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Navigating the world of desksides… and whether they’re worth it

Navigating the world of desksides… and whether they’re worth it

When a new product is coming to the market, one of the discussions you should have with your public relations agency is whether or not you should pursue desksides with editors and reporters. Desksides give you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the media and can be anywhere from five to 15 minutes long. Generally, a member of your PR team will attend the meeting along with you to make introductions and facilitate follow-up communications afterward. This can be quite beneficial not only for personifying your brand but also developing your relationship with the media.

Is it worth it to have a deskside tour?
These meetings can be very valuable, provided you have a day or two to dedicate to a fully maximized schedule of them in a major media market. Your CEO (or whoever your brand is choosing as the spokesperson) can share its brand story, give the option for the editors to sample your product and answer any questions they may have. When people meet people and hear their story firsthand, a relationship is built that can result in coverage for the brand.

When is it not worth it to have deskside?
A big factor of desksides is logistics. As a food and beverage public relations firm, we’ve seen it all. It’s important to cluster meetings together based on their locations and how long it will take to get from one to another. Another factor may be that you have a food product that needs to be heated for the reporter to experience it at its best — then you may need to host your meeting at a test kitchen nearby.

Got it, so when we go on a deskside tour what can I expect?
Pack your bags, because you’re going to New York! New York City is America’s media hub. Also, be prepared to be traveling all over the city and share some quality time with your publicist.

Make sure you have your brand story down, how you’re going to share samples with a media representative and be ready to answer any questions one might have about your product. Also, let your publicist guide the conversation at times — they know how the product meshes with the topics the reporter covers and will help you and your product fit in there.

I want to meet with the media, share my brand story, and see expected coverage, but a deskside tour seems like a lot. Now what?
Have no fear, that’s what media events are for! Do you have a product that can be showcased in many ways? Perhaps it might be best to rent out some space and have a media event. Speak with your publicist about a potential event where you can coordinate press attendance, share your brand story and showcase your product. Here you have a chance to share the variety of ways your product can be enjoyed with multiple members of the press in one space.

As a food and beverage public relations firm, we know many of the challenges you may face when launching a first-to-market product, a line extension or even rebrand. We are thrilled to be your partners in this or would love for you to consider us to be your partner on your next adventure. Best of luck as you navigate the world of food and beverage PR!

– Courtney

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