By Boris Sedacca

Social media and the internet have made it all too easy for technical press publishers to expect their editors to produce  journals entirely from their desks. It saves on mileage and company cars of course, so while the hounded advertisement manager of a technical journal is given all sorts of grief while he is in the office to try to get him out on the road, editors are under increasing pressure to obtain material online. 

When times are tough, having editorial staff made redundant will force editors to rely on making contact by phone, email or internet instead of going to face-to-face meetings. Not that we in technical PR are complaining - it is our job to fill the gap editors have to face with quality technical material. 

Nevertheless, I remain convinced that the best material originates in face-to-face meetings. The main problem is the expense. Clients balk more at the time it will take out of their day than at the expense of wining and dining an editor, which can be considerable in itself, not to mention the expense of hosting a press conference if they want to meet dozens of editors at once.  

Editors too are reluctant to take a day out of the office for a meeting, especially when print deadlines are tight and they need stories to fill their pages, so they will try to attend several meetings in one day. An event where editors can meet several clients in the same place is even better. 

There are ways for clients to avoid the expense of a full-blown conference catering for dozens of thirsty journalists, and that is to share the expense with other companies. This is something we call speed networking: a bit like speed dating, but perhaps a little less stressful (just joking). 

Stone Junction recently helped organise Give Me 5, a speed networking format which allows a company spokesperson to brief 10-12 journalists in quick succession. The journalists rotate around to different clients every five minutes. This format has proved to be immensely popular with clients and journalists alike, giving the latter plenty of stories and allowing clients to tell their story to several journalists at once. 

I am planning to attend several more Give Me 5 events in the future and hope to meet a few more of you there. 

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