I believe that follow-up (well-done, targeted, slightly aggressive follow-up) is crucial to turn a well-planned public relations campaign into a success story. I have seen many a promotion bomb because the team did not:
Do Any follow-up calls (Do not be afraid to call! The Media are people too)
Do Enough follow- up calls (It takes several tries – do not give up!)
Do Effective follow-up calls (Be a clever and quick communicator and don’t give up until you speak to a human being)
Many public relations professionals are expert writers and creative thinkers, yet they are afraid to follow-up out of fear of bothering, angering or upsetting a member of the media. Forget the worry and charge ahead because the truth is PR people and the media can have a mutually beneficial relationship and often do need to rely on each other.
Here are four tips for following up on your perfectly crafted press release or pitch email:
- Reporters receive thousands of emails and phone calls per day so remember that they may not have seen your press release. Always present yourself as if your call is the first time they’re hearing about you and your company or product.
- Make it snappy: write down the three points you must get across to them and refer to it so you do not get flustered or lose your focus.
- Be respectful of their time and know when their newscast is or deadline, and do not call at that time. If you aren’t sure, ask “Is this a good time?”
- Even if you find yourself speaking with a grumpy person, just stay positive and give a big “thank you so much” before signing off.
We all hear a lot of “nos” on the road to a golden “yes” but note that rarely does a reporter become irate and slam the phone down simply for following up on a release. So go ahead and follow the tips above and let us know how much more successful your next campaign is because you found the courage to follow up and connect with the media.