The Right Network

Published On: July 17, 2023By Categories: Business Management, Editor’s Note

By Thad Plumley

When I take part in a board meeting for the Associations, Media & Publishing Network Association Council Advisory Board, a feeling washes over me on occasion.

Whether it is in-person or simply a Zoom call, someone will be saying something incredibly insightful that could impact the association of communication professionals and I’ll think for a split second, “These folks are brilliant! Am I really supposed to be here?”

The sense of imposter syndrome doesn’t last long, but it still happens from time to time after two-plus years on the board. I will be president of the board this time next year and I bet it will happen at a meeting I lead. It is truly a special group that I belong to.

In fact, getting to know the talented publishers, editors, writers, designers, marketers, printers, and more has been the highlight of my volunteer experience.

These folks are in my network now. I can email, call, or text any of them if I need something and they’ll be there. They’ve got my back, and man, that is incredibly comforting in this ever-changing world we work in today.

Networking is critical for everyone. I don’t have to tell you that today’s groundwater market means you need to be an expert on rules and regulations at the local, state, and federal levels; know how to handle hiring headaches; deal with supply chain and pricing woes; and do all of it while keeping an eye on the competition in your backyard.

That is of course not to mention keeping up on your trade skills to ensure you remain an expert water well driller, pump installer, electrician, plumber, welder, or whatever else is needed on your current job.

Today’s business world is simply too much for one person. It is why having a diverse network to lean on in times of need is imperative because we all know those times of need happen.

So, be honest with yourself: Do you have a diverse network?

Networking isn’t just catching up with buddies at a state or national show and talking sports, kids, and fishing. Having a good network takes skill. You need to be strategic in adding the right people, so you’ve got a resource whenever you’re faced with a surprise.

Make sure you know contractors who face different things than you on a regular basis. Have connections with local, state, and federal government officials. Know someone in the state licensing office. Have a great relationship with a supplier and the manufacturers of the products and tools you use every day.

Finally, know a banker, lawyer, and someone at an insurance company who will take your call right away when you have a question or concern.

When you get all of that and you’re talking to someone about an issue hampering you, you will feel a sense of comfort. You’ll know you can tackle anything that comes your way.

Trust me, that feels great.

Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and the director of publications for the National Ground Water Association. He is currently the secretary for the AM&P Network Associations Council Advisory Board. The AM&P Network is a national association for publishing professionals.. He can be reached at, or (800) 551-7379, ext. 1594.

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