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For some indefatigable reason, I’ve received a tonne of emails this week from PRs asking whether they can arrange a one-to-one meeting between their client and me. These usually go along the lines of: “Mr X is flying in from Paris / Copenhagen / some other city that isn’t London for 48 hours, and would love to tell you himself about the exciting developments he has in store for the brand.”

Wonderful as it is to be able to meet up in person again after 18 months of restrictions, I don’t think I’m alone in being more careful with my time management, post-lockdown. Like most of us, I have to work longer and harder to make the same money I did before, the consequence of which is that I have fewer hours in the day to devote to “face time”. Even if I’d like to leave my desk, meet a client and enjoy the novelty of drinking coffee in a room that isn’t my kitchen, my need to make a living might prevent it. I hope that PRs will understand this rather than taking offence and that they will convey information over email rather than assume the journalist isn’t interested.

In an ideal world, face-to-face meetings wouldn’t be the sole preserve of journalists in permanent full-time employment, who get paid whether they file copy or sit in The Wolseley eating scones. But for the rising number of self-employed journalists, alas, these meetings aren’t often in their business model. Why? Because word rates haven’t increased since 1986. But that’s another story.

What Laura Thinks…

“I just found this fascinating. I’ve long been cynical about diet drinks, and this seems like a genuinely healthier alternative which I’d love to try.”


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