In September, MediaConnect hosted our annual Media Insights seminar. It's a full-day event, targetted mostly at those that are relatively new to PR, where they get to hear from approximately 20 of the country's top technology journalists.
The idea is that tech PR professionals develop a better understanding of the role of the IT journo and learn strategies and insight that will help them work more effectively with journalists going forward.
This year, two themes rang out throughout the entire day. Journalists constantly spoke about how time-poor they were, but also kept commenting on the need for PR professionals and technology vendors to try and build relationships.
From a journalist perspective this makes sense. If you don't have a lot of time, knowing who people are, what they can talk about as well as having a mutual understanding of each other's expectations and needs means that you can cut straight to the chase. Relationships become a particularly efficient and productive filtering process.
From a public relations point of view though, those two journalist requests, tend to run counter to each other. Unfortunately, journalists tend to have less time just to meet and greet, or get educational backgrounders because they have the relentless daily schedule that is generally inherent to online publishing.
This isn't a particularly new phenomenon. Indeed, MediaConnect's Kickstart Forum was created because of this dichotomy more than ten years ago. However, the challenge of getting those relationships in place, and nurturing and growing them over time, when many journalists don't spend a lot of time away from their desk is particularly pressing right now. It's probably fair to say that most publications and newsrooms are operating with less resources than they have ever had before.
MediaConnect has today launched Kickstart 2013 the technology sector's premier networking event for companies that communicate with the IT media.
This year's event will be held at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Queensland Sunshine Coast from Sunday, February 17 to Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
MediaConnect CEO Phil Sim said that even prior to today's launch there has been unprecedented interest in companies signalling their intention to attend this year's Kickstart event.
"It's no secret that journalists today are time-poor and subsequently getting face-to-face time with journalists and building those critical media relationships has never been more difficult," Sim said.
"The birth of this event way back in 2003 was based around the idea of an intensive, three-day conference that was incredibly time-efficient for both technology executives and journalists, and it seems like every year that concept has only become more relevant and practical."
Kickstart Forum is attended by approximately 50 of Australia's most influential technology journalists, typically representing nearly all major technology publications in both Australia and New Zealand.
Journalists will hear from, and network with, up to 40 IT vendors with the goal of discussing the major themes that are likely to shape the year ahead in the technology sector.