Relationships are the most important assets you can have as a PR professional. What better way to build relationships than to sit down, face-to-face with the editors you’re pitching for your clients?
Deskside meetings not only put a face to your email address, but also give you an inside look at the publication. These quick meetings – around 15 to 20 minutes – allow you to present editors with your product or service for potential editorial coverage.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of meeting in-person is to show the press your enthusiasm for your clients and your client’s passion for his or her products. This can be quite captivating, and can be very difficult, if not impossible, to convey over email.
Deskside meetings, whether with local newspapers or national publications, are incredibly worth the time. Here are six tips for making the most of these meetings:
1. Know your key messages. Deskside meetings are generally very brief so be sure that you have mastered your key messages. It’s also helpful to come up with an elevator pitch: a quick, persuasive speech that will spark interest in what your client does.
2. Tailor your presentation. Familiarize yourself with not only the publication, but also the editors you are meeting. Be sure to tailor your presentation to your specific audience. A presentation to Glamour will be very different from a pitch to Family Circle.
3. Ask questions. Deskside meetings are extremely important learning opportunities. Ask the editors what kinds of stories they are looking for and what they are currently working on. But don’t limit your questions to just business talk. Get to know the editors as people, too. This will enhance your trustworthiness and authenticity.
4. Leave something behind. Whether it is product samples, a media kit or a lookbook, leave something tangible behind for the editors to use after you’re gone.
5. Send a thank you. Follow up with the editors within three days of meeting with them via email and snail mail. This will show that you are appreciative of their time and keep you top of mind, which is the point of deskside meetings. Want to go above and beyond? Send a bottle of wine or basket of cookies as a thank you.
6. Stay connected. Check in with editors you meet with on a regular basis to see what they are working on and how you can help them. Because we are based in Nashville, frequently meeting with editors in NYC isn’t exactly possible. In that case, follow and interact with editors on Twitter and keep in touch via email.
Do you have any tips to add for deskside meetings? Leave a comment below.
Photo Credit: Fatma .M