Follow up right with journalists: 5 golden rules

Often it isn’t your pitch that maddens a reporter, it’s the follow-up that triggers a red, angry face and yelled expletives. Here are tips on the art of the gentle reminder.

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We’ve all been there. There’s nothing as frustrating as radio silence on the other end after sending a terrific pitch. If you really want your story out there, you have to follow up.

Here are the five rules of circling back on a pitch—if you want your story to be published.

1. Be nice. Sounds obvious, right? The cliché “you catch more flies with honey” was coined for a reason. But you wouldn’t believe how many PR types get downright nasty when a journalist doesn’t get back to them right away. Yes, it’s maddening to be ignored. But don’t get snappy, mean or offended when someone doesn’t reply. Instead:

Journalists will not be bullied into printing your piece. They’ll be so annoyed that they will file all future pitches from you and your client in the trash.

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