PR Essentials: Building Your Social Capital

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A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Phoenix PRSA New Pros Event that was held at the HMA World Headquarters. In addition to the easy commute, appetizers and good conversations, the panelists were absolutely fantastic.

Mo’Shai Gibbs, marketing manager at Insight Enterprises, and Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo, director of public outreach in the public affairs division of Maricopa Community Colleges and Latino community outreach specialist for Mesa Public Schools (I know, it’s quite the title!), sat down with the Phoenix new pros to discuss how to effectively network.

Out of the many valuable pieces of advice these two women gave, there is one phrase that stood out to me the most: “Your network is your net worth.”

I used to despise the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It made me question why I was so concerned with getting good grades if my academic standing alone wouldn’t get me to where I wanted to be.

Recently, I’ve begun to reassess this thought. I am realizing that it’s about showing off your smarts to the right people and in the right way. It’s not only about who you know, it’s also about who knows you.

After doing a little research, I came across a great article published by Forbes titled, “Your Network is Your Net Worth: 7 Ways to Build Your Social Capital.” I’m not going to summarize each of them as you can read them for yourself! But I will touch on one that stands out to me, which was also a piece of advice that both Mo’Shai and Deanna mentioned a few times: Stay in touch.

This can be as simple as shooting someone a quick email twice a year asking how they’re doing or sending someone a handwritten note during the holidays. You never know when someone from your past, professionally or socially, will come into play in your future—it’s a small, small PR world.

Breanne Krager
Breanne Krager
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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