Ariane Public Relations

Tips to Tap Into the Power of Collaboration

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Soon after becoming a freelance publicist, I realized that I lost the feel of community that I had at my former agency. No matter what kind of work you are engaged in, you can tap into the power and value of collaboration. It’s the concept that if you have a problem, need advice or a plan, you should reserve a conference room, order some pizza, and invite your colleagues to participate in a brainstorm.

While working in an office setting, you often take for granted the power or collaboration and how beneficial it is to have experts a desk away that you can tap into whenever you need advice or help with a client project. Community and productivity goes hand in hand. It’s already tough to score big hits for clients and users and the need for community is even stronger as a freelancer or entrepreneur. So how do you still get the benefits of collaboration?

Find a Mentor:
Having a mentor in your life is a very important step in achieving your success. They get your foot in the door. A mentor should be older than you with more experience, so they can show you the ropes and help you avoid pitfalls that can lead to major disasters.

Being a freelancer or an entrepreneur can be an autonomous job at times and we often get caught up in our own world and don’t want to reach out for help. Sometimes it takes longer for people to realize the power of mentors and for some people it’s a shorter process. Make sure the mentor is in your industry. You can find mentors at alumni groups, trade associations, and networking events. Although your mentor may become your friend, you want to keep it professional and keep details of your personal life to a minimum.

Meet up With Friends:
Getting together with friends or former coworkers are great ways to get advice and honest thoughts on any project. I’ve found that sometimes I get the most help from tapping into my inner circle of close friends who can provide fresh opinions or personal experience with similar issues they are facing. Most of us do better when we’re out with familiar faces. It gives a chance to discuss new ideas, problem-solving and even new client opportunities!

Get Out:
As a freelancer or entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your work day and night, especially if you love it! We must not forget the power of networking; as our brands’ ambassadors, it’s actually what we should do best.

As a publicist, my main job is communicating with people, from clients, media contacts, vendors or the guy ticking off our client at an event. The best way for me to practice this is by networking, and you also have the chance to collaborate with people who work in your industry, depending on the networking event you attend.

When networking, be a good listener and remember that it’s about quality conversations, not just the business cards that you collect. You never know if the marketing expert has tips on how to leverage your media hits on a global scale or that the mother working on a startup is in need of your services.

Share Your News:
Promote yourself! As a publicist, I know how to do it for my clients and often forget that I need to do it for myself. It may sound a little vain, but there are ways to do it without coming across as self-promoting. When you sign a new client, book a national TV segment, or successfully host a New York Fashion Week event, share it with your family, friends and colleagues. One of the best ways to do this is through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or your personal blog. There’s no need to sound boastful: a simple photo with a quick caption and link does the trick!

Once people see what you’re doing, they may use you as a resource and often will provide tips and tricks if they see you’re ever in a crunch. I’ve built most of my closest relationships with media contacts via Twitter. They see the type of work that I do and when I reach out to my social networking contacts in need of advice, they know exactly how to help!

Don’t you love it when people “get” you and what you do? Utilize collaboration to its full potential by reaching out to others. They may be helpful when you get stuck, available for guidance or simply to celebrate with you. All support is good support; make use of it!

Written by Ariane Sloan

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