By: Megan O’Neal
In a world where we primarily communicate via electronic screens (be honest, when was the last time you called a friend to wish them happy birthday?), face-to-face interactions are becoming the exception. Yes, digital communication may save time, but we do specialize in public relations. Sometimes a little face-to-face talk time is just what you need to get the job done.
Scheduling time to meet with editors in-person through New York desksides (aka visiting them at their desk side) is a great way to have real chats with key influencers in the industry and get updates on what they’re working on and what they need help with (a big part of media relations is having valuable relationships based on mutual understanding). Desksides are also a great opportunity for an editor to experience your client’s product in “real life”—think of how different it feels to see you favorite band in concert vs. listening to the latest album from iTunes. Providing the means for an editor to try out your product and meet with you in-person will create a lasting impression and relationship to build off of for years to come. But only if you do it right. Here’s how to make your next deskside visit a success:
DO: Plan ahead.
This is one thing that you absolutely cannot do spontaneously. Without an appointment you may not even make it through to the receptionist – and locking in an appointment is no easy feat. Editors travel often, work long hours and have just as many, if not more, meetings in their calendars than you do. Be respectful and work with them far in advance so that your meeting is not just another stressor and task to cross off of their to-do list.
DO: Get creative.
Understand that editors are very busy and although you’re offering them a sneak peek or chance to test out a new product, you still need to be creative about your approach. Think of how many new products, clothing lines or apps launch every month. Catch their attention with a clever invitation but also be sure to include why your product is any different from the other workout headphones, beauty brands, etc.
DON’T: Forget to bring samples!
Add value to the editors you meet with by providing samples of what your client currently has on the market, but also think about sharing samples of what will be launching in the coming months. The media loves to get VIP access to new stories because that’s what makes a story newsworthy. Print media works months out in advance; chances are, that new spring collection is perfectly timed for what they are working on present day!
DON’T: Forget to set a reminder.
As stated above, these editors are busy, busy, busy! The best way to make sure everyone stays in the loop is to have your team send out an initial calendar invite and then send a follow-up reminder when you’re nearing the day.
DON’T: Forget to say thanks.
Remember how great it feels to receive a personal thank you? Enough said.
This may all sound a little foreign if you aren’t in the PR world, but that’s why we’re here! We always recommend having someone from your PR team assist with the planning and the execution of your desksides journey. Do you have a question about this topic? Tweet us at @OlivePRSolution!