My Agency

Pitching the Media

The public relations business is tough. One tactic we conduct daily is “pitching the media” or what many people may call “follow up.”

We develop a newsworthy story idea and then send multiple emails and tweets to the media in the hopes that one, two, maybe even three media outlets will positively respond.

I love strategizing with my clients and coming up with powerful, compelling messages and then talking about these ideas with the media.  Most of the time, we have amazing experiences.  We’re there to help be a resource for the media.

However, sometimes things go sour.  The other day, I was sending out some pitch emails to a variety of media outlets. I got a response back from a woman who worked at a major publication for a long time. She wrote me after I sent her a pitch. Since I accidentally didn’t capitalize the word “Caucasian,” she got angry at me.

I wrote her back and apologized for the typo. She didn’t answer me.

I followed up with her several times after that, but nothing.  I guess I have to make sure to have a typo the next time I email her in order for her to respond…

Lisa Gordon, our Executive Vice President, recently experienced something similar. She followed up once with the reporter.  The reporter never responded.

She followed up again.  The reporter still didn’t respond.

The third time she followed up, she received this:

“No, I’m not interested, if I were I would have responded to your first or second inquiry.”

She thanked the reporter and the reporter’s response was:

“Sorry to be snappish, it’s been a rough week. But, generally speaking, if someone doesn’t answer the second time they’re not interested!”

I always thought if someone didn’t respond, he/she either didn’t see the “pitch” or he/she was just too busy.

I know that reporters and producers are busy.  I’m busy.  I appreciate that.  Since my blog has reached a certain level, I’ve been getting pitched myself.  I tend to ignore things that don’t interest me too, but I try not to get snappy with the publicists.

When reporters respond positively to our “pitches,” it makes it all worth it.  It makes us feel proud of who we are and what we do for our clients.  It gives us a reason to keep “pitching!”


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2 thoughts on “Pitching the Media

  1. Completely agree, Hilary! I think the unspoken standard that no reply means “not interested” needs to change. This time of fast technological advances requires even more conscious effort to remain kind and respectful. Acknowledging someone’s attempt to reach us is the minimum we can do if we want to keep our personal brand strong and feel connected to humanity.

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