‘So, do you blog here often?’

A communicator’s guide to media networking and sizing up journalists.

A communicator’s guide to media networking and sizing up journalists

Knocking back Pabst Blue Ribbon is guaranteed to get you more attention than sipping a hazelnut martini.

That was just one thing I observed during my first media networking adventure. Since I’ve written advice articles about networking—I figured I should do it myself. As I walked into the dimly lit Chicago bar, I went through my mental checklist: make a grand entrance, wear your nametag on the right-hand side, prepare a firm handshake, then go work the room. And oh, yeah, don’t get too drunk.

I soon realized: It’s a lot easier writing about networking than actually doing it.

Spotting all the journalists, engaged in interesting and titillating conversation, laughing loudly as they threw their heads back in delight, I wish I would’ve listened to at least one “This American Life” episode before I walked in the bar. I found a spot against the wall and wondered how I was going to hobnob with media folk.

Strike one against my future in networking came within the first 20 seconds. I was asked for my business card, which I had forgotten to bring. When I explained this, the networker extraordinaire responded: “Well, what kind of an adult are you?”

Apparently, not a very good one.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.