Kickin’ It Old School2nd August, 2017 by Grace Oliver
With 3.77 billion internet users worldwide, over half the globe’s population using a smart phone, and 2.8 billion social media users worldwide, it’s safe to say that in 2017 we’re living in a digital age.
But with so much communication now done through a screen, and with an ever-changing media landscape, how can we as PRs build and maintain those essential relationships with journalist contacts?
As a forward-thinking agency we do, of course, make full use of the digital communication tools available to interact with journalists and drive award-winning coverage – just click here for proof – but we also understand the importance of meeting with journalists face-to-face in order to build and maintain valuable relationships that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders – and have done since our business was set up in 1930 by two PR ground-breakers, Suzanne Richmond and Marjorie Towers.
For while things may now be very different from that pre-digital (and essentially pre-television) world, there are still some things we can learn from our past – you might ask, what’s the point? Isn’t it cheaper to brief a journalist over the phone? Wouldn’t it be more time effective to whack over an email and be done with it? Well, here’s the case for mixing old methods with the new in order to maximise cut through…
Read the signs
Body language can add a whole other layer to any kind of conversation. Journo yawning? Rolling their eyes? Looking for the nearest escape route? Probably not one for them – and you never would have known over the phone!
Keep them interested
How do you feel when someone calls you, rattles off a load of info, and doesn’t let you get a word in edgeways? Not happy, I’ll bet. In person, you can have a REAL conversation and let them know about your brand without overwhelming them with facts and figures.
How many lasting relationships have you built where you’ve never met the other person face-to-face? Point made. By getting to know your contacts on a more personal level they’ll let you know what they want, when they want it. Making everyone’s lives that little bit easier!
Meeting journalists and influencers may take time, but it yields rewards. No one likes to invest time for nothing, including journalists, which is why getting face to face is not only likely to yield more meaningful, longer term relationships, but also more coverage, too.
So while we may be social media, content and digital experts, and R&T may contain more than a few tech heads, we’ll never forget that while a picture can speak a thousand words …
… a face-to-face meeting can speak more than a thousand unread emails!