Follow Your Ideas: Networking

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February 11, 2016 by Kathryn Kuttis

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Networking with Tom Friedman at the Next New World Conference.

Where else can you network?

I think the best way to meet a diverse group of industry insiders is to attend an idea-focused event. Subtle, authentic connections that are based on common interests and knowledge-sharing are more valuable than an aggressive “get-to-know-me” networking. When considering a networking opportunity look for an industry conference that brings together like-minded thinkers. Then become one of the thinkers.

Modern media companies create their own events to raise awareness for their content and brand themselves as thought leaders. Each fall the New Yorker Festival brings some of the most influential media thinkers together to exchange ideas with the magazine’s writers, editors and artists. Even if you can’t get to the lectures, panels and performances you can follow the Festival on Twitter to connect with participants and be part of the conversation.

Last June, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman hosted the Next New World Conference in San Francisco. Based on his article, How to Get a Job at Google the conference was about how technology is changing the workforce.  I was interested as an educator but also at the chance to network. Speakers included Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations at Google and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. It was a full day dedicated to big ideas and discussions about the digital innovations that are reshaping our world. Science writer John Markoff moderated a panel of reporters from the New York Times Bits blog who talked about the business of technology.

After a conference like this, you have a point of reference to contact any of the other attendees. While at the conference, I spoke with people over lunch, in line for coffee and between panels. I moved my seat around after breaks and collected Twitter handles from the cleverest conference tweeters. I even got a selfie with Tom Friedman for my Instagram.

It’s always a good idea to have something to talk about when you are meeting people. With the New Hampshire primaries and the Super Bowl in the news, this week’s kernels are brimming with conversation starters that will keep you thinking.

Estimated 1 million fans cheer Broncos’ Super Bowl victory (DenverPost) With a win to celebrate how did officials use the news to rally their publics? Are there different messages from different groups about the same win?

4 Ways to Use Snapchat to Land an Ad Agency Job (MediaBistro) If you aren’t familiar with this website take a look at the career tips. This article dares you to use the latest technology to make a first impression with potential employers. How can you show that you are willing to learn and apply technology? What are your top tips?

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote (TheNation) How has Clinton’s use of mixed cultural messages backfired? Is it fair to judge Hillary for the policies her husband championed years ago? How does the article use evidence to differentiate Bernie Sanders from Hillary?

The Difference Between Feeling Bored And Feeling Unhappy At Work (FastCompany) It’s week six. How are you feeling? How can these tips translate into a happier schedule for you and lead to a great job after college?

Los Angeles Has Passed Ambitious Plans to Tackle Homelessness (Time) What is this city saying to its homeless population? How can they help find support for their plans? Could you suggest a way to make these statistics concrete and credible?

How a Debate Misstep Sent Marco Rubio Tumbling in New Hampshire (New York Times) Just days ago he was a front runner. How did one misstep destroy Rubio’s credibility with his publics? In the age of social media and authentic connections how do political messages need to change?

Marshawn Lynch retires in a way only he would (BellinghamHearald) How does this retirement announcement reflect Lynch’s personal brand? How was it received during the SuperBowl?

Anna Wintour Explains Her Leadership Style (Racked) How did Ms. Wintour control this interview with her own key messages? What is her message? What’s sexist about the way she’s viewed?

Farewell, Farmborough: What We Can Learn From Country Music Festival Failures (Voice) How are these festivals hurting their chances of survival with branding? Can communications play a part in making a festival successful?

Eco-fashion: Know your labels (eco-business) What does Lagerfeld’s “ecology-themed” fashion show tell us about greenwashing? How can consumers be more cautious about green claims.

Whole Foods Revenue Rises As It Woos Cost-Conscious Shoppers (Forbes) How is Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck as some like to call it) using a rebranding campaign to boost sales and alter their image? What do they know about their customer? Did you know they are opening a 365 store in Eugene next Fall aimed at students?

 

 

 

 

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Welcome

If you share an interest in public relations, media and visual design, this might be a good place for you to hang out. I started this blog to exchange ideas with my students at the University of Oregon. They keep me (and maybe you too) at the forefront of social media, visual communication and career development. Here you'll find our best ideas, links and learning as we write, create and blog our way through a course on Strategic PR Communication.

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