If there’s one MUST to doing good PR it’s making sure you follow up pitches to journalists.
Once a Springup PR colleague made 20 phone calls to one national media journalist to secure a result.
Journalists are, like all of us, strapped for time. Plus, they forget, go on holiday, forget again, and get sick. (By the way, if you want to find out if a targeted journalist is at work, check out their Twitter handle to see if it’s active)
Sometimes journalists have to be nudged…nudged…and again.
Word of warning here, though – only nudge journalists if you’ve a spot-on media pitch. If it’s not journalists will dislike you with intent. They’ll (rightly) feel you are wasting their time. And that’s me writing as a former journalist used to handling pushy PRs.
Recently we sent a key business journalist on the Daily Telegraph a fabulous pitch on behalf of a client.
We followed up via email. No response. Followed up again. No response. We telephoned. Now, it just so happened that this journalist did pick up her phone (many do not) and told us she had indeed received our pitch, and asked some probing questions. “OK, I’ll interview [the client]” she then said.
Good news. So we organised a time. But, for various reasons the interview did not happen. Bad news.
So we emailed the journalist again. No response. Telephoned her again to re-organise No response (see a pattern emerging here!)
But finally we got through to her and re-arranged the interview which went ahead.
Was it worth the persistence?
Definitely. A photo feature in the Daily Telegraph for the client was the end result (TV coverage came later)
Lesson to be learned/emphasised/digested = always follow up (provided you’ve a great ‘story’) + keep on following up.