When introducing your brand to media, securing desk side media meetings can be extremely helpful for building relationships. Meeting media face-to-face not only allows you to capture the media’s direct attention, but also puts a face to your name to help make a more personal connection with contacts you plan to communicate with on an ongoing basis.
Once you have developed a pitch and secured meetings with major media contacts… now what? During recent trips to New York City, Sweeney met up with more than a dozen of our contacts for major publications. Whether you are meeting with a national consumer magazine or arranging to speak with trade media, there are a number of tips you should keep in mind.
- Do your research. Take the time to learn about the people you will be meeting. Where are they in their career? What type of stories do they cover? Who is their audience? This information will help you prepare for the meeting and to know what you can provide the media to make them interested.
- Have a plan for the conversation. Media does not have a lot of time and they do not want to waste any time they do have! Bringing visual aids or samples are a great way to be prepared to answer questions and to engage the media.
- Expect a very short 15-minute meeting and plan for potentially long meetings. The amount of time you have to speak with media during a desk side meeting is based on two things: the media’s schedule and how interesting and helpful you are to the media.
- Be prepared for every meeting with media contacts to be different. Not only does media cover specific content for targeted audiences, but they have different personalities and needs.
- Research the city where you will be traveling. Where are the meetings located? What is the procedure to follow with security? The last thing you want to do after landing the opportunity to meet with media is to waste a contact’s time by being late!
- Always follow up promptly with information or materials you mentioned you would provide the media contact after the meeting.
- Send a thank you. Email within 24 hours and sending a hand written letter once you are back to your office are a great way to remind the media that you appreciate their time.
- Finally, keep the conversation flowing after the meeting. If the media mentioned something specific and you see that your company has an opportunity to help the media out make sure you follow up.
By being prepared and knowing the media, you will begin building relationships with media contacts that will enhance your coverage and positively impact your brand.