My diarising skills have atrophied – they were never actually that great to begin with. Until last year I was the only person in the Northern Hemisphere to still use a paper diary. I switched to using my phone calendar, and was moderately better at it, but still not great.
As a journalist you are always being invited to things. Breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, parties, trips, lectures, treatments, informal chats and formal soirees. I’m not egotistical enough to think these invites are because everyone wants to spend time with me. (Although let it be known I love hanging out with people and hope, conversely, I’m not too hard to hang out with).
As PRs you know a face to face meeting is invaluable in establishing a connection with a journalist, and that is beneficial for you and your clients. But it works the other way too. We journalists get nuggets of information that we might not get from a release. Or together can work up ideas that make a great story.
But one thing I’ve noticed during lockdown is that I’ve gained so much time from not doing the endless back and forth about meet ups. The finding of the date, the place, the timings. Then the cancelling and the rearranging, which, if I’m honest, is down to me not you.
Post lockdown I’m vowing to get more efficient at streamlining my meetings. and I’m going to be advocating zooming and phone calls. Last week I spoke to Vic White, editorial director of Hearst Content Agency, on the phone. Lots of friendly chat, lots of ideas and re-establishing a connection – all from my back garden. Bliss.