March 27, 2012

Behind Anna Wintour’s glasses she hides a power network

“The editor’s powerful friends constitute a kind of coalition of the willing that extends her influence well beyond Vogue. Here are just a few of the key people in what one academic calls Wintour’s “fully connected network.” ~ WSJ



~a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest~

“Where are you off to tonight?” “Oh, I’m going networking”  is one of many cringe conversations you can overhear in the office . But we’ve all heard it, especially in the marketing/PR world. ‘Schmoozing’ is another term that people openly use as a verb to describe the fake laughing and desperate small talk. Having worked in consumer PR before moving to the digital world, I was exposed to some shocking examples of old school schmoozing. But I’ll save that for later.

This said, it’s not all bad. Some networking is exciting and beneficial. There is a more genuine and enjoyable way of networking. This is attending events where the main point is to socialise with like-minded people, discuss fun things, get ideas by chatting to interesting people and of course it’s always nice to make friends with these people by swapping email addresses at the end of the night.

Networking is a powerful tool, but is only successful if you put yourself out there. Social networking online is always a good starting point (I am a big advocate of networking online – after all, I’ve met some great people and even got in contact with the company I work for through Twitter), however meeting up face-to-face is still just as important as you cannot have a full conversation over the internet. Often the conversations I have in these relaxed networking environments trigger an idea in your head that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. (After all, alcohol is the social lubricant). I’ve remained good friends with people I’ve met some great people at various Social Media Week events in London, which only happen once a year. It’s a great way to meet people, but throughout the year it’s up to us to keep in touch. LinkedIn is the best way to do that I think.

Three things to sign up for:

  •  EventBrite, sign up to email subscriptions that update you on the talks/parties relevant to your interests. 
  • Guardian Open Weekend is amazing for learning new things and meeting passionate people who love what they do.
  • It’s Nice That Warning, this is for very hip and cool people. Have  a gander, a variety of very cool events going on here.
  • Future Human – These guys are also called ‘the theatre of innovation’, if you want to meet smart, awesome people (like this guy). Seriously go here. 
  • Social Media Week – A fun packed week of all sort of topics, talks and debates. I’ve met some great people at these events over the past two years. Definitely sign up, or even host your own event.

You might meet your new business partner, someone who can teach you something you didn’t know. Or maybe you’re recruiting, or you’re a freelancer. By meeting as many people as possible you are opening your horizons and on your way to building your very own ‘power network’.

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