I’ve rarely heard a definitive “no” in my life. Nine times out of ten there is some grey in the “no” that makes it a “not now.” Even a no response can be put in that grey area. Until someone says absolutely not or don’t contact me again, the door is wide-open to continue with the ask.
The media appear to be this “top secret”, “elite” group that is untouchable. When you send them an email and don’t hear back, you automatically take that as a no. What is important to remember about the media is that they are way overworked and usually on crazy deadlines so they often just don’t have time to respond. It doesn’t mean it’s a no. It could be “it doesn’t fit now” or “I’m holding it for later.”
Unless you’re pitching a media outlet something they just don’t cover like pitching your skincare line to Forbes as a beauty pitch versus a business story, or pitching your children’s book to InStyle Magazine, you’ll rarely get a flat out “no” from the media. As hard as it is to imagine this, the media actually need you more than you need them.
Remember that the media has hours and hours of airtime (television and radio) and pages and pages in newspapers and publications to fill. Don’t give up if you don’t hear back right away. Keep sending in your story ideas. The silence you are hearing now may well turn into yeses in the not so distant future.
Turn the “not now’s” into now’s by consistently sending in newsworthy ideas on a regular basis. Journalists WILL start to recognize you. The key here is newsworthy and not newsworthy about you but something that will be appealing to their audience. What can you offer them that would be interesting to people who watch or read their stories?
The other thing is that journalists will hold on to potential story ideas. They might just be filing you away for future use. Your story might not work right now but if something timely happens and something you sent in is a fit, they might just use the story then.
Lastly, the media is always looking for good sources and experts. By regularly sending in good, newsworthy story ideas, you are proving your status as an expert in your industry and should the need arise for a future story or segment, you might be surprised to hear the ping of your email or a ring on your cell phone from that journalist you haven’t heard from yet.
Let me know when you’re phone starts ringing!
To Your PR Success,