How to turn a reporter’s ‘no’ into a ‘yes’

Pitching the press is fraught with rejection, but there are a few ways to lay the groundwork for future coverage.

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Rejection is par for the course in public relations.

During your career, editors, reporters and producers will tell you no. (That is, if you hear back at all, but that’s another post.)

Don’t take it personally; media outlets receive hundreds (if not thousands) of emails and phone calls daily. They can’t answer—or say yes—to everybody.

However, when you receive some initial interest that ultimately turns into a no, there are ways to keep the conversation going, build a relationship and even turn that no into future coverage.

1. Don’t let the rejection hang there.

Always follow up with the reporter, even if just to say thank you or inquire further.

Following up serves a few purposes. First, it can create a rapport with the journalist. The next time you pitch him, he may recognize your name and be more likely to open your email. Second, it provides an opportunity to ask additional questions, which leads to my next tip …

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