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Sparkpr: Networking and making friends at Appnation

May 2, 2011

In our weekly post from the interns at San Francisco PR agency Sparkpr, Meghan Kelly takes us along for her visit to the Appnation mobile developer conference.

Meghan Kelly, Sparkpr intern

Meghan Kelly

By Meghan Kelly

One of my favorite aspects of being a Sparkpr intern is the ability to learn through doing. For many, actually participating in the lesson is what truly ingrains it into the brain. This past week, I helped staff the press room at Appnation, an excellent mobile app-focused conference in San Francisco.

The press room’s function was to be a recharge center for reporters. There, they could grab a boxed lunch or coffee, conduct an interview or just sit and write. I was responsible for making sure reporters were registered, had their badges and were able to find panels. There were tons of badges.

Badges fro Appnation guests

Conference badges lie across a table at Appnation.

The press room was also the venue for the Appnation press conference. In PR, we want coverage for our clients, thus we set up opportunities like press conferences to demo their products. Four or so companies did just this, and afterwards were able to chat with reporters directly – a super beneficial experience for clients. After the press conference, my Twitter feed exploded with updates about the companies I had just seen. It is pretty amazing just how quickly reporters can pump out reviews!

The most exciting part for me, however, was meeting reporters I had pitched in person. I cannot stress how important face-to-face relationships are in the PR world. It is at these events that you foster relationships, which can result in great coverage. In some cases, it results in actual friends. PR isn’t just a schmooze-fest; it’s an opportunity to be genuine and make connections in your industry.

Appnation's main floor

The main floor at the Appnation conference, held April 27-28 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Ca.

Learning through doing has been the most excellent part of the Sparkpr experience. Interns everywhere should take up all the opportunities they are afforded and put their lessons learned into action. “Make moves,” as my friend always said — nothing game-changing comes from being idle.

Have a question about running talking to press? Want to know what it’s like to be in the middle of a press conference? Leave your questions in the comments!