MP&F’s Top 25 PR Questions

January 11, 2013

McNeely Pigott & Fox celebrated 25 years in business during 2012, and one of the ways we continue to celebrate is by answering the 25 questions we are most often asked about our business.

Question 20: Why should I join a professional organization?

By Mara Naylor

MaraNaylorheadshot

Each year, numerous professional development sessions are offered for MP&F staff during the lunch hour. These sessions include Q&As with local journalists, “Industry Insight” sessions with clients and other community contacts, and more. Last month, CABLE Executive Director/CEO Susan Huggins conducted a professional development session titled “The Art of Good Networking … Learning To Build Relationships.” She talked about the importance of networking, tips for shy people, how men and women interact differently, and the importance of following up with the people you meet. Afterward, I had the opportunity to sit down with her to delve deeper into the importance of networking.

S. Huggins Pro Dev

Why is networking important?
Networking is one critical tool that you need. If you don’t have anything else in your arsenal, let it be networking. Especially here in this city, people want to do business with people they know.

What networking advice would you have for someone who moved to a new city?
As you get more and more engrained in a professional organization, you’ll start to meet more people. Volunteering is also huge. Think about the mission of an organization that you’re passionate about, and call them and say that you’re interested in volunteering. It’s as simple as that.

How do you find a professional organization that’s right for you?
You just have to test it out and go to a few meetings. You can usually tell when it’s right for you.

I’ve been in Nashville for a little more than a year, and I’ve attended networking events with PRSA Nashville, Nashville Chapter American Marketing Association and Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee, and I look forward to attending a Young Professionals Nashville event later this month and a CABLE event this year. So this year, if you’re not already in a professional organization, make it a goal to connect with at least one professional organization. Each organization is different, but they all provide opportunities to connect with other business professionals in the community – connections that may be beneficial to your future.

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