Editor previews are an important component for any public relations professional working with fashion, lifestyle or consumer goods clients. It’s a way to connect with media in person while showcasing your client’s latest products and collect valuable insight into what resonates with the press. Editor previews can incur a significant financial and resource investment, so it’s important to make sure that your next event is set up to maximize your ROI.
Choose a media-friendly venue
If your agency, client or brand has a showroom, that can be a great environment for a press event for several reasons. Not only is an existing showroom budget-friendly, but it also provides a setting that helps tell a brand story for your client. If an existing showroom is not an option, then a chic hotel or restaurant can also be a suitable location for a press preview. But remember, just like in real estate, location is everything. While you might be able to find something more affordable in a suburb or fringe neighborhood, you want to find a place that is in a convenient geographical location for the press you’re targeting.
Offer flexible attendance
If no one shows up to your preview, your hard work will be for naught. An editor preview can be run like an open house, or private, one-on-one appointments. Depending on your selection of brands, a cocktail party or a seated meal might be just the ticket. Consider opening up a variety of options to maximize attendance.
Practice your pitch
You and your team need to be on your game 100% – both in terms of knowing each editor by name and beat, as well as the ins and outs of each client you are representing. Make sure you’re fully versed and educated on the collections you’re presenting, and prepare talking points for different types of media. Brush up on the designer’s inspiration, retail availability, pricing, company history and any other information that might be relevant to press you’re targeting.
Create A Social Media Moment
There are many ways to encourage social media engagement at an editor preview. For example, you can incorporate a hashtag into the decor or create the perfect Instagram photo opportunity. Snapchat geo-filters are now easy and affordable to design and implement.
Think like a reporter
While it can be awkward to take notes during a conversation with a chief editor, make an effort to jot down some notes after each meeting or appointment. Depending on how many editors attend your preview, your memories could blur together by the end of the event. Take note of each publication’s favorite pieces and any feedback they provided about the collections presented. Also keep track of any upcoming stories the editors are working on. After the preview is over, organize your notes and pay particular attention to anyone who requested high-resolution images and samples.
Once you’ve hosted a successful press day, the goal should be generating media coverage based on the feedback you received from editors. Follow up with everyone who attended and make sure they receive your press materials and lookbooks. Prioritize anyone who requested specific samples and/or images for an immediate story and make sure you deliver on any promises made during your preview. Look through your notes and write highly-personable follow-up emails or thank you cards to all attendees.