Why that journalist isn’t responding to you

Yes or no. Why don’t they just respond to me?

That’s one of the top complaints PR people have about journalists and it’s no wonder. We all hate to be ignored. Why can’t they just send an email telling you whether they are interested or not. It just takes a few seconds, right?

A lot of journalists, me included, receive more than 300 emails a day. Another thing to remember is that most journalists are working with constant deadlines. They have to remain focused on meeting those deadlines. And that can mean less time to respond to pitches such as yours.

This was a hard reality for me to swallow. I was raised as a well-mannered Southern girl who promptly writes thank-you notes following every occasion. I initially tried to respond to everyone who emailed me. Then I realized I could either take the polite route or I could take the professional route and actually get my work done.

So what can you do about it?

  • Do your homework before you send out a pitch. If you are targeting a few journalists in particular, spend a few minutes checking out their publications and what types of articles they write.
  • Don’t take it personally. If a journalist is not responding, chances are good that he or she is just not that into your pitch. It’s not personal.
  • Follow up, but only to a point. How you should follow up varies by each journalist. I don’t mind a follow-up email asking me if got their press release or the occasional phone call. But a lot of journalists would rather pick up a hissing rattlesnake than answer a follow-up phone call and they will more often than not respond poorly.

I wish I had a magic solution. Journalists and PR folk may often have an uneasy alliance. But we need each other to do our jobs.…read the full article here.