Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bay Area Black Professionals takes social networking ‘offline’

By: Kevin L. Nichols 

Social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Meetup and Twitter are making it incredibly difficult to actually meet new professionals in person. With the exception of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook lend themselves toward people that you already know, like high school or colleague classmates, family members or co-workers. LinkedIn groups and Meetup groups allow you to network with people you do not already know; however, without an organized purpose, meeting them face to face in order to refer business to them, etc., is nearly useless … until now.

Aurice Guyton

Aurice Guyton, organizer of the East Bay Black Professionals Association (a Meetup group) and a valued member of the Bay Area Black Professionals group (a LinkedIn group — both groups consist of over 500 members), recently organized the first Summer Networking Mixer at Adagia Restaurant in Berkeley near UC Berkeley’s campus. With the assistance of the restaurant’s event manager, Aaronnette King, the event brought over 50 professionals together to network face to face.

The event consisted of happy hour — including food, appetizers and beverages and live music by a phenomenal band called DAP — and icebreaker games to help the professionals get acquainted more easily.
When asked how groups such as these are important to the Bay Area professional community, Guyton had this to say: “One common grievance among black business owners is the lack of support or patronage from the black community. We don’t support each other enough. I host networking events so black professionals can promote their business, with the hope that we will network and do business with each other. My goal is to keep black dollars in our community. It’s imperative to the future of black business that we support each other, which will promote growth and create business opportunities for our people.”

For more information, visit klnpublishingllc.blogspot.com for the LinkedIn Bay Area Black Professionals group and www.meetup.com/eastbayblackprof for the East Bay Black Professionals Association group.

Kevin L. Nichols is an author and the president/CEO of KLN Publishing, located in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.klnpublishing.com.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BABJA's 7th Annual Young Journalists Scholarship Gala

Dear Friend:

The Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) would like to invite you to join us for the Seventh Annual Young Journalists Scholarship Gala on Saturday, October 2 at 6:30 pm. Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

During this yearly event we recognize young journalism students and salute veterans in the field. We will award two deserving students with the Chauncey Wendell Bailey, Jr. Scholarship and the Luci S. Williams Houston Memorial Scholarship. And, we will honor Bay Area media professional and former BABJA president, Bob Butler. Mr. Butler has been in broadcast journalism for more than 30 years and has won numerous national awards for his work on the Chauncey Bailey Project, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and the 1991 East Bay Hills fire. He has touched many lives with his dedication to journalism and mentoring young and aspiring journalists.

The goal of this fundraiser is to raise awareness and money to support a variety of programs for minority journalism students. To date, we have awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships to help aspiring journalists reach their dreams. Throughout the year, BABJA is involved in a variety of events to support student and professional journalists, including:

• Meet the Reporters at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
• Quarterly Panel Discussions featuring media and communication professionals
• Media Mixers to promote networking and partnership throughout the industry
• Sponsor students to the National Association of Black Journalists Convention

Help us further the educational goals of youth who aspire to be tomorrow’s journalists. Please review the various sponsorship levels listed below and let us know your interest level. If you have any questions, please contact me or Netta Conyers-Haynes at netconhay@yahoo.com or (925) 382-7808.


Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig
President, Bay Area Black Journalists Association
(415) 633-6327 or mfcnews@yahoo.com

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to develop a strong network

By Kevin L. Nichols

Networking is a skill — better yet, an art form. Those that intuitively have a propensity to get along with others and develop strong bonds are more likely to be successful networkers. There are various intangible components that contribute to a networker’s success. It is important to identify some of these attributes and to strengthen what may not come naturally in order to develop the powerful network that you desire.

The first intangible is self-confidence. Marcus Garvey described it best when he said, “If you have no confidence in yourself, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won before you have started.” Since relationships are arguably now more of a commodity than the rise or fall of mutual funds or stock prices, confident people are more likely to network with people who they do not know. A confident person is not squeamish and is typically comfortable with striking up conversations, or introducing himself or herself to others in a crowd. This is essential for meeting new people and developing a viable network.

The second intangible is integrity. Integrity is an invaluable component because having it encourages your friends and colleagues to recommend/refer/introduce you to others whom you would like to get to know. (Sometimes you are not aware of why you need to know them, but your network does.) Essentially, having integrity is the best marketing tool because it creates opportunities for people to want to meet you and/or do business with you so that they, too, can benefit from being one of your acquaintances. How you carry yourself and how you handle your business is a direct correlation of how motivated and inspired other professionals will be to network with you.

The final component that will be discussed in this piece is nurturance. Frankly, many networkers underestimate the power of nurturance. Often, friends and colleagues are easily annoyed when someone only calls, emails, texts or sends a message via a social networking site when they “need” something. Your friends and colleagues do not want to feel taken advantage of or used. Thus, it is vital to create opportunities to reach out to your network on a periodic basis to make sure that you are connected in “peace time” just in case you need their backing to go to “war.” No matter how subtle, nurturing your network will allow you to lean on your network multiple times throughout a given time period because your network feels needed, not abused. Finessing this is similar to being in a committed relationship. If done correctly, you will develop a symbiotically respectful relationship with your network with the appropriate amount of giving and taking.

Like any relationship, developing a powerful network is not easy. It takes a lot of work and responsibility. But with confidence, integrity and nurturance, the building blocks are in place for a strong foundation. If you want to make something happen in your life, you need the courage to ask for what you want. Once you have asked, the decision that your network makes (whether or not to assist you) depends on what they know about you, your accomplishments and what type of person you are. How you have managed those relationships will determine whether or not you get the assistance that you desire.

The strength of your network rests in your hands. What will you do with it?

Kevin L. Nichols is an author and the President/CEO of KLN Publishing, located in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.klnpublishing.com.

Copyright © 2010 The Globe Newspaper Group, LLC - All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

BABP August Professional Networking Mixer

The highly anticipated
LinkedIn Bay Area Black Professionals
event is here.

Join us for our first after hours “Meet and Greet Professional Networking Mixer” at the beautiful
Adagia Restaurant in Berkeley. Our mixer will be
located on the patio area which will give us ample
space for mixing and mingling.

This event was planned to encourage LinkedIn BABP members to meet and network with each other face-to-face. So come out and meet your future clients, employees, employers or friends.

Make sure to bring lots of business cards.

Also, for our listening pleasure, a live jazz band will be performing on the patio.

Hope to see you there. Feel free to bring a guest.

Cost: This is a free event,
but an RSVP is required.

Date: Wednesday, August 18th

Time: 6-9pm

Location: Adagia Restaurant,
2700 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, California 94704. It is located at the corner of College Avenue and Bancroft Way across the street from UC Berkeley and Caffe Strada

About the venue:
Adagia Restaurant was originally the Westminster House, where the minister entertained visiting dignitaries and faculty. The building was beautifully restored and remodeled to accommodate Adagia Restaurant in 2003.

Please visit
http://babp-prof-mixer.eventbrite.com to RSVP. Thanks.