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Boston PR Networking Tips for New Grads, Rising Seniors This Summer

Liz Swenton Hosman

Liz Swenton Hosman

With colleges and universities coming to a close in about a month, students are scurrying around to land that dream job, whether it is a summer internship or full-time position. The process can be nerve-wracking for most. The most common questions I hear when doing informative interviews are:

  • Where do I begin?
  • I don’t have a background in tech, is that an issue?
  • Will my experience in school directly translate to the working world?

Adweek recently posted an article, “How to Network Without Being Annoying,” which actually answers the first question: Network! I cannot stress enough the importance of connections in the communications industry. By meeting and chatting with people in a variety of fields, you’ll learn what could be a perfect fit for your career and professional development.

Here are two of my favorite tips from the article, and perfect for introverts like myself:

  • Join Twitter chats – This tactic is a bit more subtle than a cold LinkedIn email and allows you to chat real-time or browse through the archives. #PRprochat happens on the first Thursday of every month at 3 pm ET and is a great networking resource.
  • Don’t make open-ended requests – By suggesting a date/time that you’d like to connect, the chat is most likely to end up in the calendar. Vague emails suggesting “connecting sometime in May” will most likely get lost in the inbox.

Recently, we hosted a group of students from Boston University’s PRLab, the student-run public relations agency. That said, let’s add another networking tactic to the list: Tour agencies/companies that are of interest to you!

Often times, Boston PR organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Publicity Club of New England (Pub Club) host tours that are of interest to their members. The Pub Club is hosting a Bloomberg Radio studio tour on Wednesday, April 27 from 9-11 am, which is perfect for students interested in a career in radio/journalism.

The PRLab tour was coordinated by Amy Shanler, BU’s associate professor and director of PRLab, and was a great way for the students to visualize what life at a tech PR agency is actually like on a busy Friday afternoon. We provided the students with a look around the office, quick presentation and insightful Q&A.

Hear about the experience first-hand from Alex Siracusa, PRLab student and rising senior:

“The experience was very positive for me, as I’ve never toured or worked in an agency outside of PRLab. I found myself feeling more confident by the end of our short time about venturing into the research/analytics and measurement sphere of PR. Truth be told, things are becoming quite hectic and uncertain as I approach my final year of school, so having experiences like this to keep myself grounded are really fantastic.”

So if you’re a rising senior like Alex or about to graduate in less than a month, now is the time to network! And, even if you aren’t part of a Boston PR or communications organization, send me an email and I’d be happy to give you a tour of our Boston PR agency.