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Why You're Not Receiving Responses

Why You’re Not Receiving Responses

October 30, 2017

Your sent folder is flooded, but your inbox is as dry as a desert. You’re chasing one journalist after another like a mirage. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you find yet another pitch ignored. Why aren’t you hearing back from them? For entrepreneurs seeking media attention, this can be frustrating. They have a list of influencers. They’ve contacted them, and they’ve even remembered to follow-up afterwards. Why is no one interested in the story?

It’s almost like trying to play golf blindfolded. You’re hitting the ball, but you have no idea where it’s headed. It doesn’t matter how many times you hit send. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s just not going to work.

The probability of getting press by chance is next to none. Journalists are flooded with emails. Even if you get a “maybe later,” they’re most likely going to move onto another topic and forget about your pitch.

1. Never spray and pray.

If you’re spamming every journalist alive with the exact same pitch, guess what? Nobody is going to bite. Why? All journalists want exclusivity. Word gets around quickly, and if you’re sending the same thing, they’re going to know. The only part of the media your emails meet is their delete finger.

2. Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race.

Journalists move at lightning speeds. Once they send out a query, you have to be ready. Within a few hours, they can easily receive several responses. Chances are they’re not going to prioritize you if you’re the 87th person to respond. If you dilly-dally, you may even miss their deadlines. The story has already been written, and they’ve moved on from the topic.

3. For every pitch, do your research.

Every writer has their niche. Before reaching out to journalists, check out their columns and read some of their articles. Have a sense of what topics they write about. Even if two writers have similar interests, it helps when you notice the nuances. Doing this helps you understand their audience better.

This means you can tailor your message. When you reach out to them, they know you’re on the same page, and they’re more willing to work with someone like you.

4. Give them some space.

Ditch the lengthy emails. A pitch should read like a love letter not a romance novel, so make sure everything you write is spaced out evenly. Break large blocks of text with bullet points to make it readable.

If you received a response for every long email, it would be “TLDR” which stands for “too long didn’t read.”

You don’t want your message to be a needle in a haystack. You want it to be visible, so the journalist knows what it’s about. The idea is to make it snackable with bite-sized pieces of information.

5. Double check the name and email.

This sounds like a no brainer, but something as simple as misspelling their names can be a deal breaker. Your pitch should be personalized, and if you misspell their names, it sounds less authentic.

Also, journalists guard their emails like it’s made of solid gold. They already receive enough spam, so if you want to reach them, you may need to do a bit of digging. Services like Hunter can help you figure out the best possible email, but you still have to double-check to see if it bounced back.

Reaching out to the media may feel discouraging when you’re not getting the results you want, but if you improve your strategy, you open the doors to exponential growth.

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