Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Useful Tuesday: PR Pros Share Secrets on Getting to the Next Level

I think I saw this short article on Twitter somewhere and sent it to myself to read later.

Nothing too groundbreaking or new, but nothing wrong with a refresher.

I've always heard that the part I quote below is one of the hardest things for women in the workplace to do.  We're just not "taught" that this is acceptable behavior.

How important is tooting your own horn—how do you do it? What if you feel awkward about “bragging”? How can a woman overcome that?
Toot your own horn, just not too loudly. Strike a balance between passive and pesky. It's tricky, especially if you feel awkward about touting your accomplishments. One effective way is not only to pat yourself on the back, but also to pat others harder. When working on a team, don't just highlight the good work you are doing, include and promote co-workers' contributions as well.   
I was at the Harvard APALSA conference this past spring and attended a panel entitled "Women in Leadership."  I forget the exact list of speakers Here's the list of speakers (they were impressive).  One of the women said that you need a brag buddy - this is easier for women than bragging about yourself.  She said to get yourself a brag buddy, which is like a (lady) wingman but for networking events and such instead of bars and broads.  I really liked this idea because it seems a lot more natural and perhaps even more sincere when a friend is singing your praises rather than doing it yourself (of course, this might be harder to do within your own organization - especially if it's rather competitive - but you can find a brag buddy in a different department or specialty to do this for you with your own superiors at work events - and of course you should reciprocate!).  I've been trying to do it (secretly!) with one unni of mine at networking events I drag her to - I hope it works!

I will say, though, their last tip is one of the easiest and super-importantest ones to do.
What kind of paper follow-up do you need after an introduction or interview?
Send an email within 24 hours of the conversation; then a handwritten note within the week of the meeting; and make a follow-up phone call or email two weeks after the meeting if you haven't yet heard back. If you opt for the latter, it's always good to dig around for some industry news or relevant article tied to your conversation that you can share to show that you are still engaged.
 I don't know about the handwritten note (unless I was invited to coffee at the person's home or something similar that took more effort) but I try to email people that I've recently met (usually at a networking or bar event) within the next few days following up on something we discussed and asking if they wouldn't mind continuing that conversation.  Most people I've done this with have been very receptive.  Some people are very busy but even those people usually respond and say email or telephone works.  I'd highly recommend following up quickly though - you want to be one of the memorable ones!

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