8 ways #RaganChat can benefit savvy communicators

What can taking a break from pitching, content creation and client meetings do for you? Here’s what you can get out of an hour on Twitter with a crowd of like-minded pros.

Communicators have busy schedules.

Just when we think we’ve got it handled, bang! Another task is added to our list.

So, how in the world would you have time for a Twitter chat?

I used to think that a Twitter chat would be just a waste of time, but I kept hearing about them and how beneficial they could be. Could it hurt to try one out?

One Tuesday afternoon, I joined #RaganChat. My expectations were low: Could I figure out how to participate? What would I say? Would it be worth my hour?

Other participants were welcoming and I thought, “Maybe this won’t be as bad as I thought.”

I started tuning in every week. I learned things, made friends and got hooked.

Here are several ways participating in #RaganChat can benefit you:

1. Meet new people. Many cool communications pros from all walks attend the chat, including folks from PR, marketing, internal communications, social media and more.

Participants also come from different industries—education, government, healthcare and more—as well as several types of organizations, including agencies, corporations and small businesses.

Each person brings a unique perspective to the chat.

2. Form friendships. You meet great people, but even better, you make friends.

I now have relationships outside of the screen with my #RaganChat friends. I talk to them outside the chat and call on them for advice and support.

3. Gain knowledge. Each week, #RaganChat has a theme or a special guest—so you’re bound to learn something new.

We learn about tools, events and industry trends from each other. I’ve been inspired to check out many resources and or tactics that I now use in my day-to-day work.

4. Stay current. Speaking of trends, if there’s something new in PR or social media, chances are, #RaganChat will cover it. It’s a convenient way to stay up to speed on what’s hot.

5. Pay it forward. There are professionals of all ages participating. What’s gratifying is that you have an opportunity to help those who are new to the world of PR, and they seem genuinely appreciative of tips and advice.

6. Share your expertise. Who doesn’t like doing that?

You may think that you don’t have a lot to offer, but you have more knowledge than you think. Gaining different perspectives is helpful, too. We can get stuck in our own little bubbles and need help seeing things through fresh eyes.

7. Uncover new opportunities. #RaganChat has helped me connect with other communicators who I can then collaborate with on client opportunities, blog posts and more.

It’s a great way to vet potential partners.

8. Take a well-deserved break. You learn from #RaganChat, but it can also serve as a welcome break from your busy schedule.

Participants have fun during the chat—GIFs are a required element for many #RaganChat-ters!

Where else can you do all this in an hour a week—for free? Try it out yourself: Join #RaganChat Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter: @PRisUS or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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