Spark’s Winter Social – it’s the most wonderful time of year!

We’re in the middle of Christmas party and event season – a great time to work in PR! I was really looking forward to our Spark festive journalist social, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

After rail strikes impacted many of our plans around journalist socials in 2022, we were delighted to meet up with more than 20 of our media contacts for drinks and pizza in a cosy Soho pub recently.

These occasions are a great opportunity to catch up with old friends or, for relative newbies like myself, get to know new faces.

Sparking some great conversations

Even though I haven’t been working in PR for long, and have only ever known the ‘new normal’ of hybrid working, I appreciate the importance of building relationships with journalists that extend beyond the screen and a polite ‘e-meet’. In the post-pandemic world, the value of in-person get togethers cannot be understated. Research from Harvard Business Review shows 95% of people agree that in-person meetings build strong, long-lasting relationships, meaning we all benefit over the longer term.

Our winter social was a great opportunity to delve deeper into what topics journalists want to write about. For example, some were looking to move away from writing too much about topics like AI and explore new avenues, while others discussed how B2B finance is becoming more interesting than B2C.

I can’t even begin to imagine how many pitches journalists get a day. So it didn’t come as a surprise to hear that they don’t have time to send feedback on each one. At the same time, hearing what they do and don’t want to see was invaluable, and it was nice to hear many of them highly rate pitches from Spark in particular!

Most of all, I enjoyed how this event didn’t feel like your classic corporate networking night. It was great to see journalists mixing with counterparts from other publications, with all of us able to discuss how we found ourselves in our respective careers, and what really interests us.

Here’s to the next one!

Whether you’re looking to get into PR, or even if you’ve been in the industry for a long time, you can’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face catch ups.

I love that Spark places such a premium on this, whether through big social events, or just meeting up over coffee or lunch. Thanks to all who attended, we hope you had a great time – here’s to more great events and socialising in 2024.