But their phone message always says the same thing… The best way to reach me is through email. So then we spend hours honing our pitches and crafting irresistible subject lines that make the grade. But for the most part nothing happens. In fact, we’re so used to being ignored even a little crumb from the reporter like a “not interested” is cause for celebration.
Emails vaporize, we’re left out of the media echo chamber. So we try a virtual handshake greeting on Twitter, hoping they reply or RT our tweet.
But there’s a 1-2 punch that could bring surprising results if done with efficiency, honesty and humility.
Say hello to the voicemail-email duo. Next time you email your pitch to a reporter, try placing a call immediately afterwards and let that person know you sent it. State the idea for the story you’re proposing, the time stamp, the subject line and your phone number. Oh, and boil your voicemail down to 30 seconds. You may even want to write a script so you don’t fumble in the rush to meet the 30-second time frame.
You’d be surprised at how often your email gets read and a response shows up in your inbox, oftentimes within minutes of leaving your message.
There are no guarantees you’ll get a message back every time but it’s worth the experiment.
And stand behind your story proposal; that you’re not doing it for the boss or a client. You authentically believe your story carries an important message for readers. You stand behind your conviction that your story idea has teeth.
At WriteCulture I teach PR agency account teams to pitch stories to the media which covers the 1-2 punch.
Next up: what if the reporter answers your call? What should you do?