Icebreaking 102: Use the News

Continuing on my Ice Breaking series aka How to use Small Talk to Lead to Bigger Things aka how to talk to strangers without sounding like an idiot.

TIP 2: Use the News.

Be up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends so you can come off educated and excited.

It’s easier to start a convo with a stranger in advertising when the conversation is about advertising.  

“This Samsung-Apple situation is heating up, huh?” beats “This weather’s crazy, huh?” any day.

Here are some ways to be in-the-know so you have enough conversational lubricant when you are out and about with ad folk.

·      Read advertising magazines and blogs (AdAge, AdWeek, ComArts, Creativity, Archive, AdFreak, Adverblog, The Denver Egoist, etc, etc) daily. You need to know what’s going on in every aspect of this business.

     ·      Follow thought-leaders on Twitter. (Who knows, you may get a RT or spark up a conversation.)
Try AdFreak’s TweetFreak: 50 to Follow

     ·      Like agencies and ad organisations on Facebook. They share what’s up with them and the industry. (Also great to keep up with who’s winning and losing accounts – meaning, who is hiring.)

·      Google agencies and their leaders. Find out who is going to be where you are and check out their LinkedIn and their work. (Who doesn’t like talking about themselves?)
Try: Google. Ha. And Agency Compile.

·      Immerse yourself in real advertising. Actually watch commercials, listen to radio spots, look at the banners around you, grab a magazine and check out the print work. Look at the history, look at the trends. (Whether they love it or hate it (especially if they hate it) ad people love talking about advertising.)