Voice technology, trends in digital journalism and practical tips for shooting smartphone video were the focus of a special training day for Guild members.
The Guild’s first Digital Day gave members the chance to hear from experts from both within and outside agriculture about how they can make better use of smart technologies, social media and apps to help them tell their stories and build brands.
Speakers on the day included Caroline Canty of mobile technology company Apadmi, who gave a fascinating insight into the opportunities for podcasts and voice technology in agricultural journalism.
With 58% of people with smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa using the technology as a news source, Caroline outlined the potential for journalists and publications to use voice technology to bring stories to their audiences.
Trends and opportunities for sharing news through social media were the focus of two talks by Guild council member Caroline Stocks and Farmers Guardian digital editor Ryan Wood.
Caroline shared her learnings on how journalists can make use of Facebook to publish news, build audiences and search for stories through the platform’s community groups.
She also gave members tips on working with Facebook’s news algorithm, and detailed Facebook’s Journalism project, which offers free online training opportunities to journalists.
Meanwhile Ryan shared his experiences of using Facebook to build online experiences in both regional media and the farming press.
He explained how regular posts and a mix of content had enabled him to build Farmers Guardian’s Facebook likes from 25,000 to 200,000 in just 18 months.
The morning’s final speaker saw Coca-Cola Europe’s Indy Bhogal, who shared his experiences of leading European-wide digital communications strategies, and the way the company’s digital approach is evolving to target more specific audiences.
In the afternoon delegates got the chance to practice their mobile journalism skills under the watchful eye of BBC digital trainer Marc Settle, who gave a whistle-stop workshop on how to film videos on smartphones.
The practical session included advice on how to get the best angles, sound and light for the video you shoot, as well as the apps and tricks to use to produce broadcast-ready footage.
Freelance journalist Caroline Stocks, who organised the event, said: “Digital technologies are completely changing how we work, as well as the types of content we are able to create.
“There are some exciting opportunities available to journalists, whether through social media or through smartphone technologies, so it was great to give Guild members the chance to learn about some of them – and hopefully encourage them to give them a try.”
Delegate feedback was incredibly positive for the Digital Day – the first training event of its kind put on by the Guild, said Caroline.
“The mix and quality of the speakers and training workshop was fantastic – I’ve had so many comments about how valuable the day was, and how it offered great value-for-money.”
“Given the amount of interest we’ve had since, I hope the Guild will be able to offer other digital training opportunities again soon.”