Why They Don’t Use Your News Release

News, ID-100211537StuartMiles via freedigitalphotosdotnet

You were sure it was a great news release. So why didn’t the media respond?

Even seasoned publicists face this conundrum. Truth is, the email may have ended up in their spam filter. Or, they accidentally deleted it. Or, they received it but are on the fence about its newsworthiness. It’s possible they may need more information but haven’t had the time to contact you. Or, the sad cold reality: they just aren’t interested.

You want to follow up but how? Should you resend the release? Pick up the phone and call? Or, find out their favorite watering hole and cozy up after a drink or two? Listen, all these tactics have worked. Or not. In a worst case scenario, you’re blackballed forever.

The art of the follow-up is an art indeed. Here’s how to increase the odds your news is used.

  • Check the news outlet before you follow up. Sometimes your news is posted on their website rather than in hard copy, especially if it’s news of an appointment, an award or an event. Or they may have already done a similar story. Do your homework before taking action.
  • Make sure it went to the right reporter or editor. Your news release may be a perfect fit – for another reporter. Especially with the larger-circulation media, you need to make sure that the news is relevant to that writer.
  • Consider sending a customized email, offering, say, three approaches to a story. Each idea should be relevant and crafted in a way that is of interest to their readership. Check their editorial to see what has resonated in the past.

Invest the time in doing it right. Getting a journalist to say yes goes well beyond a tired ‘make sure you got it’ email. Take the time to connect with the right writer in the right way, and your efforts should reap dividends…now and for years to come.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net


About Chris Ruys

Chris Ruys is founder and president of Chris Ruys Communications, Inc., a marketing/public relations firm that specializes in high visibility campaigns using both traditional and social media strategies. Her blog, originally called "Getting Social," was launched in October 2010 as a way to share her progress as a "student" of social media. While she's still learning, Ms. Ruys has broadened the scope to include other aspects of marketing communications and PR, including blogging, email, traditional media and advertising in the blog she now calls "Proactive PR."