Why journalists should respond to PR pros’ emails

Reporters’ inboxes are constantly stuffed with story pitches and press releases, but one editor says replying can relieve a common complaint.

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Journalists have a serious communication problem.

We like to vent about bad PR practices, and sometimes it’s well-deserved. Yet every time I’ve turned the tables and asked PR pros what bugs them most about us, the answer is always the same: Journalists don’t answer their emails.

On one hand, it’s understandable. We get dozens, even hundreds, of new pitches every single day. Trying to keep up with the constant influx is a daunting task, even for the most organized journalists. I’ve often heard fellow reporters say that if they answered every email they received, they’d never get anything else done.

On the other hand, PR pros have a job to do, too. Every unanswered pitch leads to a frustrated client or boss demanding to know why they didn’t get the lead. That’s why those “annoying” second and third follow-up emails (and phone calls) keep coming in if reporters ignore a pitch: The PR rep needs to be able to say they tried.

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