So you sent your perfect pitch email and the journalist emails back for coverage; they want a call or more information. Yay!
So what happens next?
Here are some general rules we recommend following:
1) Always Try to Get a Call
Even if only for 10 minutes, more can be expressed and conveyed verbally than through an email thread. You do all the scheduling and work, including sending a calendar invite with clear instructions, dial info, summary etc. Make sure to contact the client you are pitching on behalf of, so that they are “on call” and ready to be interviewed or answer any additional questions, if needed.
2) After the Call, Follow-up
Make sure to send as many links, images, quotes, and facts as possible. Even better if these are kept in an neatly organized Media Kit. If you are sending a link for Dropbox or another form and there is an expiration on it, make it clearly stated in the email. Also try the link with a different email or browser too if it’s a shared one; make sure the link works! Be ready yourself for questions.
3) Be Available! No Excuses
Ask to see if you can get a timeline (to be on standby or know to be reachable) and the projected publish date. Most writers already have dates in mind for publishing so don’t be afraid to ask. If there is an embargo in place, make sure they acknowledge it and promise to abide by it. Always have backup images and quotes accessible as those dates get closer and remind the writer if a date is getting close; ask the status in a polite way.
4) Be Ready to Promote
Start to setup other “anchors” or pre-selected fans and friends to retweet relevant things about any press that comes out. Have all the right text, tweet, and shares in mind like a cradle for a new baby and plan all the different ways the piece can be chopped up, re-used, and spread: Slideshare, Facebook, pictures, quotes, tweets.
5) Say Thank You!
After the article goes live, email the writer and say thank you and include their link. It may seem redundant to include the link, but it’s great for record-keeping history as well as for the writer themselves. You have no idea how many things they could be writing. Memories fade, links don’t.
Bottomline is, having an organized story is important but if you can’t follow through and make sure the other steps after a pitch is heard are easy for the listener or writer; then it’s all in vain. Be prepared, follow through, and maintain good relationships with writers. It never hurts!
Have we missed a step? How do you follow-up a pitch? We want to hear from you!