Last week I accompanied a client at the MIT CIO Symposium event in Cambridge, MA. The event drew more than 800 participants from the high-tech industry as well as 50 relevant journalists. Everyone who has attended these types of events in the past understands that it can be difficult to schedule face time because participants have their own agenda. Luckily with some persistence, the client was able to meet with a handful of key journalists that can really make a difference with upcoming product launches and overall company exposure.
Why I am sharing this? Because I’d almost forgotten how important real conversations, in real time, in real rooms, can be. I was reminded that nothing can take the place of face-to-face meetings. With all of today’s methods of communicating (email, facebook, twitter, etc.), in-person meetings are the key ingredient in establishing relationships and an essential part of being productive. Since we’re all distracted by emails, texting and tweeting, sitting down with new and old faces, in my opinion, is more important now than ever before in this tech-driven society. To have my client meet with the writers who cover their industry and to have the journalists understand my client’s business model is essential to their PR program. It was also so refreshing as a PR person to sit in a room and actually listen -no typing, no reading, no tweeting.
After spending the entire day with my client, I too had a deeper sense of who they were, how they operate and who they are as individuals – all of which will make me more productive in working on their PR campaign and a key component in building a long-term relationship. Time well spent.
(And for readers wondering if any media opportunities were secured during these meetings, the answer is yes. All five meetings will be result in some ink).