The Importance of Follow up in PR

When sending pitch emails to journalists, it’s imperative that you follow up with a phone call, as these types of messages do not always arrive at their appropriate destinations.  This is particularly important when you are sending the pitch email to a specific reporter that is interested in covering that story, or covers that particular beat.

Email subject lines need to be kept concise and specific, lowering the risk of your email getting caught by a journalist’s spam filter.  Email tracking can let you know if your email was opened, if it went to spam, and even which links were clicked.  This can eliminate or at least reduce the need for follow-up calls to every journalist you send your pitch to.

When the story you are pitching is time-sensitive, it’s perfectly okay to follow up with the reporter right after sending the email.  However, it’s important not to be too pushy when following up.  You can risk alienating a reporter/editor who otherwise would have covered your client’s story.  A good tip for doing this is to leave an important piece of information out of your initial pitch, prompting you to call the reporter.  You will be calling not only to say “Did you get my email?”, but letting the reporter know an important fact that’s crucial to the story.

If you have a pre-established relationship with the reporter you can follow up with them through your mutual social networking sites (i.e. – Twitter, Facebook).  Relationships with each reporter are going to be different so it’s really a judgment call when determining the best method for follow up.  It’s important to keep your follow-up short and to the point over the phone, as reporters are constantly being bombarded with story pitches.

-Kristine Bruner