Published on April 30, 2021, at 11:12 a.m.
by Emma Britt.
Do PR professionals scroll through LinkedIn like it’s the new Facebook? I think the answer is a definite yes. LinkedIn is a rather new social networking platform used for connecting people in all industries, finding job and internship opportunities and networking with professionals you might not otherwise get to connect with.
Created in 2002 and launched in 2003 by CEO Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
With the internship and professional world getting more competitive by the second, having a LinkedIn profile can be the outstanding factor between you and your competitors, especially for PR professionals. A LinkedIn profile can greatly reflect the skills and assets of a PR practitioner: a graphically designed header, updated headshot and an AP-styled biography are all things that can set your profile apart.
Your LinkedIn profile should reflect your public relations skills. Here are some ways to accomplish that.
Although it might sound beginner, you would be surprised at how many professional profiles lack a professional headshot or header. Your headshot should be clean: professional attire, a simple background and, most importantly, your most recent picture. If your profile picture is of you at that business party four years ago, then it might be time to snap a new one!
Connect, connect and connect again
Interested in a job or internship with a specific company or organization? Search for that company’s employees on LinkedIn and connect with them. It never hurts to connect with someone to show your interest in their company or role. Many opportunities can even be offered through the direct message (DM) feature on LinkedIn.
If you want to take it a step further, shoot your new connection a direct message with your résumé or cover letter, or even just to say hello. You never know who will respond or, better yet, offer you an interview or job.
Teamwork makes the dream work
LinkedIn Groups can be greatly utilized on this channel. Joining these groups is a strategic way to follow industry leaders and network with peers. It is also a great way to show off skills you have learned or things you have accomplished. Although making the first move may be intimidating, you can start simple, joining groups such as “Public Relations Professionals” or *your own organization’s groups.
Like, comment and share
Don’t be afraid to post that promotion or new position you just received. LinkedIn is a place to show off what you have accomplished. It is also important to interact with other professionals and their accomplishments. The more you comment, like and interact with others’ posts, the more they will with yours. Engagement requires effort, so keep that profile fresh!
LinkedIn is an asset to all professionals, but even more so to PR professionals. It is a way to form relationships and maintain connections — every PR practitioner’s dream.
Through updating your profile appearance, joining organization groups and interacting with other professionals frequently, you will be one step closer to getting that “500+” connections feature on your profile.