Networking with the media

Building good relationships with journalists and contacts in the media is key to what we do in the social media and content team here at Leapfrogg. Understanding what journalists are looking for in a story makes our work more effective as we can come up with creative content that is more likely to be featured in relevant publications, particularly online. Working in partnership with our key media and blog contacts helps our clients benefit from PR exposure and enhanced SEO benefit via the links we create.

I try to attend as many networking and media events as possible; often they are a great way to break the ice with journalists and can be really beneficial for developing and establishing contacts. Last week I was invited to PR News Wire’s Meet the Media evening at the Gherkin in London. Set in a stunning venue on the very top floor of the building, the event provided a chance for PR professionals from a variety of backgrounds to exchange ideas and contacts.

Ruth Barnett from Sky News gave a great presentation on how the journalists at Sky use social media to enhance their coverage. Part of Ruth’s presentation included a video which showed how Sky had put together their coverage of the day Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister back in May. It was fascinating to see how one of the most established media outlets in the world had used social media to report on one of the biggest news stories of the year.

The evening strongly reinforced the argument that social media is now commonly accepted as an effective and authoritative way to share and discover news as it happens. Brands that don’t embrace it will fall behind as journalists and media outlets now expect public figures and businesses to be present, and to communicate, through social media in a real time.

At Leapfrogg, we take it for granted that our clients understand the importance of digital strategies and social media. But among the professionals attending the event it was interesting to see the divide between those who had a good knowledge of how to use digital marketing as part of their communications strategy and those that didn’t. I believe the future has already arrived in the sense that social media isn’t something new anymore, but instead the accepted way of doing things. PR and marketing executives who don’t build social media into holistic digital marketing strategies will fall behind very quickly.

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