Top tips for hosting an editor visit
Editor visits to your company are one of the best ways to build a good relationship with the media and generate opportunities for in-depth features.
We regularly organise editor visits to a company or factory on behalf of our clients, so here are our top tips for making sure that a visit goes as well as possible:
Book them well in advance Editors are busy people and you need to get a visit in their diary often many months in advance. The best way to do this is to find out when their press week is and avoid it at any cost – usually the second week of the month is best for a visit, but it does vary per publication. If making direct contact doesn’t work then the last resort is to contact them through their advertising manager and make it clear you value their help and are happy for them to come along too.
There needs to be a clear news angle for the visit An editor will not venture out of their warm, comfortable office into an unknown factory in the depths of wherever without being clear about a genuine news angle they will get from the visit. This news angle should not be product or sales focused. For example, there is no point asking them to visit you because you’re about to launch a new product range or because sales are flagging in a certain area. Your angle should be something topical, relevant to their readers and informative. For example, has the company invested in new technology? Has it created new jobs? Has it won a major order which has led to further investment? Has it developed anything? Has it won an award – for example, for sustainability and are they doing something really interesting and newsworthy here? All these could make interesting angles for the media to visit.
- Invite one editor at a time and give them an exclusive. It could cause an issue if you invite competing magazines and could lead to them not covering the story as each editor may wish to have an exclusive. The key to this is to offer the editor you invite an exclusive and make sure this appears in their magazine before you send it out to the rest. It’s a much better idea to invite one editor for a meeting and company tour rather than a whole host of magazines at the same time. The reason for this is that it gives you the opportunity to build a rapport with their publication and offer an exclusive, therefore achieving a higher level of coverage.
- Make it easy for them. Don’t set the time of the meeting too early if they have to travel up from London to the North, for example. Let them set the time and if they need an overnight stay, send them links to local hotels nearby and arrange it for them, if necessary. Always confirm the meeting a day or two before, emphasising how much the team are looking forward to meeting them.Make it easy for an editor to visit, by organising their transport, if they’re coming by train, if they intend to drive, then send them a map of how to access the site.
- Give them information beforehand Send the editor a briefing document before they arrive, giving an outline of new products, history of company, ownership, latest developments, key personnel, major milestones, details of any anniversaries. This will help to prompt them with meaningful questions and interesting angles to ask about at the visit.
- Don’t try to pull the wool It’s really important to get the timing of an editor visit right. Don’t invite an editor to visit if you have something to hide, for example, you’re just about to announce a number of redundancies and staff are really demotivated. Don’t invite them before a factory refurbishment when the plant may not be looking at its best. Also, make sure the Managing Director supports the visit and is available for a brief introduction or informal meeting, if the editor requests it.
- Confirm details about their requirements before Ask the editor beforehand what they would like to get out of the visit, how long they have to spend with you and who they would like to meet. Make sure that an itinerary is arranged and the key people are well briefed beforehand and available when required. Too often editor visits are jeopardised by someone not being in the right place at the right time.
- Follow up is vital Follow up with the Editor afterwards and your PR agency should send them press releases and photographs of the site. On many occasions, even after a visit, the editor has asked that we write the 1000-2500 word article instead of them – which isn’t a problem at all! It’s all about making their life easier, the end result is excellent media coverage for a low cost and the only investment usually is time.
For more information about organising and planning editor meetings or PR campaigns, contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01709 300130.