Why 95 percent of pitches get no interest

The author explains why so many cold solicitations for coverage fall flat—and how you can improve your chances for success.

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Reporters get tons of cold pitches from PR reps.

If you’ve ever wondered why a journalist isn’t responding to your email or why you can’t seem to land coverage for your clients at a certain publication, you can blame the dozens of other PR pros pitching that same journalist in any given week.

I’m not exaggerating. Two years ago, I tracked my inbox for a week to see how many pitches I received.

The final number was 116, or an average of 23 per workday. This number did not include newswire subscriptions, email blasts, follow-ups, “check-ins” or any internal emails-just straight-up, cold pitches, direct from a PR rep.

I recently tackled this project again to see whether anything had changed.

The result? I got 131 pitches, or 26 per day on average. Guess how many I used? Seven.

That’s right: Of the 131 surveys, byline proposals and story ideas that landed in my inbox that week, I used a whopping seven of them.

That’s just above 5 percent, which means I rejected almost 95 percent of the pitches I received.

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