Hofstra PRSSA Hosts Another Successful Networking Dinner

After weeks of planning and hard work, PRSSA is happy to report that our annual Networking Dinner was once again a success.

This event is held each year to help our driven PR students expand their network by providing a casual dinner to meet some of New York’s most successful PR professionals. Last week, seven different PR pros penciled PRSSA into their busy schedules and came out to talk to students over dinner donated from multiple local restaurants. Throughout the night students and professionals continuously engaged in exciting conversation, discussing topics ranging from how to get into the PR industry to how to be a successful intern.

Professionals included Sofia Alayon from ESPN, Kristen Prestano and Jessica Fuller from CJP Communications, Jessica Rice of the American Kennel Club, Micah Jesse founder of MicahJesse.com, Sujata Gidumal from Hunter PR, and Gary Lewi of Rubenstein Associates. Each professional provided helpful tips for the students throughout the night. During their introduction, when asked the question, “What advice would you give your college self?” the professionals emphasized the need for internships, hard work, and a love for public relations.  These three points, however, are just a glimpse into the advice offered by the professionals.

By the end of the dinner, each student had gained seven new contacts in the PR world, expanding their network and getting closer to becoming successful in the industry.

Daniele Natola
PRSSA VP of Fundraising for Special Events 

12 Must-Have Networking Tips

Tomorrow is PRSSA’s Annual Networking Dinner and what better way is there to prepare for a networking event than to hear from an expert networker, Mindy Ferrentino Wolfe, President of Neptune Marketing LLC.

Mindy has won countless awards including, but not limited to Public Relations Professionals of Long Island Mentor of the Year award in 2009, was named one of the top 50 most influential women in business by Long Island Business News and presented the President’s Award from Soroptimist International of Nassau County both in 2008.

On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, PRSSA and PRestige members got the chance to learn tips and tricks to develop networking skills from Mindy. Don’t worry if you missed the meeting! Below is a recap of her twelve tips to networking:

  1. It’s all about relationship building. It’s not about giving out and collecting the greatest number of business cards.
  2. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
  3. Networking is not pitching- it is all about relationship building.
  4. Gravitate towards other “onezies” in the room.
  5. Effective networkers don’t wait for opportunities to come to them. Bo an introduction facilitator- be proactive.
  6. Volunteerism- altruism has it rewards.
  7. It’s about giving and not getting- payback will come!
  8. Hey, look at me when we’re talking! You can still work the room.
  9. Don’t sit with people you know.
  10. Effective networking requires investment time.
  11. Name tag on the right side.
  12. Never underestimate the value of a thank you.

Whether this is your first networking dinner, or your fourth, you can learn from Mindy’s tips. Make sure to build relationships with the professionals. You don’t need to talk to all of the professionals in the room; it is about the quality of the relationship not the quantity of professionals you speak with. When the dinner ends is when the relationship building can really begin. Email the professionals personalized thank you emails and connect with them on LinkedIn and/or twitter. The professionals attending the event understand the goal of student attendees is to obtain internships/jobs and make connections that can help them reach these goals so do not feel uncomfortable asking about internship programs or job opportunities- the professionals are attending to help you.

In addition to covering networking tips and tricks, Mindy shared with us what students can include on business cards: first and last name, phone number, email address, twitter, LinkedIn, and something to identify yourself (i.e.-PRSSA Member, PRestige Member). If you have networking cards, we encourage you to bring them to the dinner.

This year’s Networking Dinner is taking place today, November 6, 2011 at 8:00 PM. Professional guests include ESPN, Rubenstein, Hunter Public Relations, CJP Communications, Micah Jesse, and the American Kennel Club. I look forward to seeing all of you pro-networkers there!

Kim Caro
President, PRSSA