5 Ways to Expand Your Network

By Caitlin Fisher, Assistant Account Executive

Networking actually works, and if you have engaged in networking before – which naturally occurs during each and every conversation – you understand its power, whether creating a connection led to meeting a new professional in your field, forming a business partnership, or landing a new job. Society today is formed from a giant web of people, connected to one another through work, personal life, or shared interests. Connections develop from face to face interactions to engaging on social media platforms – which assist in maintaining all types of networks. There is always room to add another thread to your web, so here are five tips on how you can expand your network:bbk019_7

  • Get Involved. Join a club or organization related to your profession or hobby. Attend club meetings and events to meet other members and make it a point to connect with someone new each time. This is an easy way to connect and have a relatable conversation because of shared interests or background. These clubs should be fun and treated as an activity you enjoy participating in. The networking-specific events hosted by the club are especially important to attend since the entire purpose of the event is to meet other attendees and exchange information.
  • Volunteer. Volunteering for a cause or organization that you choose to support is another easy way to meet people that share similar beliefs or interests. This again can leverage new connections by meeting other volunteers that may run in certain social circles that you would like to become familiar with.
  • Don’t forget the past. In order to focus on your future progress, you must not forget about past connections. Grab coffee or lunch with a former co-worker, boss, club member, or college friend. Who knows where they are in their life since you last connected, and by strengthening past links, this may lead to a future link with someone they know or have met recently.
  • Use Referrals. Reach out to a connection by phone, email, or LinkedIn, asking for advice or suggestions and if they would be willing to make a few introductions for you to a couple of their connections. Share with them your purpose for reaching out. Maybe you are looking for assistance in your search for a new job in a new city. Whatever it may be, expand your network through your current network.
  • Get Social. Think of every place and activity you do as a way to meet someone new. Make connections with everyone, everywhere. You never know who you will cross paths with and what they might be able to offer, even if what they do for work or where they live does not seem relevant at the time. Always exchange information, connect through LinkedIn, and send a note stating that you were happy to have met and connected.

Connections are everything, and good relationships from networking only survive with continual follow-up and effort on your part to keep these links strong. LinkedIn is a very helpful tool in maintaining relationships and staying connected over time. You never know when that person might fit the puzzle at one point in your life or career.

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What historical figure do you most admire?

What does it take to become an iconic figure in a history book or online list of the top influential people in America? They must have done something BIG, something that changed the lives of many through their work and expressionism. Dubbed as historical figures, these individuals might have inspired us to live a certain way, spread kindness, follow a dream, or achieve success. Here at The Perry Group, we picked a historical figure that we each admire – for their footprint on our world as a founding father, their fight for equal rights, or influence as an iconic first lady.

Ben Franklin Statue   Gregg Perry: “The historical figure I admire is Benjamin Franklin.  Franklin was a writer, publisher, inventor, entrepreneur, a statesman, and as one of the founding fathers of our country helped to draft both the Declaration of  Independence and the Constitution of the United States! Many things today that we take for granted had their origins with Franklin. He formed the first public lending library and volunteer fire department in the US, invented the Franklin Stove and oh by the way, there was that little experiment with the kite – which brought him much fame for his work with electricity. There’s so much more about this fascinating man that I could go on, but one of my favorite quotes ties directly the work we do each and every day in strategic communications:”

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” – Benjamin Franklin

Siobhan Carroll: “I like Jane Addams. She was an ardent pacifist and outspoken advocate for women’s suffrage, and the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Jane AddamsShe focused on the needs of children, public health, and world peace. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed the vote to be effective in doing so. She is also considered to be the founder of the social work profession in the United States.”

“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” – Jane Addams

Deb Weinreich: “There are many historical figures I admire, but one stands out slightly above the rest – Rosa Parks.  Rosa ParksThe indelible mark she made in history by refusing to give up her seat on the bus was more than just the start of the Civil Rights Movement. She became a symbol of courage, of change and of equality. She taught others to stand up for what you believe in. That memorable day in Montgomery, Rosa Parks made a decision that would one day positively change the lives of others forever. She often said that her refusal to give up her seat wasn’t because she was tired, but that she was tired of giving in. What a courageous woman. I believe everyone should live by this quote:”

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” – Rosa Parks

5693453708_bfbfdaa11a_t_jpgVictoria Vessella: “A historical figure that I admire is Eleanor Roosevelt. She was the longest-serving first lady, a female diplomat, and a civil rights activist. I admire her outspoken nature and her humanitarian concerns.”

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Caitlin Fisher: “I admire Susan B. Anthony, a leader in the women’s rights movement. She began fighting for women’s susan b anthonyequality when she realized that male teachers were making more money than female teachers while working as a teacher in New York. She exemplified strength, independence, and perseverance, paving the way for women today to have equal rights in the household and workplace, and to also speak their minds and be leaders in society. In honor of her dedication to the cause, the Nineteenth Amendment was named after her when ratified in 1920.”

“Failure is impossible.” – Susan B. Anthony

Benjamin Franklin Photo Credit Aaron Vowels

Rosa Parks Photo Credit Matt Lemon

Eleanor Roosevelt Photo Credit FDR Presidential Library

Susan B. Anthony Photo Credit: National Museum of American History

Jane Addams Photo Credit: Creativecommons.org

5 ways to create a buzz for your event

by Deb Weinreich, Senior Counselor

You’ve secured a venue, lined up an exciting guest speaker and obtained a title sponsor. The legwork is done, but the hard work is far from over. Now you must create awareness and get people to attend your event for it to be a complete success. There are endless ways to generate excitement, buzz and attendance. Here are a five ways I’ve found to be successful:

1. Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. These platforms are free, easy to use and effective – if utilized the right way.

Across all social media platforms make sure your posts are interesting, timely, relevant and are visually appealing. Include video, logos and/pictures that relate to your event. Create a hashtag and use it in every post and encourage followers to utilize it in their posts as well. Create awareness and engage reporters and media outlets by tagging them in posts. Always include a link to the website where follow can find additional information and/or register for the event.

2. Giveaways – Generate a buzz and engage and build your audience by creating a giveaway or contest. (Prizes can be a ticket/entry to your event and/or a t-shirt that provides additional promotion).

3 .Traditional media outreach. The obvious first step is to create a press release and issue to the media. Keep in mind, editors, reporters and assignments desks receive a tremendous amount of emails daily. Following up is crucial.

Now take the next step and find a unique and interesting story angle and pitch it as an advance to the media to generate buzz BEFORE your event. Again, media follow up is key.

4. Event lists. They are included on most media outlets websites. Use them.

5. Go back to your roots. Grassroots marketing is effective. Post fliers and distribute brochures at locations/sites where your audience may frequent.

Your event is over and it was a huge success. It was well attended and you generated significant media coverage….but that certainly doesn’t mean the buzz has to stop. If there is a interesting story that emerged from the event, reach out to the media and push for a post-event feature. Blog, post pictures and video, engage those who attended and share, share, share all the media coverage you received.

So here are 5 ways to promote your event…We’ve merely scratched the surface. Want to know more?  Drop us a note at info@perrypublicrelations.com

Deb Weinreich is a Senior Counselor at The Perry Group, specializing in Media Relations. An award winning-journalist, Weinreich has extensive experience in public relations, sports marketing and communications.

Feature Story Placement – 5 pitching lessons

By Caitlin Fisher, Assistant Account Executive

One of the greatest successes for a PR professional is securing a media placement for a client, especially for a professional just entering the PR field like myself. I have received my first media placements this summer on two client accounts upon joining The Perry Group as an assistant account executive. I would call pitching an “art” in that it truly takes skill, creativeness, and some investigating to find the right reporter that will share your client’s story. Former employers, communications professors at Roger Williams University, and The Perry Group team advised me on the essential rules of pitching. However, only through trial and error did I begin to appreciate and understand what it takes to have a client’s voice be heard through earned media. With that, here are five lessons I have learned from pitching the media on a feature story.

1. Be persistent. Pitching the media takes time and dedication to have your pitch get the attention of a reporter who receives hundreds of emails and calls daily. I learned that one outreach does not do the trick; you must be persistent and contact multiple publications and reporters. Follow-up phones calls within days of the first pitch are crucial, and it is easier to hook a reporter when they are making real-time conversation via phone call. Be respectful and always thankful for a reporter’s time.
2. Make the story relatable. Feature stories are not necessarily timely, which makes it even more important for the story to be relevant to the readers of the publication. Why would those readers care about this story? What’s their connection to this story?
3. Do your research. Finding the right reporter, editor, section and audience is the key to landing a media placement. Read reporters’ bios on what they write about, research all relevant publications in order to reach the target audience, and look into specific sections that are perfects fits for your story. This takes some digging, and maybe some phone calls, to find that special reporter who will be interested in your story.
4. Personalized and to the point. Each pitch must be personalized depending on the reporter you are contacting. With that, each pitch must be clear, direct, and to the point. Provide reporters with the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why).
5. Offer your services. Always offer to set up an interview for the reporter, provide additional information, and/or photographs to make the reporter’s job easier, along with your phone number so they can reach you at any time with questions.

The tricky part about pitching a feature story is that editorial calendars for some publications can be months and months in advance. Therefore, my final piece of advice about pitching the media is to plan ahead. If you want a story to hit the stand at a certain time, look ahead and expect the story to take a while to fit into the editorial line-up.

Caitlin Fisher is a 2014 graduate of Roger Williams University. She joined The Perry Group in May 2014 as an Assistant Account Executive, after a successful internship with TPG.