A media pitch effectively sells a story idea to a journalist and is often in the form of an email, though it can be pitched over the phone as well. The key is to know how to draft a winning media pitch.
So now you’ve come up with a great story idea, researched the publications and journalists to contact and sent the media pitch. Once it’s sent and is out of your hands, you patiently wait for a reply and nothing is happening…
Don’t worry it’s normal for this to occur. Remember journalists receive hundreds of emails and phone calls a day and unfortunately not all media pitches are investigated. That’s why it is important for you to make the effort and follow your pitch up. This is just as important as writing the media pitch itself.
Here are some handy tips on how to follow up a media pitch:
- Be calm – Wait between 2-3 days before contacting the journalist as they are most likely working on other stories. Allowing a few days will provide the journalist time to review their emails and gives you an opportunity to perfect your follow up pitch. It is a good idea to try contacting the journalist by phone first as it is more personable, and then contact by email if you cannot get in touch with them over the phone.
- Be polite – Even if you are getting annoyed that you have not heard back from a journalist, be polite. You make more friends with honey than vinegar; journalists have deadlines to meet so take that into account when talking to them on the phone or writing a follow up email. This is essential for good media relations.
- Keep it simple – It is good to keep it simple when emailing or calling a journalist. They are inherently time poor and it is more effective to get straight to the point, in a polite manner. One or two sentences are usually enough to simply state you are following up on an initial pitch sent through. Making a follow up phone call or sending polite and professional follow up emails will help to create a positive relationship with a journalist which can be an invaluable resource for your business or brand.
- Do the leg work – A good way to approach following up on a media pitch is to provide the journalist with further details about the story (if available). Generally speaking, the more research you provide such as links to research etc. the easier their job will be, meaning the journalist is more likely to get in contact.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep – If a journalist agrees to follow up your media pitch it is important to be prepared. If you have stated in your media pitch that you’re available for an interview make sure you are available. By failing to do this, the journalist might not look upon your next pitch favourably.
- Be prepared – If a journalist responds to your follow up phone call or email make sure you are ready with the story article or interview details to provide to them. The more efficient you are, the easier it is for the journalist, making it more likely your pitches will be followed up in future.
- Don’t take it personally – If you don’t get any interest from journalists, don’t take it personally. Take a step back and re-evaluate the story angle, could it be changed? Is there something in the news you can piggy back your story on? If you do update your story angle, research which publications and journalists to send it to, it may not be the same as the original one you sent.
Following up a media pitch is just as important as sending it in the first place. Sometimes it can mean the difference between getting media coverage for your business or not. Journalists are receiving hundreds of story ideas and articles daily so it is important to try and create an eye-catching and interesting initial pitch that appeals to the target audience. By doing this, you are more likely to have success when following up.
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.