I’m writing this at 7am. I know. It’s bloody early.
But early morning, if I need to really concentrate on one thing, is the best time for me to work. My brain’s fizzing (unless, obv, I’ve been out on the razzle). I haven’t yet started to wade through a gazillion emails. And no one is competing for my attention. I can sit down, think about what I need to do and for an hour and a half, just get on with it.
It’s the same for me with meetings. For the next two weeks, I have a coffee meeting at 9am every single day with a different PR, travel agent, explorer, luxury goods company CEO, private jet MD…
I’ve hunted out all the great coffee spots around Borough Market, which is right opposite The Times building, and takes me five minutes to get to. And, over a good coffee, before the tourist hordes arrive, I can sit with someone inspirational (hopefully!) and find out a bit about what’s happening in the world beyond my desk.
I love it for the same reasons I love those early-morning writing sessions. I’m fresh, so my brain can handle a whole heap of new information. I’m away from the office, and so can concentrate on a single task (your client). And I have only 45 minutes before my next meeting at work, so everyone has to get on with it, before I have to run back out into a world that’s not such fun: of emails, deadlines, office politics, meetings…
People I meet enjoy it (I think!) because they get to find new little spots in Borough Market they haven’t tried – and if they have spare time, can even wander about afterwards, nabbing a naughty, full-fat sausage-roll for lunch. They get a one-on-one with a journalist who is concentrating. And their client gets to tell their story in a casual, happy environment.
If you’re a PR trying to get to an editor, perhaps it’s worth figuring out when they’re at their best. Some, like me, are early-birds. Some are lunch-lovers. Some are owls. If you’re trying to set up meetings with them, it might be useful to know.