Maximizing LinkedIn’s potential

Recently, I signed up for a LinkedIn tutorial for journalists, which I heard about via a LinkedIn journalists’ group. The session, which took place on Tuesday, was one of the best things I’ve done all week.

Until now, I thought I was doing well on LinkedIn, and for the most part, I was. In July, I blogged about using the site to make contacts and learn about issues, available jobs, and journalism/writing-related workshops and events. That post is here.

But a couple of days ago I learned about features I was unfamiliar with and links I’d never clicked on, which I expect will be helpful to me. A LinkedIn tool to find alumni, for example, is only a few months old.

LinkedIn’s corporate communications manager Yumi Wilson, a former journalist, hosted the phone-in session, and walked us through a succession of features. Her presentation was clear and relevant, and it was great to have the opportunity to communicate offline.

The experience reminded me of an encounter I witnessed earlier this year when a colleague of my husband’s – engrossed in shop talk with a colleague she’d never met but knew from online discussions – suddenly exclaimed, “You’re a real person!”

Social media is a wonderful tool, especially when its reach extends offline. A bonus for tutorial participants – we were eligible for a free upgrade, allowing the use of even more LinkedIn tools for the coming year.