What’s Trending: A Chance Encounter in an Elevator – It’s a Good Thing

banner-martha-forest-04One morning, after a recent deskside briefing, I opened up my email and screamed.

Not the scream of someone facing images best left on a cell phone. No. It was the scream of a PR pro receiving the Holy Grail of the Home & Fashion world:  a personal thank you note from Martha Stewart. THE Martha Stewart. The QUEEN of charm and DIY and breathtaking gardens. The woman who knows how to fold French linen that I can’t even pronounce.

And did I say it was personal, addressed to me? Just me?

How did I end up on the receiving end of something typically reserved for fashionistas and president’s wives? Well, that’s the mundane story of putting our clients in the right place at the right time—and hitting all of the Lotto numbers right.

Although online content has certainly carved up the magazine landscape, one ritual in PR has survived: the deskside briefing. All of the social and digital media in the world has yet to replace the benefits of a simple, face-to-face meeting with an editor.

Our MAXComPR team books the appointments, designs the look books, schedules the drivers, and then, like the loyal Sherpas of Mt. Everest, we lug our clients’ product up to the top floors of the premier publishers: Vanity Fair, Vogue, Real Simple. You name it — shoes, outerwear, holiday gifts, gardening tools — we’ve lugged it.

Exciting things can happen in the elevator before a deskside briefing. Like the time John F. Kennedy Jr. held the door open for me (my knees went weak). In this particular case, my client and her team stepped into an elevator along with a mountain of taffeta and silk dresses worthy of Royalty. Suddenly a voice from the back of the elevator asked, “Where did you get those? I have to have one!” My client turned her head to see Martha Stewart, up close and personal.

They chatted, made some plans, and the next thing I know, I have this lovely email, a gift, a prize, a trophy–no wait–a thank you note for the ages.

Well, okay, so Martha didn’t have my client’s email address and did the next best thing and sent it to me. I, of course, immediately forwarded it to my client. I kept my fist-pumping to myself and several hundred of my close, personal friends, family, acquaintances and that guy who was walking past my office. He seemed very happy for me.

Afterward, I had to do something to make it feel real. Instinctively, I hit the print button and sat back and stared at the gleaming black words on my crisp white stationary. I get giddy every time I look at it, which is often.

Because despite countless Twitter parties, Facebook giveaways, YouTube views, and analytics galore, it’s the personal encounter that makes a difference. Deskside briefing: It’s a good thing.

–Anna Schryver