"Desksides", aka face-to-face meeting with magazine editors, not only increase your chances of getting press but often lead to long term relationships with members of the media, which in turn leads to even more press. Every year thousands of small biz owners put a lot of time and effort into landing them and preparing for them, but on the big day they're thrown off by some moments that were definitely not in their plans. Be sure you aren't caught by surprise or unprepared when the following moments happen (because they probably will)...
When you're done, if these tips made you think, "Oh heck yes my biz needs a deskside appointment pronto to share my story/product/service in real life, be sure you sign up for this week's live webinar on deskside appointments.
Now onto your "this may happen to you so be prepared" list:
The magazine editor will discuss their latest issue, article or a specific section of the magazine with you and will assume you've read it.
Don't be that person who forgets, "doesn't have time for" or doesn't make time to thoroughly read the past couple issues of the magazine you're meeting with in your deskside. Not only will you get to see the editor's past work (and can comment on it intelligently), but you'll also get to see the flow and vibe of the magazine, get ideas for sections your story can fit into, and will not feel panicked (or look unprepared) when they mention it and your mind goes blank. For instance, if you're an accessories designer and the editor you're meeting with talks about the new layout of their "new designers" section, you best be sure you've read it, remember it and have something to say about it.
Though people tend to stress how important it is that you show them how aware you are of their magazine, I think it's also essential for your own peace of mind and confidence to feel like you really know and are in touch with the magazine you're having an actual meeting with. It may take an hour or two out of your day, but it's well worth it! And it's highly likely they will mention it!
Be Aware There Will Be Photos.
It's rare that I'm ever at a deskside talking about products during which the editor, assistant or reporter I"m in the meeting with doesn't take out his or her camera (or phone) and take photos. I've also been in meetings with service providers and experts during which they take photos as well. What does this mean? Be prepared, be sure your products are in tip top shape, be sure your packaging looks nice and presentable, be sure YOU look presentable (even if you aren't an expert and don't expect a photo, you never know...). I often think that desksides are more than meetings, they're auditions. You and your products are auditioning and there will most likely be photos. Be sure you and everything you bring along looks the part!
They May Invite Other Editors to Come Along.
I get it. Talking about yourself and your business to one person you have never met before is hard enough. Now I'm telling you there may be more, unannounced people joining your deskside appointment? That's right. And, that's good! Sometimes editors or reporters think more than one person at their outlet (magazine) may find you or your business interesting, and they'll invite them along. See this as one (or two, or three) more people to share your story and brand with. This is definitely a case of "the more the merrier" - not only will it increase your chances of getting in the publication, but as those extra deskside attendees continue working and perhaps move to other magazines, your reach grows! So when you see extra people file in: take a deep breath, smile and get excited about the chance to share your message and story with even more interested ears and eyes!
They will ask you to contribute to an article on the spot.
Yes that's right. These editors have editorial calendars and they know what stories are coming up. They may have something in mind already for you when you come in, they may get inspired by your deskside conversation and want to pull you into a story they hadn't thought of using you for prior to meeting you, or (and I've seen this happen more than once), they may decide to write a story inspired by your expertise, tips, story or business. What does this mean? Always be prepared, rested (so you and your brain are "on") and have a few potential story ideas or tips ready to offer them if the chance comes up!
And That's Just the Start...There's MORE
True story: these are just four of several other "be prepared for this" moments in an all important deskside. The good news is if you expect and prepare for them, you can easily knock them and the entire meeting out of the ballpark and you know what that means: press!!! Relationships with the press! A good feeling of accomplishment!
Get this scoop, get your questions answered and all the other golden PR nuggets you need to land and ace a deskside appointment in this live webinar!