There is definitely something to be said about how email has revolutionised the world we work in. There are a few veterans in the agency I work in who hark back to the days of faxing a press release to journalists, something unbelievable to the generation newly joining the industry.
Although it certainly speeds up the delivery of news, we have essentially become an email signature, a jumble of letters and logos that does little more than say who we are and not what we’re about. This fast paced way of sharing client’s news seems to have inadvertently left a huge void in the relationship between PR and journalist, a crucial component in effective media relations.
To help alleviate this, a good old fashion desk visit is a sure fire way to sustain that personal relationship and after months of conversing by email, I was lucky enough to be able to put faces to email signatures.
As many of the accounts I work on have a strong presence in the North West, I took myself over the Pennines last week to meet the people that essentially make or break my success at work.
What I found when I met with them was just how important it is to meet in person. Although I had an idea of what they liked, by meeting they open up in a way that is not possible over the phone. By asking open and honest questions, they shared their likes and dislikes, pet hates and how to almost guarantee a story in the paper based on format, style and content.
Journalists know their readers and what they want to consume and although at times it may not be what your client wishes to convey, you are able to consider both perspectives and hopefully find a balance in your delivery that pleases all parties.
All in all, I feel much more confident in being able to deliver the right content for my new found journalist friends and increase coverage for my respective clients, one of the most important measurable outputs in our industry. All of this for the price of a coffee and an afternoon out of the office? Now that’s what I call time and money well spent.