Many businesses that are beginning to use PR campaigns often forget to follow up with journalists. Following up with journalists to ensure they see your press release should take up most of the time you allotted to pitching PR firms. It is important to remember that journalists often get more than a hundred emails every day. Emails often fall through the cracks. Don’t get discouraged if the journalists aren’t responding to your first inquiry. It doesn’t mean they are not interested in your press release. It only means they likely let your email slip through the cracks.
The follow-up email needs to become your favorite tool. There is a delicate dance between being persistent and advocating for your business or client and merely being a nuisance. It would help if you balanced writing follow up emails to journalists and knowing when they won’t respond. Here are a few of the top tips to ensure your follow up email gets read.
Wait Several Days Before Following Up
Don’t wait a full week before following up! However, it is also equally important not to follow up on the same day. Editors will forget your pitch if you wait more than a few days, but they will also get incredibly annoyed if you try emailing them every hour. Wait 2-3 days to give the editor time to respond to your email. They will also be able to remember your pitch if you send it 2-3 days after your initial pitch. You can also ensure everyone is updated on whether the pitch is working or not.
The Rule of One: One Email, One Phone Call
It is essential not to take the follow-up process to the extremes. No one will respond if you are always calling and emailing. Instead, stick to the rule of one. Only follow up with one email and one phone call. Most journalists will prefer email correspondence and often screen their calls, but you can always leave a voice message. Send a quick follow up email after you leave a message and then give the journalist time to respond.
Delete the Re: Create an Entirely New Email
When sending a follow-up email, it is vital to remove the “Re:” from the subject line. Many PR agents will use the reply to follow up, but it is not as effective as sending an entirely new email. It is more effective because there is a reason why the first email didn’t get a response. The same subject line will not be enough to intrigue the journalist into opening your email and responding.
Create a New Pitch
One of the best ways to follow-up on a pitch is to create an entirely new angle. Don’t waste time with the people who aren’t giving you any of their time! Make sure you are reaching out to new journalists with new pitches or new story ideas. Create more value and demonstrate your expertise to ensure they know what you bring to the table.