How to stay in touch in Lockdown 3.0
It feels, said Tabitha from Sauce, like ages since we PRs and journalists could meet up. With the ongoing lockdown 3.0 and then, one imagines, a staggered reopening of cafes and the like, it’ll also be a while yet, I’d think. So how best to stay can you PRs stay in touch?
The terrifically boring answer is that it’ll be different for different journalists. No doubt some relish Zoom webinars or virtual destination presentations; personally I don’t find them time-efficient (ditto phone calls). It hardly helps, though, that I’m currently involved in an exhaustive copywriting project which is preventing me from even replying to most people (for which, sorry).
A (nerve-wracking) alternative are Roxhill’s speed-pitching events – having attended the trial run of these, I can confirm that they are definitely time-efficient, as well as a superb exercise.
Some solo PRs have taken to emailing weekly news bulletins, which I like – they’re digestible and don’t clog my inbox. The trick comes in actually having some news; other releases I receive are little more than a reminder – “XX is a nice place” – and just go straight in the bin. Give me news, or give me nothing at all.
Personally, I think the best idea is just to send some considered, canny round-up ideas – with so few first-person features running right now for obvious reasons, lists are truly in vogue. A rarely-used yet PR trick is to take something new your client is doing and see if other non-clients are doing it? Sure, this might mean freely promoting non-clients, but if you just score some coverage for your own that’s got to be a win.
Maybe it could be Ten travel companies which have changed direction during the pandemic (the change would have to be significant). Or perhaps The greatest ever movie locations – ahead of March’s Oscar nominations. This week’s trendy one, which some of you have picked up on, has been trips for over-50s based on booking spikes caused by vaccination confidence. In all cases, you don’t need to give me all ten options, just two or three – because, when pitching to an editor, that’s all I would offer. And only one of those two or three need be a client.