The African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others,” holds a tremendous amount of truth in all realms of life but is specifically relevant to the practice of public relations. Relationships and human interaction is an integral part of our daily lives; we all have them and know how hard it is to not only form them, but to maintain them long term. Building meaningful relationships and connections are a core part of PR and will enable you to advance exponentially.
Here is why forming connections and fostering professional relationships remain paramount to your career success.
Whether you’re first starting out in your career or have reached the pinnacle of your success, you still have a tremendous amount to learn and guidance is something you should never be short on. Inevitably, you will be faced with a variety of trials and tribulations throughout your career journey and having a concrete support system will help you surmount some of these challenges. You can call on your professional contacts in times of need and gain keen business insight that will steer you in the right direction.
2. Mutual Benefits
Relationships are not a one-way street, they are mutually beneficial and in order to maintain one of substance, efforts must be reciprocated. Instead of always having your hand out and asking what that person can do for you, consider what you can do for them. Whether it’s connecting them to an important contact that will help leverage their career, referring them to a prospective client, or helping them get published, you want to be resourceful and not just solely opportunistic.
3. Discovery & Growth
Your relationships will provide you with an outlet for discovery which you may otherwise not have had access to. Through intellectual conversations with a music publicist, you may learn a new, transferrable strategy for pitching your food clients and securing top-tier placements. You may even adapt a new business model after engaging with one of your business-savvy contacts. Overall, your contacts have potential for helping you reach new heights in your career through their network and expertise.
4. Newfound Opportunities
A well-maintained professional network will pave the way for opportunity and career expansion. For instance, if you are in a transitional phase in your career and are seeking change, your network is more effective than a LinkedIn search. A close contact will put you at the top of their list of referrals if they are well versed with your skillset and work ethic and know the quality person you are. You will gain status and notoriety through not just the quantity of your relationships, but the quality. Having a prominent executive as your mentor will put you on the map and enable you to have certain things at your disposal that otherwise would have seemed out of reach.