Working with journalists takes skill, patience, speed and creativity, and it takes years to master.
Pitching is one of the most difficult things to do, because it takes a careful combination of those four attributes—along with a bit of luck.
After you’ve worked at media relations awhile, you understand the process and the nuances. You have ups and downs, build relationships along the way, gain expertise and discover patterns.
Here are seven ways journalists respond to pitches—if they respond at all:
1. “Sure, that works.” You have an expert in town who’s looking to build relationships with beat reporters or those who cover his or her field. You identify the reporters who are most relevant and receive the confirmations. It’s a win/win situation: You’re building relationships and helping reporters to source stories.
2. “No, thanks.” You pitch a reporter and he/she acknowledges your email, but the timing is off. Not bad.