We like to get out and about here at Clearbox, and this week two of the team attended a great CIPR NI Meet and Media event with Independent News and Media. Who did they meet? What did they find out? Natalie tells all. Read on, friends…
On Wednesday, myself and Charlotte attended the CIPR event to meet the team from Independent News & Media. Once we'd sussed how to find the fab venue of the Belfast Harbour Commissioner's Office, and then how to park within a one mile radius without getting clamped, we were eager to hear the tricks of the trade. Here are some tips we garnered from the experience.
1.Good News is still Great News
Whilst it might not always seem like it, good news still has a place in NI media. Not everything is death, doom and destruction. And the papers want to hear it, according to Martin Breen, the Editor of the Sunday Life and Gail Walker, Editor of the Belfast Telegraph. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things will always have appeal, alongside weird hobbies and quirky backstories. A tap dancing cat was mentioned.
2. Pitchin' like a boss
Journos receive a billion emails a day. You'll need to offer something different if you want to stand out. Be creative, but concise. Margaret Canning, Business Editor at the Belfast Telegraph recommends getting to the point and showing that you know the paper's audience to maintain an editor's interest.
3. Absolute no-nos
It became pretty clear that there are a few surefire ways to aggravate anyone in the industry. Common threads included a lack of knowledge about the publication you're chatting to, putting any form of homemade prop in a picture, no captions and getting people's names wrong. Catriona Doherty, Editor of Northern Woman, concurred that event photos are always great to receive, but they usually need captions to make the cut. It really is the little things.
4.The future is digital
Alongside her discussion of the launch of the Belfast Telegraph's new app, Head of Digital Morgane Campioni emphasised the appeal of videos, especially those captured live on mobile phones. Their shareability makes them great for online content, and reflects the shift in audience that comes with the digital app.
The speakers were also great at communicating the importance of looking for stories that they know will work with and engage their own audiences. This knowledge of their audience is data-driven, helping them identify exactly what will appeal. So rather than trying to overtly plug consumer brands, we should be trying to communicate a message that their reader can genuinely relate to. Which we do at Clearbox. Obvs. As the saying goes, knowledge is power.
A great event to round off a Wednesday, and a special shout-out to the amazing pastries that were kindly supplied and demolished in the process.