February 22, 2016
It’s that time of year again. The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is hosting its annual conference and exhibition in Las Vegas on February 29-March 4. As a specialized healthcare agency, we have about a dozen clients attending, presenting and/or exhibiting. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty busy time of year for us at Aria. In fact, we call the crazed weeks leading up to the show HIMSSanity.
Countless hours go into pitching the media, whether it be by way of email, phone or social channels. With over a decade of experience, our proven media relations abilities ensure our clients have an impressive lineup of only the most strategic press and analyst meetings. Below are the top five tips we’ve identified as the most critical to ensuring rock star results:
- Know your pitch. This is probably the #1 tip for phone outreach as you only have a minute or two to convey the most compelling elements, and you may even be pitching more than one client. Plus, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, journos will pick up on that pretty quickly and you’ll lose credibility.
- Know your audience. You’ve heard this one before, but it can’t be overstated. Research what reporters cover, learn their interests, and tailor your pitches accordingly. They’ll appreciate that you’re not including them on a mass email blast and be more willing to hear you out.
- Be ready to lock it in. When you secure a reporter’s interest in meeting with your client, there’s nothing worse than losing the opportunity because you aren’t prepared to nail it down on the calendar right then and there. Have your client’s up-to-date schedule handy to ensure you’re always primed to bring the meeting home.
- Don’t take the first “no” as an answer. It’s PR and there’s some selling involved, so don’t be defeated so easily. If you’ve taken note of the first three tips, you’re in a position to push a little. Sometimes offering a shorter time slot or a phone conversation pre- or post-show is all it takes. You can also leverage relevant company news to your advantage as an excuse to follow up.
- Confirm. So you’ve secured a press meeting and have it on the calendar, but the conference is still a couple of weeks away. In this scenario, it makes sense to confirm a few days out from the event that the reporter is still game. This shows you’re mindful of everyone’s time and avoids an awkward situation onsite of waiting for a reporter who isn’t coming.
These tips just scratch the surface of what it takes to ensure a successful HIMSS event. Be sure to check back here, or on our Twitter @AriaMarketing, for more HIMSSanity updates from the team.