Small Business

Networking is PR & PR is Networking

Networking is all about public relations, and public relations is all about networking. The two go hand-in-hand to help increase brand awareness, grow relationships, and drive sales.

How are the two linked? Since PR is the practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between businesses and the public, and networking is the process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts, both PR and networking build mutually beneficial associations.

The Continued Advantage of Virtual Networking

While the pandemic saw a surge in virtual networking, the practice continues to be valuable. Via online networking, entrepreneurs and employees have the opportunity to meet and engage with potential referral partners or clients in local, national and international environments. When networking virtually, use these tips to add an extra boost to name recognition:

  • Rename yourself to include a few words about what you do. For example, list your name followed by a description such as “public speaking coach,” “mortgage banker,” “long-term care insurance expert,” “publisher,” etc. By adding these terms, others who may not have time to interact with you in a breakout room will see what you do and know to reach out to you.
  • Create a virtual background including your company name and logo or book jacket. Again, this boosts brand awareness by allowing others participating in the virtual networking call to see clearly who you are and what you do. Take the opportunity to add PR to your networking by keeping your company/brand/product/book easy for all to see.
  • Prepare your contact information to submit in the chat in advance. Noting the best way to reach you provides promotional coverage for all in the virtual meeting to see and save.
  • Remember to update your calendar link so that meetings can be easily scheduled.

Tips to Be Remembered During In-Person Networking

Take advantage of meeting potential business contacts by attending a variety of events to better get to know connections.

Order a professional name tag. A pre-made name tag is a great way to promote yourself and your business. Every public relations opportunity is a business opportunity. Remember that at events, you are truly publicizing your business to others.

Business cards never get old. While many are sharing electronic business cards, most won’t remember your name or business in order to look up that contact information in your phone. 

Ask for Speaking Opportunities

Being a keynote or featured speaker is another PR opportunity that results in having your name and company featured on flyers, social media and more. It’s another way that public relations and networking go hand in hand.

Keep your talk educational in nature. No one wants to listen to a sales pitch. Give insights and advice. This is a perfect way to promote your business with targeted audiences.

Many organizations also have podcasts or videotape speakers to feature on YouTube channels. Share this content as another publicity opportunity.

About the Author: Andrea Pass, owner of Andrea Pass Public Relations, has been in the public relations field for more than 30 years and has represented a wide range of businesses, consumer products, and authors by securing interviews and coverage on podcasts, digital media, print, and broadcast. Visit

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