At Konnect Agency, we LOVE making connections with writers, editors, producers, influencers – you name it. What’s better than putting a face to a name instead of blindly pitching someone you’ve never met before? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
Working at a public relations firm – it’s no secret that if your pitch isn’t personalized enough, or if you are pitching the wrong person the chances of your email being deleted is a whopping 90%. But what if you break through the clutter and an editor replies and is interested in your pitch? ALL PUBLICISTS REJOICE! That’s great, you have nailed the pitch, and HOPEFULLY secured the story, but what’s next? A top-notch publicist will take that story a step further and keep the relationship going because chances of them responding to you are high now if you keep up the rapport. This is when I do some light research into where this editor lives, especially being in Los Angeles: a world of freelancers! If the editor is in my surrounding area, this is when I take the chance to ask if they’d be free for an hour to meet for coffee or a quick bite to eat. As a publicist in Los Angeles, it’s important to make one on one connections – but the one thing that is always out to get you is…TIME. An editor will give you thirty minutes to an hour meeting, and it’s up to you to make that impression.
Let’s get down to the nitty and gritty as far as your next steps go:
1. Determine your intention: This is where you need to determine why you feel a meeting with this editor will benefit you in the long run. Do you have a new client onboarding or an event coming up that would fall in line with what they cover? Are you simply looking to just build that relationship, for that “in case you have a client that fits” moment? Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, before making the trip to the coffee shop.
2. Give a compliment and show your knowledge of the industry: This should be a given – but you don’t go schmoozing your way through the meeting. A compliment is nice, don’t get me wrong, but what has more power – “I love your shirt, where did you get it?” OR “your article on 2019 food trends really had me thinking – one thing I found interesting when reading the latest trades news, was that biltong is actually a category that is growing exponentially” – I might be biased, but I’m going to go with the latter. It’s important to be fully knowledgeable in what the editor is covering and has covered – as you now have them hooked. You did your homework, and now they WANT to work with you.
3. Dun dun dun…the elevator pitch to start the convo off: Everyone is aware what an elevator pitch is when it comes to interviewing for a new job – this is where you sum everything up, your goals, who you are, what you do and how you do it – it’s a TAD different when you’re starting off the meeting with an editor that you want to keep the relationship with. This is where you can simply put together what you do for the company, what type of brands you represent, what their goals might be, and how this relationship will be beneficial for you both. This leaves the floor open to then begin discussing everything related to how you two can make the most out of this relationship.
4. Follow up in a timely manner: As publicists, we are all aware of what a “follow-up” is. You should always give your all in a follow up when any media maven takes the time to meet you in person. This could be about things you talked about, or items you told he or she that would be sent. I tend to send a follow up that same day if my meeting is early enough, as the information is fresh in my mind.
I hope this is helpful and that you now go out there and make the MOST out of the little face-to-face time we have with editors.