The art of networking is a science. There are some people who can get in the groove and work the crowd in just the right way. I am not usually one of those people. Getting me there is the hardest part, but once I’m there, I’m usually successful.

At my old firm, the idea of networking meant going to a zillion different networking events with the instruction of walking away with 10 cards. It sort of defeats the purpose because at that point, you’re just looking for those 10 cards. But I digress.

The Washington Business Journal ran a recent cover story called ‘Quiet in the Chamber’ about the Chambers of Commerce losing people at a steady rate to, among other business organizations, online organizations. The article quotes McLean resident Sharon Jones as saying “we’re in a new world of Web meetings and blogs and it’s an important way for people to meet. People are busy, traffic is awful and our free time is limited.”

Although I couldn’t agree more, there are times I prefer the face to face contact. Although one option Jones suggests is www.meetup.com, a starting base for business networks that occasionally meets in person. Still, I think I prefer the 7 a.m. breakfast meetings where I can personally mingle with like-minded individuals. For me, as a PR person, it’s about the people.

What kind of networking do you prefer?

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Michele Capots has been writing for various newspapers and magazines for the last 10 years. Her favorite color is purple. Currently, she works in public relations for Livingston Communications. Be sure to also check her out in the Buzz Bin.

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