Congratulations - you secured an in person meeting with a member of the media! Now what? Whether you’ve set up a coffee date with someone you’ve connected with on email or social media, an introduction through a friend or if this is a brand new connection here are a few simple things to keep in mind to ensure a successful yet friendly pitch meeting with media.
From location to picking up the tab, here’s how the pros do it.
Make it Convenient
Both with time and place. Remember that while you have something amazing to offer, you are above all asking something of them whether it be feedback, advice or editorial coverage. Consider their location, commute time and favorite spots easily discovered on Instagram. Offer multiple time slots to accommodate their busy schedule and send them a detailed email invite.
Always be sure to confirm the day before and provide your cell phone number in case of last minute scheduling changes and make reservations ahead of time whenever possible.
If you’re meeting at their office, allow commute time and additional processing through security. If you’re meeting at a coffee shop, restaurant or bar, be sure to get there early to secure a comfortable, quiet seating area so that you can discuss things comfortably. Give yourself an ample buffer so that you can be as relaxed as possible. Make sure to get water and potentially some light refreshments to readily have on offer ahead of your meeting.
Refresh yourself on the research you conducted when you were first put in touch and take a thorough scan through their feeds to catch up on what’s new since then. Have your own materials in place whether that be business cards, video/image files, any product samples. Showing your appreciation with a little gift goes a long way and they get to potentially test out your product in addition to having a more personal, lasting memory of your meeting.
Both or either a laptop and a notebook can come in handy if you’re getting candid feedback from a member of the media. Of course you want to feel approachable and be pitching off script but there may be moments where note taking will be beneficial for you to reference post-meeting. Any advice they give to you is extremely valuable and this is an opportunity. Be sure not to be focusing on your phone however if that will potentially pose as a distraction.
Mind Your Manners
Pick up the tab promptly once the meeting is over, ask about any next steps and don’t forget to say thank you. A thank you note via email or even by mail if appropriate is always appreciated. Be sure to reinforce how meaningful your meeting was and how much you value their time. This will make your future correspondence all the more personal and relatable going forward!