I’m old enough to remember the days when the job of being a journalist was largely an inconvenience that had to be worked in around lunch.
I got the impression it was pretty much the same for the PR industry too.
It’s all so different now. We are all working much much harder, and it’s increasingly difficult to carve out face-to-face time over lunch, drinks or even an awkward handshake in the lobby.
That’s great news for our livers, but presents a real problem for PRs just starting out in the business. How do you get to know the journalists you are hoping to court? How do you build up that all important list of contacts, those who might be in lowly positions now but in time will rise to be in positions of real influence.
I’m afraid I don’t have the answer, but I’ll tell you this, there is no substitute for getting out there and meeting face to face. There are probably only a dozen or so names that will come up on my phone or in my inbox that I will unfailingly respond to.
They are the ones I do 90 per cent of business with, and without exception they are the people I met all those years ago and who over long hours of socialising have become friends as much as contacts.