The Dos and Don’ts of Following up Your Email Pitch

You spent good time studying a handful of media representatives. You know what they like and you’ve created a press release pitch that you hope grabs their attention. After sending the pitch to your chosen media representatives and journalists you can sit back and rest – just wait for them to call you, right?

Absolutely not. The next step is to spend a little time crafting your follow-up. The work isn’t done until you’ve followed up with the journalist and made sure they are aware of who you are and what you’re about.

Do Remember that Media Reps are People Too

It’s easy to forget that a journalist is a person. To you they’re a means to an end. You want them to cover your story. However, media representatives also enjoy it when you know a bit about them. You probably customized your email pitch to them, so make sure to also customize your follow-up message as well.

Don’t Pester

The standard rule of thumb is to send one follow-up email to a journalist, or one follow-up phone call. However, in most cases you’ll have better luck if you send an email. Unless you know the journalist personally, email is usually more effective and efficient. Following up with a journalist more than once shows them a bit of disrespect. Think about how you feel if you get repeated emails from someone who is a bit impatient and doesn’t trust that you know how to respond to an email. Not great, right? One follow-up, no more.

Do Make Sure Your Follow-Up Email Gets to the Point Quickly

Make your follow-up email as brief and succinct as possible. You’ve already sent an email to the journalist that told your whole story and was more in-depth. Don’t repeat yourself. A well-crafted and succinct follow-up will usually get more attention and respect than another long-winded email. Succinct also shows that you respect their time and that your intention isn’t to pester; you simply would like to know if they’re interested in your story.

Don’t Get Too Friendly

It’s important that your email communications with the media representative are always professional. You’ve probably done enough research on the journalist to feel like you know them, but they don’t know you. Stick to the topic, don’t joke or try to win their favor by being overly friendly. It might work for some journalists, but in most cases it is more likely to backfire and make you look bad.

When emailing a journalist and following up on a pitch, keep it short and sweet. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you’d like to be treated. Chances are, you’d prefer a bit of professional respect and courtesy. If your story is interesting to them, they’ll follow up with you, guaranteed.

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