It is no secret that public relations thrives on building and maintaining relationships with fellow PR professionals, reporters, clients, colleagues and even friends. The vital networking involved is becoming easier and easier through the use of technology. With an app, website, or social media platform for just about everything, keeping in contact with others and fostering career relationships has never been easier.
It’s hard to miss the new media boom happening all around us. Clouds float above our very heads full of technological information, and even glasses can now be wearable computers. With all the new and social media available to us today, the real question is – how do we use it? No, not how does it work or what does it do, but how do we use it? The answer – be strategic.
So many social media platforms can be used as more than mindless status update profiles. Effective communicators and companies in any field should dig deeper and use new media to their career advantage. Who do you want to reach and what apps, websites and blogs are they monitoring? What kinds of posts appeal to them? How can you interact and engage them better? More and more companies today are coming up with whole social media strategies to address these questions but creating your personal new media strategy can be just as important in building your own brand.
As my first installment in this 11-part blog series, I’ve compiled a list of apps that can help you strategically build and maintain career relationships and stay in the loop. With these apps, networking is no longer limited to on-the-spot introductions and passing along business cards. From personal to small business to big business, these apps are sure to be relevant and beneficial:
1. Cloze –Cloze helps you make sense of your crazed social media by organizing your email and social networks into groupings of your most important contacts. Featured on Inc., Forbes, PC Mag, Wall Street Journal, Time and Tech Crunch, this app is a must-have. It measures your mentions and interactions to indicate “key people” who are most relevant to you and gathers their information in one place. What professional wouldn’t appreciate that?
2. WhosHere – Making the first move when networking can sometimes be awkward but this app “takes the chance out of the encounter,” according to its website. WhosHere is strictly location based connecting and it notifies you when your interests match someone else’s nearby. It’s a great way to find out more about a potential business contact and what you have in common before approaching them; aka a conversation-starter cheat sheet.
3. MeetUp – If you’re not already familiar with Meetup, it is the world’s largest network of local groups. On the app and Internet platforms you can organize your own meetup and invite people to attend or find other local groups to join. It is an easy way to gather face-to-face, especially for professional networking events. MeetUp makes meeting others with similar interests super easy!
4. Evernote – While we can so often get mixed up from device to device, Evernote helps you keep it all straight. It keeps your content consistent on all devices and allows you to easily collect and find it. My favorite feature – the business card scanner. With Evernote, business cards are instantly recognized, digitized and converted into editable text that becomes a contact. You can even use your phone to scan in resumes from people you meet, too. Thank you, Evernote, for saving the trees!
5. In the Middle (iTM) – Now that you’ve made great contacts and saved their information in your phone, this app helps you determine exactly where the halfway point is between you and your new friend so you can set up some place to meet. Not only does the app tell you the address of the middle ground, it also narrows down to restaurants, coffee & tea, or bars in the area. Yay, no more guessing!
Now that you’re equipped with all the tools you need to network, don’t forget to do so strategically.
Stay tuned for the next article in this blog series where you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn more efficiently. It has great features that many people aren’t even aware of. Taking advantage of all LinkedIn’s perks is sure to refine your online professional image and increase your number of connections.