3 ways PR pros can participate outside the office

Getting wrapped up in campaigns and other client efforts can keep communicators at their desks for long periods of time. Here’s how you can take part when you surface from your agency’s walls.

As PR professionals, we often get wrapped up in the shuffle of client demands, staff meetings and cluttered inboxes.

It’s nice to take a break from the daily shuffle and focus on one of the core components of PR—communications.

Here are three ways to get involved in PR-industry activities outside of the office:

1. Join a PR-industry organization

Being a PR professional is exciting because there are so many organizations you can join to help you relate with your peers.

A few of my favorites are the Public Relations Society of America, PR Council and Publicity Club of New England.

Being part of these organizations—and working alongside those who run them—give PR pros opportunities to meet many local communications pros along the way. You can also learn new tips and tricks, which you can then share with colleagues.

2. Focus on trade shows.

Spring and fall are typically the biggest trade-show seasons for PR executives.

In the lead-up to these events, take time to arrange briefings, cocktail receptions and speaking opportunities. At the event itself, you’ll be focused on facilitating those briefings, staffing your clients’ booths and basically running around the show floor.

In the trade show off-season, research events that would be useful from a knowledge-share perspective that your client isn’t attending. This will give you the opportunity to attend workshops and network without client demands.

3. Attend networking events.

Aside from attending trade shows, it is also beneficial to attend events that are strictly for networking purposes.

Major cities like Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco often host mixers and socials that bring together PR pros with common interest, such as technology or consumer products. These types of events are great for recruitment and new business prospecting.

Client responsibilities are the number one priority, but by making time for industry activities, you create opportunities to bring even more creative ideas to your client campaigns.

Liz Swenton is the VP Operations of March Communications, a tech PR agency with offices in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.

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