So, your client has requested a hand-delivered gift for the media. Believe it or not, there’s an art to making sure press material will be remembered and appreciated, rather than chucked aside.
Also known as a ‘media drop’, personally delivering press material in the form of a gift is meant to build a rapport with an editor or reporter.
Despite the good intentions here, there are a number of reasons why it might fail to get the job done or drive the objective your client has considered.
With keeping journalistic ethics in mind (remember, to many media folk there’s a fine line between a gift and bribery…) here is a solid plan of attack to ensure your media gift is accepted with enthusiasm.
1. Plan your assault
Before you begin, there are a few questions to ask when deciding on your gift of choice:
- What is the budget allocated and how do you fully maximise it?
- Does the gift give an essence of the business? What objective does it drive?
- How practical will it be for media?
- Will the gift travel well?
- Is it Instagram-able and social media friendly?
Having clear answers to these questions before delivering your gift will be the difference between creating a positive impression and being forgotten.
Then presentation is key. Would you prefer a gift that is properly wrapped or one that looks like a re-gifted fruitcake from a great aunt?
2. ATTACK! (But in the nicest way possible)
- Set up a time to drop in
Don’t call in on unsuspecting journalists unannounced, if you can help it. A simple phone call to make sure they’re in the office and establish an appropriate time to drop by is all it takes.
Apart from being polite, this also gives you a schedule to plan your route and make sure you’re maximising your time (and can avoid rushing and showing up sweaty and unpresentable.) If the item being delivered is time sensitive (e.g food), route planning makes it even more important and it may be a good idea to invest in proper packaging to ensure safe travels and freshness.
Timeliness is key to having your gift either brighten up someone’s day. Think about the best times to receive the gift if you were to be on the receiving end. For example, if it’s a sandwich, it would be great to receive it just in time for lunch, or when the 3.30pm munchies hit.
- Stop to chat
In my experience, it has always been beneficial to hand-deliver media gifts, as it allows me to have valuable face-to-face time with key media personnel. This is important for building relationships and ensuring they associate my face to the agency I work for.
According to Jane, our resident content manager and former journalist, conversation is key.
“To make sure they are not forgotten, you have to actually have a conversation with the journalist and tell them how the drop ties into the event, product launch, or whatever it may be about. It will be forgotten if you just drop off the stuff and peace out.”
3. Follow up!
The battle isn’t over once the last package is delivered. A round of follow-up is required, which can entail dropping your new media friends an email, checking social media to see if your drop gained any coverage, and then reporting back to the client.
Media drops aren’t just a matter of winning over journalists with gifts – it’s an important chance to make a lasting impression, which is crucial for us in the PR industry.
Need help with your PR strategy and media relations? Drop us a line at [email protected]