As a brand, one of the most important parts of your communications strategy is securing earned press. Mentions in the media helps establish credibility, generate buzz and build overall awareness of your brand. However, even for a public relations agency, securing press coverage isn’t as easy as you might think. You have to be able to offer value to journalists and show them why your story is newsworthy, and why their audience will care about your product or service.
One of the best ways to connect with the media is through desksides. Desksides are traditionally meetings with journalists in their office or cubicle, where you can sit one-on-one with a reporter to tell – and sometimes show – what makes their brand stand out. These meetings are also great opportunities for a publicist to position a CEO or executive as an industry expert, establishing credibility, commentary opportunities and interest in a human behind the brand. However, getting the most out of your deskside requires adequate knowledge and preparation to best know how to position your brand, and how to act with a reporter. Here are our tips to nail your next deskside meeting.
Do Your Research
It’s your brand, so you already know everything about it, right? Think again. When preparing for a deskside meeting, even if you are the founder or CEO of your company, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your key messaging and story. Remember that you only have a finite amount of time with the journalist to get your point across, so talking about every detail is only going to leave them overwhelmed and annoyed. Rehearse your key points and be ready to give the elevator pitch and answer any questions they have. Plus, it’s always a good idea to bring along with you a fact sheet, press release or brochure for the reporter to keep with them to remember the data. That way, you don’t have to worry about the small details – just stick to the big picture.
Think Like a Reporter
Sometimes, the things that you find fascinating about your brand may not be of interest to a journalist. When preparing your talking points, think about the reporter you’re planning to meet with and the stories that they write about. Do they primarily focus on human interest stories, or do they usually write product reviews? Do they care about the nitty gritty details of your financials, or are they more interested in your day-to-day management? Understanding who you’re talking to and getting in there head will help you anticipate questions and best tailor your messaging to their liking. This is where a good public relations agency can help you prepare for these questions and guide your talking points to the right stories.
Make an Impression
While many people think of desksides as conversations, it’s also an opportunity to offer a unique experience to a reporter. Getting creative with your meeting and providing a fun experience will help your brand stand out. Plus, it will allow you to further connect with the journalist you’re meeting with. Is your brand a sustainable makeup brand? Bring a MUA and perform a quick 10-mintute beauty service. Does your company make food? Bring a tasty spread for them to enjoy over a nice conversation. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and do something a little unexpected. If your beauty line is releasing a new coffee scrub, bring a barista along to make some fresh espresso drinks? Show off your brand in a memorable way and you’ll be sure to make a lasting impression.
While a deskside can seem daunting at first, it is a great opportunity to connect human-to-human with reporters to tell your story. For more tips on desksides from our public relations agency, click here.