This post was written by the marvelous Jarryd Pentony who is universally loved and adored by all who cross his path. This places him extremely well to deliver this golden advice on behalf of the littleBIG team… 

When working in PR, it’s quite often said: “You either have it or you don’t.”

The ‘it’ referred to is that natural knack for endearing people and making them feel comfortable, both personally and professionally.

Be it with clients, media, suppliers or other stakeholders, we at littleBIG feel we’ve mastered the art of making long-lasting friendships and reputable relationships (if we do say so ourselves), so we thought we’d share our top tips.

1. Be yourself

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Everyone has an amazing personality but so many people struggle with not expressing themselves truly. The best networkers aren’t afraid to let their natural characters shine through. Have confidence in your abilities and who you are – human beings are naturally drawn to this level of openness.

A bit of personality can be as subtle as the socks you choose to wear or the greeting in your email.

2. Don’t be afraid to share stories

You have an interesting life. We have interesting lives. So do our clients and all of our contacts. We have found that not being afraid to share bits and pieces strengthens relationships and builds trust.

And in a world dominated by heavy news stories (or long meetings about work, work, work, work, work), a funny tale from the weekend is sometimes all it takes to boost everyone’s mood.

People love talking about themselves and we love hearing about them. So go ahead, tell us your story!

3. Be relatable

It is natural human progression that once you begin sharing stories with someone you start to relate to them, right? Right.

Find a common thread – an interest – and run with it. Make sure to bring it up when you see them next and remember to ask a question that refers back to it. It is also a good technique used to end a meeting or conversation on a positive note.

4. Don’t take yourself or situations too seriously

In the glorious world of PR, it can be quite easy to get worked up or stressed about things that, in the grand scheme of it all, won’t matter. This sometimes leads us to read too much into situations. Our advice? Don’t do it to yourself.

Remember, it’s PR not E.R.

5. Listen & remember

Details, details, details.

Never underestimate the skill of listening and being able to remember and recall details. It is always a skill that impresses and makes you more likeable and trustworthy; building upon the confidence and reputation you’ve developed with the previous tips.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert, an extrovert, a PR newbie or a seasoned professional; the ability to win friends is a handy skill to have in your tool belt that is sure to make an impact on your employer, colleagues and contacts.