While Web 2.0 communications is becoming more prevalent today, nothing can replace good face-to-face meetings with journalists to help you to forge relationships and earn media coverage. Russo Partners’ New York City base enables PR team members to coordinate multiple media meetings for clients as part of executives’ trips to the Big Apple for participation in conferences and investor meetings. For our agency, the relationships run long and deep, extending in many cases more than 20 years.
Earlier this week, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research’s president and CEO, Dr. John Reed, and vice president of communications, Andrea Moser, hit the streets of Manhattan for a full slate of meetings with top science editors and writers. The purpose of the meetings was nothing more than to bring the journalists up to speed on the bicoastal research institute’s programs and to point to the sources at Burnham with whom the journalists could work regularly.
The first stop: Newsweek’s offices in midtown, where Dr. Reed discussed several Burnham programs with Sharon Begley, the publication’s senior science editor. Topics covered included the diabetes research underway at Burnham’s Lake Nona, Fla., campus, the challenges of navigating the NIH roadmap to translate discoveries into cures and the many aspects of stem cells, which are the prominent focus of a Burnham research program in La Jolla, Calif. From this meeting, Burnham is poised to be an active participant in further discussion with Sharon — as well as the featured providers of news in Sharon’s online and print work.
The second stop: A restaurant in the financial district, where a lunch-time discussion with The Wall Street Journal’s Ron Winslow, deputy bureau chief, health and science, focused on Burnham’s regenerative medicine work as well as the cardiology expertise of Burnham faculty members. Ron’s message was to keep the Burnham news coming so he could connect with faculty members frequently for articles in their areas of expertise. Furthermore, Ron agreed that a tour of Burnham’s La Jolla campus would be an important stop on his next West Coast swing.
The third stop: AP’s international headquarters. Following a brief tour of the bustling newsroom led by Science Writer Malcolm Ritter, Dr. Reed provided an overview of Burnham and honed in on areas that piqued Malcom’s interest. In addition to stem cell research, Dr. Reed introduced information about Parkinson’s research and other initiatives led by Burnham faculty members. Malcolm expressed his interest in receiving frequent Burnham updates along with the latest contact information sheet for the institute’s “experts.”
The day was marked as a success by Burnham’s management. Through a one-two-three punch, Russo Partners and the Burnhamites efficiently opened doors for the institute to well-respected journalists with high-profile media outlets. Furthermore, this day in New York City built upon a previous day of media meetings, established a platform for future meeting days in New York City on at least a quarterly basis and furthered Burnham’s PR mission.