10.22.2015

Resound Insight: Securing Editorial Desksides

by Ashley Willis, Senior Account Executive

01-office-spaceDeskside meetings with print editors offer your business the opportunity to directly interact with media that align well with your brand. These brief, face-to-face appointments provide editors with a firsthand look at your product and the chance to hear the story behind your company straight from the source…you.  At Resound, we have successfully secured numerous deskside media tours for clients to get in front of the editors and publications they love…and would love to be featured in.  As the media landscape shrinks and the noise of new products grows daily, securing these face-to-face meetings isn’t as simple as it looks. To ensure you can break through the noise, you’ll need to determine your ask, then prepare, follow up, and follow up again.

Determine the “Ask” Before Reaching Out:
Magazine editors are often working under tight deadlines and navigating through an overwhelming number of emails while working tirelessly to provide new and exciting content for their readers.  Keeping this in mind, and determine what your “ask” is before you reach out. Editors are working with hectic schedules, so the best way get them to commit to a meeting is to offer something newsworthy – a new product launch, an interactive demo, an exclusive interview, etc. Be sure you’re offering an opportunity that is worth their time away from their desk.

Beautiful young entrepreneur taking down notes while talking on the phone in her office

When in Doubt, Follow Up and then Follow Up Again:
Again: print editors are extremely busy. One email asking for a deskside doesn’t always result in a quick reply. Facing email overload, many editors are thankful for a follow up phone call and may even schedule the meeting right over the phone. Your follow up should be focused on the offer and present a few date and time options for the editor to immediately review. Flexibility is absolutely key in scheduling a successful deskside tour. It’s not uncommon for editors to change meeting days/times as deadlines creep up and new urgent stories are assigned. Be patient, and keep a block of time open to accommodate these changes.

01-magazinesDo Your Homework and Arrive to the Meeting Prepared:
You have your newsworthy hook, you followed up and booked the meeting. Now, start doing your homework. What has this editor recently wrote that you liked? What columns do they contribute to that make the most sense for your product, service, or expertise? Why is your product a good fit for them to cover? After you’ve completed your product/service demo, align your talking points with what you know aligns with the editor’s interests and recent coverage to make the connection for them. Don’t be afraid to ask what their initial feedback is either. These editors can offer valuable commentary on your product or service based on what else they are seeing from competitor pitches or trends they’re uncovering.  Ask what they’re working on in the coming months to uncover what the future opportunities may be ahead.

After the Meeting, the Real Work Begins:

A secured meeting with an editor doesn’t automatically lead to coverage. Proper follow up and maintaining ongoing dialogue is crucial, not just for a placement, but to build a relationship. A thank you note is a must (bonus points if it’s handwritten!) to show your gratitude to the editor for taking time out of their busy day to meet with you. Reflect on the meeting to find the next best course of action. Was the feedback positive? Did you discuss an upcoming issue or column that would be an appropriate fit for your brand? Mention it in your follow up and include all key product details for the story: Product/Service Description, Price, Image, Place of Purchase. Be sure to offer hi-res images and samples of the products discussed, editors can easily store images and samples to review at a moment’s notice for upcoming issues.

While coverage isn’t guaranteed after any deskside meeting, the real value of these media meetings is the relationship building between the brand and the editor. Bringing a worthy reason to meet, following up to schedule, arriving prepared and keeping communication open afterwards will ultimately position you as a valuable, trustworthy ally the media can depend on.

(Image credit: University of Edinburgh, MyOptimalCareer and DesignPublic)