Something vital in our business is face time – not the iProducts app, though brilliant, and undoubtedly important in media relations – but actual in-person communication. With clients. With reporters. With each other as colleagues.
Last week was the culmination of over six weeks of prep work for client Petmate’s biggest industry event of the year, the Global Pet Expo. This huge trade show in Orlando, Fla., features hundreds of exhibitors from across the globe, with over 2,000 booths unveiling more than 3,000 new product launches. Finding a way to stand out among the masses is a welcome challenge for media relations experts, and the team at SPM met it head on.
With a debut of 100 new products, Petmate’s booth was jam-packed with media appointments, back to back, for two days straight. Throw in a Twitter party Q&A with “The Cat Daddy” himself, Jackson Galaxy (star of Animal Planet’s hit show “My Cat From Hell”) and you have the makings of a PR pro’s own personal zoo.
At the end of the day, everyone was happy and the big take away, for PR execs at any level, is to never, ever underestimate the power of the real time, personal, face-to-face connection. I brought back invaluable insight on reporters I’d been hounding (no pun intended) for months, rekindled working relationships with some I hadn’t spoken to in years and shared inside jokes with clients from cocktail hour at dinner that will make the day to day much more meaningful. It’s a lot easier for an editor to ignore your pitch if he doesn’t actually know you, but once you’ve gotten past the emails and follow up phone calls to a real, face time connection, they will be your contacts, colleagues, and maybe even friends for a lifetime. For PR pros, the old adage holds true – it’s not just who you know, it’s who knows you – that makes the difference.