I’m hearing from my PR contacts that there is still some reluctance from journalists to attend in-person PR events. I have done a couple of in-person meetings in the last month, and been to one ‘real life’ press day, but I’m nowhere near the amount I was doing pre-pandemic.
Obviously, from next week there will be a further opening up of all those places we can meet and the opportunity for more events and press days. Good news. But do be aware that a lot of press will, like many of you, understandably, want to continue to exercise caution about where they go.
Culturally too, there has been a monumental shift. Just as many of us (ahem) have realized how much money we have been shelling out by going to unnecessary meetings, breakfasts and lunches etc, and how much time we have wasted, so the people from the PR industry are looking at things differently.
I spoke to the founder of an agency yesterday who told me she now looks at some of the expensive pre-pandemic events they held, which cost clients thousands of pounds, involving cars for press, catering, flowers, product gifts etc and often resulted in nothing but a few tags on pictures of a bowl of granola, as entirely over-the-top, un-strategic and not business savvy.
Her events mantra going forward? Few and far between.