For companies that want to join the conversation and elevate their brand, traveling to D.C. for an influencer tour to meet with thought leaders and industry advocates can be both informative and mutually beneficial. A CEO who sets aside a couple of days for face-to-face meetings in D.C. can yield significant long-term results.
RH Strategic recently organized a successful D.C. influencer tour for a healthcare client that included meetings with Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Brookings, Forbes, Kaiser Health News, HIMSS and Deloitte.
When planning an influencer tour, here are the types of meetings you should consider:
Meet with leaders from industry associations that your company belongs to. This serves as a great opportunity to present relevant issues, both policy and non-policy, in person. Ask how your company can be a more visible member, whether it be through joining conferences, events or committees. Additionally, meet with associations your company does not belong to. These can help give your company a more well-rounded understanding of your industry and give you access to new audience segments.
During our client’s recent tour, we met with MGMA, an association whose vast member base includes potential customers for our client.
Being in D.C. presents an opportunity to connect with top scholars at renowned think tanks. These industry experts can provide your company with helpful insight as well as an opportunity for you to let them know the great things you are doing. Ask them about upcoming policy issues, and learn about potential partnerships between your organizations, such as engaging in research opportunities or attending future events as a panelist.
For example, we met the head of Brookings’ Center for Health Policy, and were able to provide him with specific knowledge about our client’s industry that he hadn’t previously known.
Face-to-face meetings with reporters can strengthen existing relationships. If you establish yourself as an expert in your field, your organization will be top of mind next time the reporter needs a quote or an opinion on breaking news or industry trends. Learn about what stories are in the pipeline and ask how you can be of help or lend expertise.
During our meeting with Forbes, we talked about future healthcare trends and set the foundation for the reporter to reach out to us in the future for relevant stories.
It’s valuable to gain perspective from people in the field who have worked with and consulted for a multitude of clients within your industry. Ask about potentially partnering on future research opportunities.
We set up several meetings for our client with consulting firms to discuss potential partnerships centered around research and data.
Let us help you organize your own D.C. influencer tour. Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @RHStrategic with the hashtag #RHetoricBlog.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare.