Referrals from PR Leaders are gifts that keep giving.
Wed, Jul 20 2016
If you are a PR manager take pride in your achievements.
You have reached the point where you have the experience, industry knowledge, skills and a circle of contacts to attract attention. Because you are so connected you probably also find people often approach you for a referral to someone in your network. They might want your help to connect with an individual who can help with career advice, an interview, information or thoughts on their business ideas.
The gift of referrals
When you give a referral you give a gift to the person seeking your help. You lay open your networks for their benefit. And referring someone to an acquaintance enhances your professional standing because the very act of providing a referral:
- Demonstrates your industry insights and connections.
- Makes yourself more valuable to those around you.
- Creates a sense of reciprocity which may be useful later.
Etiquette of referrals
Take it as a compliment when someone asks for a referral. But never take the act of giving one lightly. When you introduce someone to a colleague on the basis they can help that person, your own credibility is squarely on the line.
Here's some tips so all parties benefit from the referrals you give:
- Firstly be confident those you recommend to an associate share your sense of ethics and professionalism. Sounds elementary? Yes, but it can save you embarrassment and awkward situations further down the track. You never want to introduce poor performers to your pals because it's taken years to gather your network.
- When someone asks for a referral guide them to a member of your circle who can actually help. It can be tempting to boast about who you know by throwing around names and numbers. But that's more hubris than help.
- Be specific and tell your network acquaintance why you are referring someone to them. Then outline the help they might provide.This prepares them when they are contacted for a meeting or receive a call. And of course always check with colleagues before passing their details to anyone else.
- Brief the person asking for a referral on how best to approach your colleague. You want them to maximise the opportunity you provide but you don't want to waste your network's time.
- Ask the person seeking your help to update you on how the referral is progressing. You need to know about meetings that take place and the outcomes of any encounters. You must know what is going on. This is your network.
- Finally follow through by thanking those who agree to help someone at your request, and offer to reciprocate however and whenever you can.
Elevate your referrals
Most people see referrals purely as a business tool but they can also serve to build your profile as a PR leader.
Authored by: Bob Crawshaw, Maine Street Marketing. Read the original article, here.