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.