Follow up right with journalists: 5 golden rules

Often it isn’t your pitch that maddens a reporter, it’s the follow-up that triggers a red, angry face and yelled expletives. Here are tips on the art of the gentle reminder.

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You have the perfect pitch for a big-name journalist at a blog or media outlet with a huge national following. This story would be perfect for the audience and your client has provided awesome photos for the pitch. The problem is, this journalist won’t get back to you.

We’ve all been there. There’s nothing as frustrating as radio silence on the other end after sending a terrific pitch. If you really want your story out there, you have to follow up.

Here are the five rules of circling back on a pitch—if you want your story to be published.

1. Be nice. Sounds obvious, right? The cliché “you catch more flies with honey” was coined for a reason. But you wouldn’t believe how many PR types get downright nasty when a journalist doesn’t get back to them right away. Yes, it’s maddening to be ignored. But don’t get snappy, mean or offended when someone doesn’t reply. Instead:

Journalists will not be bullied into printing your piece. They’ll be so annoyed that they will file all future pitches from you and your client in the trash.

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