Seeing red: Connect with meaning

Next time you are tempted to send out a lifeless LinkedIn 'invite to connect', stop, says freelance PR Karen Triggs.

Seeing red: Connect with meaning

Twitter was made for PR professionals, wouldn’t you say? Many of us show it the love by tweeting often and well.

The organic reach of our Facebook posts is ginormous. You can check out our ahead-of-the-curve dining experiences on Instagram and you can admire our expert nailing of business casual in our fashion choices on Pinterest.

The insight value of all this social media activity is terrific and helps us advise clients and colleagues authoritatively.

But there is another social network where we only score a ‘could do better’. At its worst it is a bright white feed of business mumbo-jumbo and motivational quote-a-grams. But at its best it is a powerful tool for developing our weak networks. Yes, I speak of LinkedIn.

Collectively, we do not use it to its full potential. Please, next time you are tempted to send out one of those utterly lifeless LinkedIn ‘invites to connect’, stop.

How about you also send a short personal message alongside the invitation – ‘great to meet you at the summer party. What an interesting discussion about the EU referendum/this year’s Booker shortlist/Love Island [delete as applicable]’? It takes two minutes. Yet very few do this, including PR professionals.

Call me lacking in perspective, but it drives me nuts. When I receive a message-less invite from a PR I wonder if we are the networking supremos we claim to be.

Sending these sorts of messages isn’t very easy via LinkedIn’s byzantine mobile app, granted. I usually wait until I get near a laptop to send out fresh requests.

LinkedIn can do some clever stuff, like identifying second-degree connections at target firms. But it works best when the human touch is applied.

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