A world of webinars


I’ve been invited to lots of webinars and virtual meetings this week. Not just Roxhill’s panel of travel editors, but webinars involving clients of PR firms, or video versions of the classic PR-journalist meeting.

I never feel relaxed on webcam, so my gut instinct is to decline all of these. There’s also that weird contradiction that, in activity-limited lockdown, I seem to have less time than ever between Zoom pub quizzes, writing pieces and finally chucking out my CDs. Well, some of them.

Actually, however, these do seem a great solution. Webinars can clearly be useful. I’ll never be sold on one-to-one client meetings, as they too often can be useless and/or hard-selly – and thus not worth the time, even in virtual surrounds. As for meetings with you PR wonders, back in that normal-life time I found these hit-and-miss: often I’d allot three hours to one, including journey time, only to be taken through a client list – not worthwhile at all.

Others would be, but the high chance of wasted time made me cynical. Virtual meetings, however, offer less risk: there’s no journey time required at all, other than to the percolator and back, and I needn’t fret about what shoes to wear, or indeed whether to wear any at all. Ditto with webinars.

I wonder if these will prevail even when we don’t have to socially-distance and needn’t worry about public transport? Ultimately, there is something more precious, intimate and trust-establishing about meeting up physically, so perhaps not. But the opportunity to save time is a real plus. Personally, I’d recommend always having them up your sleeve as an alternative, especially for time-poor journalists, or ones not based in your city.