Why isn’t Media Responding to you?

If you’ve been contacting media for some coverage but you’re not getting any responses, here’s a little story to think about.

I am working with a client who has a book on how to use creativity and the power of imagination to create an amazing life both at home and in the workplace. For the past few weeks, I have been considering booking him on a particular podcast because I thought it would be a really good fit. I had to finish the project we had been working on, and then today, I sat down to write the note to the show host. Once I hit send, it didn’t take long. I heard back from the media person within :20 minutes. Not bad.

Here is why I’m sharing this with you. When you approach media who are a perfect fit for what you have to offer, you will hear back from them. Not always, but we’ll get to that. In this case, I knew the show was right, and I knew my client was right for the show. I am very familiar with this podcaster and how he does interviews, so when I wrote the pitch letter, I was able to customize it perfectly for him. He knew I got him. He knew I knew what he was looking for in a guest, and I’m happy to say we got rewarded by booking the show right then and there.

If you’re not getting a response from your pitches, it could be one of several reasons.

  • It's a misdirected pitch. You haven't picked the right outlet or person to approach. This happens, especially when one gets impatient, and also because it isn't always easy to figure out who the right person is...Names change, titles change, etc. I've been doing this work for a long time, and sometimes figuring out who to approach within a media organization can be frustrating.
  • Failure to do the research first. I have always said it's better to figure out the top 20 places you should be, study them, and then go after them, than it is to send one pitch to 2K media outlets. That said, I do understand the temptation.
  • They aren't convinced. This happens more often than you might think. They don't want to say 'no' yet, but they aren't ready to say 'yes' either. This is when you have to follow up and either send another email with a new angle, or actually call them on the phone. I know, I know...A lot of peole don't want to use the phone anymore, and there are media folks who you can't reach on the phone either, but there are others who do answer, and you're not going to book the show unless you call and explain to them why you're the perfect fit. But you have to be strong enough about your content to go to bat for yourself.
  • Timing. Sometimes the timing just isn't right. Perhaps they just covered your topic, or they might be feeling that they've spent too much time on it and they're giving it a rest. You can't control these things, so it's probably safe to say that sometimes just plain luck enters the picture.

Take heart. This work isn’t brain surgery, but it isn’t all that easy either. Remember one of my favorite sound bite: “In a world where anyone can stand up, how are you going to stand out?” The good news is that so many people are doing it badly that if you take these tips to heart, it will get easier. Promise.

And on another note, here we are heading into Thanksgiving. It seems cliché to say, “where does the time go?” but where did it go?

Somehow in some way we connected and we share a little part of our lives and our paths together. As we continue this journey, let’s pause and be grateful for our lives, our families and friends, our furry pets, and all the opportunities that come our way.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Joanne