By Rick E. Ochoa
This past October 18th kicked-off the 2013 AAJA Asian Tokyo Weekend’s two-day event in Roppongi, Dow Jones Japan offices in Otemachi and Ginza. With recognizable names in journalism such as Jake Adelstein headlining the workshops and panel discussions, this was the must-attend event of the weekend for any veteran or upcoming journalist in town.
Friday night’s Welcome Mixer was a great opportunity to network and meet-up with some familiar names on twitter such as Yuri Kageyama, Adelstein and Nathalie Stucky.
Upon my arrival at the restaurant, I was promptly greeted with many smiles and a warm “Hello.” Soon after I was shaking hands and exchanging business cards with people whose names I immediately recognized through their bylines.
With Saturday came the moment we had all been waiting for, an all-day conference filled with useful workshops, panel discussions and Q&A sessions. Learning and acquiring useful tools were the order of the day.
I found the panel of Ross Rowbury of Edelman Japan, Cécile Shea of the U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Mayumi Hirano of Creative PR and Rosa Yum of Otsuka Pharmaceutical on Navigating the World of News and PR — which was off the record — the most insightful.
Jason L. Gatewood gave us some very helpful advice on creating and maintaining an online persona. His workshop was surprisingly informative for any self-described social media geek, such as myself.
Gatewood gave tips on how to use About.me, checkusernames.com, Soundcloud and Embedly among others. These websites can help you promote your work and maintain an online presence.
Gatewood also mentioned some online do’s and don’ts.
“Start blogging to manage your online persona and to remind people you are still out there,” said Gatewood.
He also said: “A blog is a great to to keep you directly engaged with readers, providing you with direct and instant feedback.”
I also got some career advice from Kageyama. She told me, “No matter what you do, keep writing.”
As a first-time attendee, I can honestly say my experience was exactly what I hoped for. My hat goes off to all those responsible for making this event possible. Dow Jones Japan generously donated the space and hosted the event. From our chapter, Yuriko Nagano worked tirelessly to make sure this event was a complete success.
I will be returning to the AAJA-Asia’s Tokyo Weekend again, and many more years to come as a proud member. I sincerely hope many will do too.
Rick Ochoa is a full-time marketing director at a Japan-Latin America trading company and is a trilingual freelance journalist.
He has written about business and tech for El Pais, El Economista and several other Spanish-based tech blogs including a small,Tokyo-based (Japanophile) blog called TokyoDesu. He covers everything from Apple to new and upcoming startups.