face-to-face meeting

In an age where virtual meetings have become the go-to, face-to-face interactions have taken a back seat.

While digital technology allows us to communicate with people around the world at the touch of a button, it’s important that we do not forget how valuable meeting face-to-face can be when building relationships with influential media contacts.

Meetings with the press aren’t always just about gaining immediate coverage, they can also make you front of mind for future opportunities, comments, and inclusion. But for sure, they are an important aspect of the marketing mix to help achieve marketing objectives.

Here are eight tips that will help you maximise the success of your face-to-face meetings:

1. Define clear objectives

Being clear on the desired purpose of the meeting is essential – keep in mind what outcome you would like to achieve. Do you want to meet with the journalist because they are a key publication in your industry and you wish to gain coverage for your new product or service? Are you looking to touch base with an editor you haven’t spoken to recently to maintain your relationship and share of mind? Determining this first step will help the other aspects of the meeting fall into place.

2. Plan well in advance

The next step is to get the meeting logistics in place. Think about the atmosphere you want to achieve. The atmosphere plays an important role in defining the tone of the meeting. Formal and informal meetings may require different setups, e.g. a quiet coffee shop or a private meeting space. Considerations include if you need space to demonstrate a new product or give a presentation. At this stage, you should also decide on the agenda for the meeting. 

A good PR agency will be able to assist you at this stage, by providing you with a biography of the publication and the editor to ensure you are well informed. 

3. Decide on an agenda

The agenda of a meeting is a key step which should be planned well in advance. This step will ensure that the main topic you wish to discuss will stay at the forefront of the meeting. Once the agenda has been prepared, share it with the interviewer and interviewee to confirm all parties are happy with it, or if there is anything else that needs to be covered. Remember at the end of the agenda to add a point to summarize all of the points made during the meeting. 

4. Nominate a spokesperson

When deciding who is best to represent your company, think about factors such as who is best positioned to help you achieve your desired outcome. For example, if you wish to highlight a new customer service centre, you could consider nominating a customer service manager to speak on the company’s behalf. If you are demonstrating a new product, the product manager may be the best person. Think about who can answer general questions about the company, as well as any questions about the news you wish to share. 

5. Determine the time allocation

When trying to allocate time to a meeting, think about how long you will need to discuss each topic and then add extra time for any questions that may arise. It is also wise to think about what the journalist you are meeting with is most interested in and how they like to work, as you may need to allow extra time for the editor to make notes. This is where working with an agency partner who knows the press well can provide a real benefit to help tailor each meeting to the specific journalist and publication.

6. Tasks prior to the meeting

Before the meeting, consider making yourself a document that covers all of the key details and points you wish to discuss and familiarise yourself with any information you may need to share or reference during the meeting. At this stage also consider if there is any other company news that may be relevant, which you can weave into the story for added context.

7. Engagement during the meeting

During the meeting, remember that you are representing your company. Have a positive attitude that coincides with the news you are excited to share on behalf of the brand. Think about how your news may result in coverage, and ensure you cover the key points and what they mean for your company and any relevant stakeholders, such as customers. If you feel the meeting is beginning to go off-topic, politely try to circle back to the areas you wish to cover. 

8. Wrap up & next steps

As the meeting comes to a close, reiterate the key points that were covered in the discussion that are the most important to your message. Work with your PR agency to follow up after the meeting to thank the editor for their time and provide any additional information or material that may be needed for a write-up!

The main benefits of meeting face-to-face with the media include building strong relationships, networking, communicating more effectively, and building trust, not to mention that potential technology issues associated with online meetings are avoided. Nurturing strong relationships is an important aspect of achieving maximum press coverage. 

Meeting in person also allows for a more personal touch through interactions and allows small talk to happen. While the main objective of meetings is usually to discuss a brand’s new product or venture, having the chance to talk on a more casual basis allows you to get to know one another, and feel more connected. 

If you’re a company in the electronics sector looking for a unique way to interact with journalists face-to-face and strengthen your marketing efforts, you might want to consider participating in Publitek’s annual Munich Press Event. Contact the Publitek Connect team for more information. 

Alternatively, If you want to consider press meetings at one of the many trade shows taking place this year, then we can also help develop strategies, plans and support meetings at the shows. Contact us at [email protected].