How to accomplish mission impossible? First of all, is there such a thing? I believe that impossible is nothing, though you might need whole bunch of necessary skills and willingness to use any means available to get things done. One evening my fellow stagiaire asked me whether I would like to accompany her at hunting down a certain English actor for an interview to the Facebook team. Let´s call this mission “HUNT FOR GRANT”. Here is what I have learnt while being her personal assistant…
Information is a KEY! You need to know where is “your object” going to be, who is he/she gonna be with, how you can get to him/her. Simply you need to know who you might contact to get other important information. Which brings me to #2…
Contacts, contacts, and again contacts…The more people you know the more people can help you. Yes, once again, we are talking about networking. Surely, this shouldn´t be overestimated. There are other means you could use, as well. Apart from that, sometimes it´s easier to tell than to do so. But it can eventually pay off.
Be online! All the time! Therefore you need to possess (or some of your dear friends who wouldn't mind lending these to you) smart phones, tablets, laptops or whatever with the connection to the web. Very essential, make sure you actually have access to the Wi-Fi network of the “venue”. Most of the time you'll find yourself on the phone talking to someone, texting, checking e-mails, reporting your team.
Ask questions, either about how you can get in touch with press officers, what is the programme gonna look like, or where you can meet, etc. It happens very often that assistants or “informed staff” of the event reveal information considered confidential. Who doesn´t ask will never find out.
Of course, don't forget your recorder and like a scout, be “always ready” to use it.
Don't let anybody stop you! Under no circumstances! Be it stressed press people of the subject in mind or tough security guard at Schulz's office.
Be cool! Don't let others know you might be confused or uncertain about actual development… Look and act self-confident.
Ask Pietro to come with you, unless he is already there with his super professional camera and super professional look. He might help you to enter rooms which doors would have been closed under other circumstances. Important is synergy effect of all your contacts – you know someone, he knows someone… His contacts are very very useful! He'll also help you with the backup plan if needed.
After you manage to get over every obstacle in your way and you are about to meet “the one” make sure you shake hands! I was surprised some don't do it anymore. I believe it leaves very good impression and you can actually touch the object of your chase :)
Last but not least, get yourself talented, charming and helpful assistant ;)