When Attending Advertising Week, Remember It’s Not About Self-Promotion

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As the advertising and marketing industry gathers in NYC on September 23 for Advertising Week, many agency and brand executives as well as publicists are looking to meet the press and get press.

With this in mind, my advice to Advertising Week attendees is to remember it’s not all about self-promotion.

Bumping into a reporter

When you see a press person wandering through the AMC Lincoln Square venue, sure, it’s a great idea to go up and say hi. But what happens next is key.

Don’t dive into a sales pitch on what you and your company are doing. Instead, ask the reporter what they are working on and what they are looking to get out of Advertising Week. Are they attending or hosting any specific panels? What’s on their to do list? Who do they want to meet?

If the reporter says they’re focused on discovering new ad tech trends and that happens to be your area of expertise then by all means let them know that. However, if it’s not your expertise, it’s best to say, “I’ll keep that in mind and share any tips I hear about while attending seminars and events throughout the week.”

Attend a panel hosted by a reporter

Another great way to build relationships with the press at Advertising Week is to attend a panel they are moderating.

Campaign’s Lindsay Stein, for example, is hosting a must-see panel on Thursday, September 26 at 10:15 am, called “Path Pavers: A Candid Conversation with the Women Shaping Heavyweight Brands.”  Some of the marquee names on the panel include Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s Heather Malenshek, Hershey Food’s CMO Jill Baskin, JP Morgan’s Chase’s Chief Brand Officer Leanne Fremar, and Droga5’s Global and NY CEO Sarah Thompson.

When you attend the panel, make sure to share about it on social media and tag Stein as well as the other panelists. Once the panel is complete, go up to Stein and share a brief incite you gathered from the panel – and exchange info.

There will probably be a long line to meet Stein – hardly the time to make a self-promotional pitch – so you may only have time to say hello and move on.

Follow up after the event

Looking to make a more lasting connection with your new found media contacts? Follow up with an email or text.  You can also follow them on their various social media channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, I recommend on an ongoing basis sharing articles written by reporters that resonate with you and would be appreciated by your network.

Final thoughts

Industry events like Advertising Week are a great opportunity to meet the press live and in-person. To make the most of these exchanges, remember it’s not about you when you connect with a reporter – it’s about helping them get the best stories. Focus on establishing an authentic connection, and you can expect to leave with a more robust network than you started with at the beginning of Advertising Week.

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