The art of the perfect follow-up

Your press release email didn’t bounce back as undeliverable, but you’re not getting any response. Here’s how to follow up and, more important, how to proceed before you do so.

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You’ve emailed your press release to your list of targeted journalists—not mass-blasted, but sent to a carefully built list of only those who would find this particular release news of interest.

Your news is obviously the best thing since sliced bread, so you are baffled why they aren’t knocking your (virtual) door down in their haste to cover your story.

What the heck? Now what?

How to follow up with journalists once you’ve distributed a press release is something most of us learn through trial and many, many errors.

It is a skill rarely taught in-house at agencies or employers. So we learn by getting blasted with journalist ire for screwing up and, for the more progressive thinkers, by asking for help from our peers, by reading about best practices, and by constant testing to see what drives improvement:

I can tell you how many times I usually follow up: I don’t.

Not always. It depends on what kind of news I’m announcing in the press release. A fair number are corporate news items that do not require follow-up, so why waste everyone’s time?

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