PR Perspectives: Long Live the Desk Side (or the Bar Side)!
“What the hell is a desk side?” you may ask
Most PR professionals of the digital era may have no clue. Back in the (dark?) days before the Internet, publicists would schedule desk side meetings with editors. It was also before the era of standing desks and open space planning, so people could actually sit side-by-side or across the desk or table from each other. The publicist talked (like with his or her mouth, not an e-mail or text or tweet) about her/his clients and the editor provided direct feedback on whether the story might be a fit for the media outlet.
This week, a PR professional (Andrea Pass of Marketing Maven PR) reached out to me through a Facebook group (founded by PR connector Jennifer Demarchi of Czardom)and invited me out for a drink with a couple of members of her team. She picked a great venue and even ordered up some appies (because she knew that everyone likes free food). But it wasn’t the booze and fish tacos that wowed me. The fact that she took the time to meet with me LIVE and tell me about her clients was the real treat. She wanted to understand exactly what my “beats” were and whether any of her current clients would fit with stories I’m working on or considering.
I’m hardly a big-name editor. I contribute to HuffPost and write for Nightclub & Bar. In addition to this site, I publish three others — Embrace the Machine (my newest), bleisureliving, and sheBOOM. But I have a following of 20k+ readers and I’m always looking for great, quirky, relevant stories.
I sometimes feel that the art of engaging a writer in a conversation, getting to know him/her, and recommending stories and trends that meet her needs is a dying one. More likely, I’m deluged with pitches from people who haven’t even taken the time to glance at my articles or sites.
So, thank you Andrea for reminding me of the good ol’ days of PR. You inspired me to schedule weekly desk sides — via Google Hang or Skype, because I don’t always sit at a desk or a bar. And, rather than sending you a personal handwritten thank you note or e-mail, I’m dedicating this 400-word blog to you! That’s a lot of ink, as we used to say.
P.S. Kudos to Jono Waks too! He met with me IN PERSON, gifted me with samples of a client’s shoe wipes (always useful and totally suitable for sheBOOM coverage), and chatted with me about his clients and a great fundraising event he’s producing for Joy Behar.