You’ve got an intriguing pitch and you’ve put a lot into creating an attention-grabbing angle. Then, no response from your media contact. You got a read receipt, but then… crickets. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes, your pitch gets lost in somebody’s email; other times, it may not be of interest to your contact. So, what do you do now? Here are a few suggestions on how to follow-up on a pitch and secure placement for your client without being pushy.
Email Follow Up
Let’s be honest – have there been times when you’ve read an email and put off responding in favor of a deadline or client meeting? Then, maybe you forget to reply, and that email gets buried in your inbox? Chances are if it’s happened to you, it happens to other people too! Give your media contact the benefit of the doubt and just send a friendly follow up. This could be an honest mistake that wound up at the bottom of their to-do pile.
A quick email checking in on their interest could possibly remind them that you have this great story for them! It also gives them the opportunity to save face by just responding to your follow up. Remember to be kind in your follow up and keep it short. They don’t need the pitch again if you’re forwarding the original email.
Pick up the Phone
Picking up the phone is underrated. What better way to connect with someone than to actually connect in real time? Give your contact a quick call and see what’s going on. Are they interested and haven’t had a chance to reply? Do they feel this isn’t the right fit for their outlet? Maybe your email went to spam and they have no idea you’re even reaching out with a story. You won’t know until you touch base, and a quick phone call can answer your questions in a few moments. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to build a personal relationship with your media contact. Ideally, they’ll want your story, but if not you’ve had some one-on-one time, so maybe you’ll be able leverage your budding relationship on the next pitch.
Is this pitch not exactly what they need? That’s okay! Ask what they need. Maybe you can offer a change in perspective on the current story. A new approach might be just the feature they need. Or, as well written as your pitch may be, maybe it missed the mark in their eyes. If you’re open to their feedback, not only do you get a second chance to pitch a new angle, but you strengthen your relationship with the contact, letting them know you’re open to working with them to offer them precisely what they need. The bottom line is we want good coverage for our clients, and sometimes that means taking feedback and reimagining the story.
Don’t Give Up
It’s important not to give up and to keep a positive attitude when pitching. Not every outlet will pick up your story every time. Keep following up via email and phone, and always remember to be patient and kind. A media contact that feels like you’re trying to help them, are open to feedback and working within their needs is more likely to not only pick up this story, but other stories in the future. Now, get to pitching!