It’s been 1 whole week since the PRSSA National Conference, and it already seems like a lifetime ago. I wore what I now think of as my ‘conference suit’ today to work because it made me feel like I was getting dressed for another session or workshop. But, while conference may alternatively seem like a long time ago and very far into the future (over a year from now, in Atlanta!) there are some things you can, and should, do to stay in touch with the people you met at the conference. And for those that didn’t attend conference, these tips are a good way to stay in touch with anyone you meet that you won’t normally see.
For better or worse, technology, and specifically the Internet, rules our world, especially for public relations and its practitioners. The days of handwritten letters as a means of correspondence are over, now getting an actual letter is something special and rare. While at conference, after meeting with people I always make sure to give and get a business card, and I always tried to follow them on Twitter before we parted ways. Not all business cards are made the same way, so don’t count on them to have all of the person’s relevant information. Twitter becomes very popular while at conference, the hashtag #PRSSANC was trending for awhile because of all the users. Once you have that mutual Twitter follow with someone, you are good to go meet other people; just make sure to hold on to that business card!
Around right now is the perfect time to invite people to connect on LinkedIn; it’s been a week so the memory of conference is fading. Sending out and getting LinkedIn invitations right now serves to jolt those conference memories back into action, and will get people looking at your profile. This is especially good for connecting with professionals that you met at conference!
Lastly, and this depends on how close a relationship you want to maintain, send the person an email a week or two after conference. Talk about it was great to meet them, ask a question or two about what’s going on in their life, and if it’s someone you really want to learn more about, ask to schedule a call or meeting. I shouldn’t be anymore, but I’m still surprised and inspired by how helpful every PR pro I’ve met is willing to; they’re always willing to take the time to talk to you and give you tips and advice to further your own career.
Have any questions or comments on the best practices to stay in touch with people? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a junior at Temple University and the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. Follow him on twitter @faizmand.