Loren Antonio DuranLoren Antonio Duran

As Richard Branson once said: “Succeeding in business is all about making connections.”

This is true in every line of work, but nowhere is it more true than in the world of PR, where both the success of your business and that of your clients depends on your ability to make connections with busy media in a crowded, noisy space when hundreds of other industry professionals are also beating down their door. Or, more precisely, their email inbox.

Of course, there are several ways to do this. One way is steady, measured persistence. This may yield results, but it’s a long road. Another way — a way that has proved especially fruitful for me personally — is through personal connections. No path to communication is as efficient as a mutual friend. So, the question becomes how to acquire such friends. For this, I recommend networking events.

Networking events are invaluable. They’re where you might meet your next client or future colleague; they’re where you might meet a key reporter covering a client’s vertical and acquire a life-long friend in the process.

Here are four reasons why you should pencil some networking events into your social calendar:

Connections. Networking provides you with opportunities to talk to influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to talk to or find easily. Once those initial connections are established, you also have a foot in door to their social network.

Opportunities. New opportunities are the main reason people attend networking events and groups. You can’t always be sure what form these opportunities will take, all you can be sure of is that they require being in the right place at the right time. So be there.

Reputation. Make sure you regularly attend business and social events that will help to get your face known. Surrounding yourself with positive, productive, professional people contributes to your own credibility as an expert/professional.

Confidence. By regularly networking and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, your confidence will increase, which will serve you well in conversations with potential new clients, business partners and members of the press.

* * *

Loren Antonio Duran is a Senior Account Associate and media relations expert at Bospar.