Financial service executives, strategists and rock star portfolio managers frequently get to New York City where the bulk of the financial media live and work. This can be a great opportunity to make introductions to key reporters. While getting busy leaders to take the time to meet with journalists or do in-studio broadcast interviews can be a challenge, it is a good investment that can generate meaningful coverage immediately and in months to come.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of a New York media tour:
- If you are traveling a long distance, plan to arrive the night before and keep an eye on the weather. Take it from a Midwesterner – snow or severe weather can disrupt hard-earned media opportunities.
- Take the time to prepare for broadcast opportunities and meetings with reporters. Identify something that you can bring to them that is unique or actionable. Lots of spokespeople want their time and attention and you want to make sure you stand out among that crowd.
- If your spokesperson is doing early morning broadcast interviews, CNBC and Bloomberg will send a car service. It’s a good idea, however, to schedule a hotel nearby – there are plenty of places to stay near Times Square for an early morning Squawk Box appearance or along 57th Street close to the Bloomberg headquarters. A five-minute walk can save precious time in the morning.
- Encourage your TV guests to get a good night’s sleep and avoid rich foods the night before. Many key broadcast opportunities require an early morning wake-up call. Eating a rich meal too late can make sleep difficult or leave a pit in your stomach the next morning. Instead, encourage TV spokespeople to grab a light snack and coffee to keep up their energy and focus.
- Arrive 20-30 minutes early for broadcast interviews for makeup and to get miked up. Allow a minute or two for interview subjects to collect their thoughts; rushing in at the last minute can make it harder to think clearly.
- Turn off phones before any interview. Better yet, leave them in a briefcase.
- Allow enough time between meetings. In fact, plan for meetings to run long. While it is often possible to walk between meetings in Manhattan, a little bit of snow or rain will make it tough to schlep around.
- Spokespeople are busy and often want to group multiple interviews over the course of a day or two while at the same time juggling other meetings. If you begin with an early morning broadcast session and schedule additional interviews throughout the day between client or prospect meetings, at some point it becomes ineffective – or worst – counterproductive. Build in a few breaks and be realistic about the number of interviews you can stay sharp for.
- While you may have several weeks to plan, invariably schedules won’t come together until the last minute. Broadcast interviews, in particular, are hard to schedule more than a week out given the breaking news nature of the media. And it isn’t uncommon for interviews to be bumped when the Treasury Secretary makes an unexpected announcement or a major corporation defaults on their debt. Don’t take it personally. That said, many of the highly watched or listened to broadcast opportunities are either early in the day or at market close. Schedule your other meetings for late morning or early afternoon to protect the beginning of the day, midday or market close for broadcast interviews.
- Think strategically about the location of meetings and interviews to bunch together meetings and reduce travel time. If you have meetings downtown in the financial district, schedule them early or late in the day. To be safe, allow at least 45 minutes for a taxi – or better yet take the subway.
- If your spokesperson plans a last-minute trip, that can sometimes work to your advantage. Try a few key contacts or broadcast venues and you may be able to slot in a meeting or two.
- Most media organizations require you to register. Bring photo identification and allow a few extra minutes for in-person meetings. Don’t forget your business cards and bring along a recent report or background information to leave behind.
- Do a recap of your media meetings when you return home. Some trips result in immediate coverage, but other stories may take more time. It may even take a few months for a reporter to circle back to a subject your expert discussed in an introductory meeting. Make note of reporters’ specific areas of interest. Be sure to follow up with any data or reports that might be helpful.
Making the trip to do in-person meetings and interviews is one of the most productive ways to generate exposure for key spokespeople at major financial news organizations. These meetings are worth the time as they will help you build media relationships that should lead to future stories.