If you’re anything like the millions of women (or men who have had to suffer through conversations about it) who have read the bestselling dating book or the star-filled movie, you know the basic premise of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’: contemplations of what guys really mean by their actions (or lack thereof).
How can this mentality be applied to media relations?
Easy. It’s the same basic premise—if they’re not calling you or returning your calls, they’re not interested.
Here are some warnings signs that it’s time to re-evaluate your media relationships:
They’re just not that into you if… they never respond back to you. Seems pretty logical, right? Circling back or touching base with a reporter for the fifth time probably won’t suddenly catch their attention. Your email probably didn’t get accidentally sent to spam; more like purposely deleted.
They’re just not that into you if… they don’t remember your name.Yes, reporters are really busy and may need a reminder from time to time, but if you have a relationship with them, they shouldn’t stumble on who you are.
They’re just not that into you if… they tune you out. The key to a great pitch is brevity. Keep it simple. Recognize that you value their time and establish the reason why you are contacting them from the start. Don’t make them search for it. Summarize your point with a few bullets that may interest them.
They’re just not that into you if… they don’t see the connection. Don’t try to force a hook. If your company sells paper clips and just came out with a study about them, it’s probably not a good fit for a reporter covering local libraries (but creativity counts for something!).
Most importantly, don’t get too discouraged if you haven’t had any luck with a particular reporter. Building relationships takes time. Do your homework, be relevant, become a valuable resource (even if you aren’t the one that ends up being quoted), be accessible and most important—don’t take it personally.
We would all like the cover story. But by building relationships now, the reporter is much more likely to take your call or respond to your email when you’ve got a story to tell.