Prepping for events
Last week I attended two PR events. These events aren’t only useful for you PRs hoping to talk (or introduce clients) to key journalists; they’re also great for us freelancers in terms of getting an audience with editors — including ones whom we want to write for, but haven’t yet.
Small-talking makes me anxious, and I have a tendency to freeze under pressure. I’ve also a proven history of forgetting names or misremembering faces; if only there was a vaccination available for social foot-in-mouth disease… Because of these fears and flaws, I try to arrive at such events with two strong story ideas committed to memory. Ideally one will be affordable and the other luxury, giving me options for any title.
I swot up on the key points and USPs, plotting how to voice both ideas as compellingly as possible — not in terms of a sexy tone (hardly my forte!), but seductive details. I’ll also keep them short, rather than babble. Essentially these are two ready-to-roll elevator pitches.
Doing this relaxes me ahead of events. Should I bump into Tom Robbins at the canapé bar, or be put on a table beside Ben Ross, I now know that I’ve got two stories to hawk when the moment arises. These pitches might be rejected, but at least I’ll hopefully linger in the memory as someone able to offer solid ideas on demand.
This might just be a handy tool for some of you to employ, if you don’t already — and especially for those readers as nervy about events as I can be.
What Richard Thinks…
“This release about Grenada’s updated Covid protocols didn’t need to be long — and (for once) it absolutely wasn’t. Short and sweet; well done Alonna and Finn.”