About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Networking in LA – The Value of Face Time
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For twenty eight years I wondered why my father, the lawyer, would constantly be on the move, traveling all across the country, and the world, to go to meetings. As a kid I thought, why couldn’t these meetings be done over the phone? As I got into my twenties the question became, why can’t this all be done over email? Flying home on Sunday night from a successful networking trip myself, this one to LA, I realized the answer is simple; in a world where it’s very easy to communicate electronically face time separates a person from the pack.

My trip to LA last week was for two reasons, to see some friends and to network (OK, three reasons, I also was also looking to get out of the damned snow!). I wanted to see as many of the California folks I’ve been working with as I could. On Thursday I met with my people at E! and G4. I came bearing numerous copies of the brand new issue of Beyond Race, which has my five page back cover story feature on G4’s Attack of the Show. I gave copies to everyone and by doing so got more people interested in working with me. I was given the grand tour of the PR department and this included meeting quite a few folks at E!, G4 and the Style Network. Everyone received an issue and a business card and I’m already securing a few interviews as a result of this.

After the tour of the PR department I attended in a live taping of Attack of the Show and prepared for my evening. I invited as many of my Cali people as I could to an old school Hip-Hop night - Afex at Temporary Spaces. The night is run by a friend of a friend, so I was happy to show support. The mix of people that ended up showing up from my invite included some folks I’ve worked with - AR-15, David Levy, Blair Urban - and some good friends, both old and new. When dealing with a limited time frame, as I was, and wanting to see as many people as possible, this was a great way to see a large number of people in a small amount of time. As an aside, the night also said something about the people who didn’t respond to the invite in any way, shape, or form. When I’m busting my ass to see you and trying to make it as easy as possible for us to meet up and you don’t even hit me to say “sorry, I can’t make it,” it certainly puts a person lower on the priority list when it comes to who I want to work with.

Friday I hit up Nicole Balin over at Ballin PR to meet up for lunch. Thankfully we were located very close to each other and could easily make it happen. We grabbed a nice bite to eat, talked about work, and got together on some story ideas for BRM while exchanging some industry news. Nicole is someone I’ve worked with for a number of years, but had never met in person. I felt it was high time to make that happen and a number of positive things came from it.

Saturday I continued with the networking, having a brunch meeting with my homegirls Norma Portillo of Fighter / Custard Records and Rue Melo (if you’ve read this site for any length of time you know about my appreciation of the musical abilities of Rue Melo). We’d all hung out before, but that was in New York, and by making the effort in Cali it showed I was willing to go the extra mile, both literally and figuratively, and that’s really what this trip was all about, going the extra mile to make sure my contacts didn’t just know me as an email address, a voice, or a Facebook picture. Also, in the case of Norma I linked her up with my buddy Paul. I knew they had contacts in common, so it was natural to make sure they met each other.

After years of wondering why my father traveled so much I not only understand it completely now, but I’m going about doing business in exactly the same way. A business relationship is just like any other, you need to do certain things to make it grow, and when you show you’re willing to make an effort for people they’re much more likely to make an effort for you.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:47 AM  
  • At 12:25 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Great post. I've recently discovered how important networking really is. It should be a part of everyone's professional development's plans. No matter how good your work is, you need to be able to sell yourself. In person is the best way. Always has been.

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