They huffed and puffed and blew the house down

30 September 2014, Blog

Earlier this week I had the privilege of meeting one of the UK’s most aspiring journalists, Carla Buzasi (@carlabuzasi), who described her journey to launch the Huffington Post into the UK marketplace.

The Huffington Post has practically become an American Institution since its birth in May 2005 by Arianna Huffington, providing the world with high class political, lifestyle and cultural journalism with an approachable and personalised message.

It was by no means an easy feat; over 1.2 million UK users of the American version by 2007 alone it was clear that it would be a smash hit in the UK, but how would the ‘Blighty’ readership accept American news?

It was clear from the start that the rise of social media would be the drive force behind the Huff Post’s popularity. After a brief slip up with the use of the American date mark, the tailored content for the UK was accepted with open arms by the British public after its launch in 2011.

Facebook, Twitter and later Instagram provided digital platforms perfect for showcasing the lifestyle and political stories effectively personalised to their target demographics.

The team under Carla grew exponentially with social media training as an integral part of the journalist’s job description. The digital drive was no longer left to the youngest at the office or to the intern alongside tea duties, but with every member within the organisation taking responsibility and ownership of the content.

The idea that tweets and posts needed to be signed off by the CEO or Director was dispelled because the space that social took was not suited to the corporate traditions of the media industry. The Huff Post grew their own model; understanding the importance of here, now and real time.

I left the conference with my head buzzing with ideas and an inspired spring in my step. It was inspiring to hear that the Huffington Post would not have reached as many people, nor become nearly as successful as it has, without the rise of social media and the integration it has made into the company’s ethos.

By Jack Showell.

JBP Staff Member

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