New style press appointments
Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Coffee, wine, deskside? Gym class, nail appointment, blow-dries? – I’m often asked how best to tempt a beauty editor out to a meeting.
My answer is not one of the above; it’s all of them. “Offer choice” I say.
I’ll explain why: Every journo’s situation, and schedule, is different. We shouldn’t expect you to know which days we all wfh and from the office, or whether our deadlines come at the start or end of the day. Pre-empting when and how press prefer to meet would be a full-time job. So, by providing options that fit around increasingly unique and ever-changing workdays you’re maximising your chances of meeting requests being met.
Personally, early breakfasts – which used to be my fave forum – are tricky now I live outside of London, but I reserve the end of my ‘town days’ for appointments and launches.
I find group catch-ups alongside pals from separate publications a nice idea too, especially when meeting in personal time (for drinks; dinner etc). Here I think it best to avoid pitching exclusives or sponsorships, and instead enjoy the time nurturing relationships.
I’m also into beauty and wellness-esque catch-ups (eg getting manicures or taking yoga classes), which I know can be divisive. As press appointments go, they likely cost less than a traditional lunch or brekkie – surely two seats at Pscyle can’t dent your expenses as much as a table for two at Claridge’s – though I get that they might not feel as good value. After all, you can’t do a product show-and-tell with wet nails, or squished in a sweaty changing room. Or can you?
They can be mutually beneficial. For example, schedule time before a class to run through your clients’ news, if the journo is likely to rush off afterwards. Or encourage testing of an upcoming product launch pre/post the workout. At a hair or nail salon ask staff to use the brand you’re promoting during the appointment. When you think about it, options are countless. Which, ultimately, is what it’s all about now.
What Bridget Thinks…
“I received many more sophisticated releases last week, but the useful content in this stood out. Ideally I’d interview an expert about hair trends, but the pro quotes pre-written here will definitely inform features for the season ahead. Helpfully, visual references have been included, too, and a link to the trends explained on a TikTok.”