PRs: How to host the perfect journalist meeting

24 Jan

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There’s no doubt about it. When you’ve been in the PR game for a while, you get lazy. There’s no one turning point as to when this happens, but it’s not too long after you’ve found the gem of a journalist that will put something online moments after you’ve sent it – and they’re nice enough to send you the link. When you have relationships like this, why try?

The answer’s simple: to produce results that go beyond simple coverage cuttings.

With many clients cutting back on PR and marketing budgets, it’s vital that teams show they’re adding the type of value to clients that shows up on their bottom line. That, my friends, is platinum PR (nothing fluffy about it).

Today, I met with a trade journalist to better understand how I can improve my clients’ share of voice within the magazine and connect with its readers.

Don’t take these meetings for granted.
Here’s some tips on how PRs can host the perfect journalist meeting:

1. Make them feel special
It’s not always effective to take time out of the office to meet with just one journalist, but the editor of this B2B title felt flattered that I’d gone out of my way to find out how I can meet her editorial needs. She was so charmed, she bought the coffee for me!

2. Go to their neck of the woods
It’s obvious, but meet in the place that’s most convenient for them. They tend to be more relaxed knowing they’re close to HQ.

3. Come prepared
However well you think they know your client, bring a press pack full of details about the business, along with information on projects and case studies they’ll be interested in. If it’s not relevant to them now, it will be later.

The editor was also touched that the information was personalised for her. Again, a small gesture that goes a long way in showing that you’re genuinely interested in developing a longstanding relationship with the title.

Also have a latest copy of the magazine with you. Think of it as a shield. You wouldn’t go into battle without one, would you?

4. Share the floor
The best PR/journalist meeting is where both parties have something to gain. Talk a bit, listen a lot and talk again to ensure you’re sharing the conversation.

5. Don’t think you know it all
Bounce ideas off each other and discuss the sorts of things the editor and the client would be interested in pursuing. I’d never have thought from my meeting, she’d be offering my client space on a table at an influential industry event. Or, willing to do an industry profile on the business I’m representing (a spot that’s normally reserved for advertisers.)

A little bit of thought goes a long way – and pays plenty in PR value.

What are your tips for when dealing with journalists?

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