Tips for Editorial Board Meetings
Boston-based PR agency Rasky Baerlein’s meeting with the Boston Globe’s editorial board over client Zoo New England’s budget cuts resulted in neutral to positive editorial coverage that helped sway the legislature. Here are some tips from Justine Griffin, SVP at Rasky Baerlein, on how to prepare for and what to expect at an editorial board meeting:
• Make your request for the meeting early. “The worst is when a major outlet editorializes against you on an issue without even talking to you,” says Griffin.
• Any number of board members will attend the meeting, sometimes joined by reporters and/or columnists who have been covering the subject. “On the client side, no entourages,” says Griffin.
• Let the client talk. “Editorial boards don’t want to hear from what they consider to be the hired guns,” says Griffin. “Therefore, when we bring a client in, we do the setup and then we shut up.”
• Meeting formats vary. “Sometimes boards let you make a presentation, and sometimes they jump right to Q&A,” says Griffin. “Expect the meeting to last an hour, and all conversation will be on the record.”