Social media has transformed many things including the way journalists connect and expand with their readers and fellow peers. It may even seem that the need for physical networking opportunities has vanished. But in this week’s blog we discuss 5 things networking events can offer journalists and activists that may be overlooked given the increased focus on social media:
1. A real connection - the opportunity to meet people face to face, to talk, listen and discuss allows you to connect in a way that is simply impossible from a distance. You might discover common interests that might have never been brought up had the conversation taken place through social media. Having these kind of relationships is key to every journalist.
2. A chance to tell and listen to all aspects of your story - such events allow you to discuss your ideas, opinions and thoughts in as much detail and as you see fit. You also have the chance to listen to influencers and fellow journalists. The social etiquette rules differ here differ from social media and even though you may speaking to complete stranger just as you might on social media, the body language ques and their interaction allow for flexibility when discussing your professional interests.
3. Accelerated action - for journalists time and speed are crucial. You would be surprised how much faster it is for decisions to made in such events versus waiting for an email reply or direct message on social media.The immediate feedback you receive about what you are working on is something you can't always get on social networks.
4. A different crowd - whether its a large conference or a local networking event, both the attendees and the speakers will be people who are interested in and specialized in a certain field. It's true that social media allows you to connect with anyone at any time but having a group of experts under one roof can prove to be more powerful than virtual experts scattered across the web.
5. Hidden opportunities - meaningful conversations uncover hidden opportunities, opportunities that might have been overlooked and missed had it not been for meeting and interacting with fellow peers and stakeholders. Direct communication, handshakes and exchanging business cards can lead to collaborations, new projects and introductions and are a great way to remind people of your organization and what you do.
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