Why 95 percent of pitches get no interest

The author explains why so many cold solicitations for coverage fall flat—and how you can improve your chances for success.

Ragan Insider Content

Reporters get tons of cold pitches from PR reps.

If you’ve ever wondered why a journalist isn’t responding to your email or why you can’t seem to land coverage for your clients at a certain publication, you can blame the dozens of other PR pros pitching that same journalist in any given week.

I’m not exaggerating. Two years ago, I tracked my inbox for a week to see how many pitches I received.

The final number was 116, or an average of 23 per workday. This number did not include newswire subscriptions, email blasts, follow-ups, “check-ins” or any internal emails-just straight-up, cold pitches, direct from a PR rep.

I recently tackled this project again to see whether anything had changed.

The result? I got 131 pitches, or 26 per day on average. Guess how many I used? Seven.

That’s right: Of the 131 surveys, byline proposals and story ideas that landed in my inbox that week, I used a whopping seven of them.

That’s just above 5 percent, which means I rejected almost 95 percent of the pitches I received.

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