections is a beneficial asset that everyone should take advantage of; however, sometimes maintaining those relationships can be difficult between classwork, client work and personal lives. When this happens, do not think that you have blown any chance of a professional relationship with a particular person. Rather, reevaluate what you know and use these five tips to reengage with your connections.
1. Use Social Media
Turn on a connections’ Twitter notifications, and when they post, like it, retweet it or comment back at the person. This simple communication effort can go a long way. Similar to Twitter, interact with the person through LinkedIn. Watch connections’ profiles to see when they have work anniversaries or new positions. Know what is going on in their lives because you can utilize that knowledge to reestablish a relationship.
2. Send an email
When reengaging with a contact, start small. Send them an email asking about their work projects, families, kids, anything they are passionate about. If you and your contact have common ground, mention that and simply start a conversation. Once you start a conversation via email, make sure to offer to continue the conversation in person through a coffee date, phone conversation or lunch meeting.
3. Celebrate with them
Everyone has a milestone whether it is a new product or campaign reveal, a birthday, anniversary, a birth of a child or grandchild, or even a getting a new pet. Take advantage of those important times in the contact’s life and help celebrate with them. When they get new jobs or positions, send them a card. When they announce a pregnancy, send them a card and a small gift for the child. Make any contact with the professional intentional and personal.
4. Offer your services
Everyone needs help. As a student, take advantage of any professional contact by offering to assist them on projects. Send an email to the professional and offer your services. Offer public relations and communication services, but do not limit the offer to just those skillsets. If a contact needs someone to babysit, and you have experience working with children, offer to help them that way. Even if the contact says no, the fact that an offer was made will make the interaction more memorable.
5. Keep them in mind
Your contact is not the only one working on projects; you are too. If a revamped or new project is happening, and that professional has skills that could be helpful or the contact is passionate about the subject, invite them to collaborate. It shows professionals that you value their skills and knowledge. There is a difference between asking for help and offering collaboration, so make sure the message is presented in the appropriate way.
Amanda Troncone is a sophomore public relations student, and serves as the professional development coordinator for Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America. She hopes to someday partner her passion with public relations to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. Follow Amanda on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.