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How to meet media and influence people

Claudia Dalton, Senior Account Executive

The author

Claudia Dalton

Senior Account Executive

In a world that’s becoming increasingly faceless, media relations is still arguably one of the most important skills when working in PR. We’re all over social, regularly tweeting and ‘instagramming’, but building relationships through face-to-face interaction is invaluable, particularly in the early days when your client brand needs an introduction to vital media contacts.

As we recently had a new health and wellbeing client come on board, this gave us the perfect reason to visit some of the media houses.

Once we arrived – after a cancelled train, extended journey and incident with the sliding toilet door – we went to our office in London to collect the samples we would be taking to journalists. The same samples I had received a confused email about, asking whether I had meant to order 50 sets of detox tea to the office. Armed with this tea and some boxes of health supplements, and cutting it very fine due to the train dramas, we hopped on the tube and headed to meeting number one.

Luckily, the hours spent pre-media visit planning were successful and we already had a number of meetings set up with journalists. We also managed to sweet-talk the receptionists into calling down some of the journos who we didn’t manage to get meetings booked in with. A friendly smile  and a quick chat about our chaotic morning can go a long way…

We travelled from media house to media house, albeit feeling slightly like pharmaceutical reps (if only we were joined by Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs), and had some great conversations with journalists. You’ll always get some who give a warmer reception than others, but the feedback we had was really useful. Not only was it a great way to build a relationship with these journalists and put a face to a name, they gave us some really good insight into how they would feature our client in their publication and what angles and press materials they would like to see.

All in all the three days spent in London were a huge success. We met with some lovely journalists, got some great insight into how to position our clients’ products to fit within their titles and got some valuable time to take life in away from our desks! With a couple of pieces of coverage in the bag from the visits alone, it was definitely worth the trip!