BIG Partnership’s breakfast with Press Association Scotland’s political editor

In the wake of the US election outcome, it proved an opportune time for BIG Partnership to welcome the Press Association Scotland’s political editor, Katrine Bussey, as the guest speaker at our latest media breakfast briefing.

Katrine has been with Press Association Scotland since 2005. During that time, she has covered six elections, two referenda, a litany of other significant political events and now heads up an all-female team of political journalists based in and around the corridors, committee rooms, and chambers of Holyrood.

Established in 1868 by and for the media, the Press Association (PA) plays a central role in the delivery of the UK’s daily news agenda. Each day, staff write over 150,000 words, take 300 photos and produce over 30 pieces of video for distribution to its extensive network of clients. Its speed, accuracy, and capacity to generate content has earned PA an enviable reputation – one that has been described as delivering a first draft of history.

PA’s content is available to clients ranging from national, regional and local newspapers to broadcast outlets while it also provides exclusive digital content for the likes of MSN, BT.com, and Yahoo. Its wings spread wide and its roots go deep, and I think it’s unlikely that you’ll find any editor who hasn’t a relationship with them.

In a hugely useful session, Katrine covered the way PA is growing as a business, the way it is evolving in line with trends in news consumption, and where Scotland may be headed in the days and years to come.

Of particular note was Katrine’s point about the way the organisation now looks to add value beyond reporting. By adding analysis, digital content, data, reactions and Q&A panels, PA offers its clients a full ‘multi-media’ package that is suited to the multi-channelled model that media outlets now use to disseminate news. Having had just a single video journalist back in 2005, for example, PA now employs more than 200 multi-skilled journalists as experienced at producing a video report as they are writing copy – a fact which in itself encapsulates the level of change the industry has undergone in just 10 years.

Little illustrates this change more clearly than the recent arrival of SNAPPA. Describing itself as offering ‘high quality, original stories, blended with your content to increase traffic and drive results’, the SNAPPA website, although still in beta, pulls together news, data and social media to deliver a more immersive, content rich news experience.

For those intending to communicate with the media, a key piece of advice from Katrine was the more you can do to add extra elements to a potential story, the better. Whether it be through video, graphics, research or anything else, if it creates a more rounded, better illustrated story then you stand a better chance of hitting the headlines.

Many thanks to Katrine for her time and valuable insight, and to our guests for joining us, and the BIG Partnership team that put the session together. If you would like to know more about future media briefings, please get in touch.