Comms: It’s all about who you know

Earlier this week, we hosted our inaugural Young Communication Professionals (YCP) networking event for the next generation of comms leaders. We had three fantastic young journalists as speakers: Amelia Abraham from Refinery29, Coral Williamson from Music Week and Josh Boswell from The Sunday Times.

Each speaker gave a thought provoking and frank insight into the life of a journalist, but also into the working challenges our generation faces and how this might impact our careers. Our guests were all under 30 years of age and drawn from a broad range of sectors including finance, tourism, energy, local government and tech.

We conceived the YCP event series as two young consultants looking for the opportunity to network with the business leaders and key journalists of tomorrow. With the overarching aim being to engage, connect and inspire one another. The event was put together with the help of junior consultants at Newgate Communications and supported by our senior management team. The main point of discussion on the night was how important it is to build strong contacts but also how central advice and guidance from mentors and peers can be.

In these times when we are all so driven by digital, it is perhaps seen as a slightly old fashioned view that the comms industry still revolves around who you know, but as each of our speakers highlighted, you are far more likely to build successful relationships by networking, both inside and outside of your organisation. There remains a huge role for digital engagement of course but face-to-face is still vital.

Amelia Abraham, our first speaker of the evening, is Editor at Refinery29. Her talk consisted of interesting PR pitches she has received and an insight into how some digital publications write captivating stories to make them ‘go viral’ on social media. It was interesting to hear about the importance of ‘click ability’ for publications that are purely online which contrasted perfectly with the next two speakers.

Coral Williamson, at Music Week, provided a peek behind the scenes of the declining world of music print journalism; Music Week is one of the last remaining titles in print within the industry. Amelia and Coral both worked in PR prior to starting life as journalists and discussed how the connection between the two had benefitted their careers.

Our evening was concluded by Josh Boswell, an investigative journalist at The Sunday Times, who relayed tales from going undercover at a call centre, to using his own life experiences to his benefit by creating stories that made him stand out from others. Tales of his life as an intern and working on the student paper are sure to have resonated with many attendees when they reflected on life before their ‘first real job’.

We would like to thank all of the people who attended our inaugural event, our speakers and our colleagues at Newgate Communications and PPS Group for their continued support.

Have a great summer. We already have speakers lined up for our next event in September, details coming soon.

Holly and Eloise

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