Picture this, you’re at Web Summit, Europe’s biggest tech conference, lost in a sea of over 71,000 people and you’re trying your very best to network and make valuable media connections. But how do you stand out from the dozens of others, each of whom is trying to grab the attention of the world’s top tech reporters? Here are some key pointers to bear in mind when trying to meet those all-important journalists at tech events.
Firstly, consider what you can offer
Everyone is vying for a quick meeting with the media to make connections that will benefit them down the line, but take a moment to consider what you can offer them. What is it that creates value for media besides pitching your clients? Think about your own network and what you can bring to the table for the journalist. If you’re an event organiser, think, would they be interested in moderating? Do you have other event connections that you can share with them that could be mutually beneficial? If you’re a startup, perhaps you have an exciting exclusive announcement on the horizon that the journalist could leverage. It’s best to go about your meeting and consider what you can do for the journalist that will maximise the relationship.
Don’t forget to chat, chat and…chat
Regardless of whether you have meetings set up or not, don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation with the person next to you in the coffee queue or even that person grabbing a drink beside you at an after-party. You never know who you can bump into and get chatting with. Some of the most valuable connections with media are those that develop organically. Also, without the added pressure of a formal meeting in a more relaxed environment, a more natural, genuine conversation can take place. You never know where these serendipitous moments can lead and what valuable first impressions you can make.
Whatever you do, don’t dismiss existing contacts
It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of large-scale tech conferences and want to meet with new and exciting journalists. What’s more important, however, is to remember that this is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with existing media contacts and help further develop your relationships with them. Your media contacts, the actual journalists that you know, are more likely to make the time to meet with you at big events or grab a quick coffee with you. What’s even better is that they might bring another fellow journalist along with them to meet you. That, in itself, is golden.
Anna Scola is an Account Manager with ClearStory International and an accomplished communications and marketing creative professional, with entertainment, consumer, and tech public relations experience. Having worked in the entertainment PR space, working on original and acquired programming such as THE HANDMAID’S TALE, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, MASTERCHEF CANADA and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA across the Canadian territory, Anna made the move to Dublin in 2018 to develop a career in tech PR. She took a role as Head of Marketing with a Series A stage company before joining the ClearStory team where she’s found a new passion for engaging with startups, helping them find their feet in their key markets.