In today’s climate it’s safe to say that we are becoming, or have already become, a society that relies massively on digital communication both in our personal and professional lives. However in the world of PR and media relations, face to face meetings have proven to be invaluable.
Emails are quick and convenient however taking the time out of busy agency life to go and visit contacts you’ve been emailing back and forth can be extremely beneficial to your agency. Here are a few reasons why:
Catching up over a coffee and finally putting a face to the person you’ve been contacting is a great chance to build on that relationship with a journalist or influencer. Everyone will have different interests and requirements depending on the publication they write for so understanding what they are after is crucial. Journalists hate nothing more than receiving pitches totally irrelevant to them.
Before sending anything over you should find out; who they are, who they write for and when.
Meeting in person allows you to gain further insight to their demands and what they are really looking for, making sure in the future you’re only sending over quality information relevant to their readership.
Showing interest builds a good reputation and makes you stand out from other PR agencies.
Ways of working
Getting to know the ins and outs of a journalist’s and their publications’ daily routine is helpful to know when it is best to contact them. Some journalists may prefer receiving press releases by email while others prefer phone calls first. This is all dependent on the media, publication and personal preference but asking can help you better identify and target media more effectively. Some can even prefer being reached out to on social media platforms – while others deem it unprofessional. Once again a lot comes down to the individual – but discover what a journalist’s personal preference is, build rapport with them – and you’re halfway there.
Journalists are constantly working towards tight deadlines so understanding what they are and aren’t interested in can save lots of time.
As much as PR agencies rely on journalists for positive media coverage for their clients, journalists rely on PR to fill spots and keep up with growing media consumption. So building and maintaining mutual respect is beneficial for both parties!
Meeting in person allows you to discuss and ask questions about what they may have planned in the near future, allowing you to get a head start and puts you at an advantage. This is also a great chance to secure coverage or plan exclusives.
So reach out, plan and go visit your contacts. Regular media visits are great opportunities to better understand, expand your media knowledge and build a great rapport!