in: Public Relations - Pitching The Media
by: Sabina Hitchen
The sound of silence is never one you enjoy or get used to when you're emailing magazine editors trying to get your story, product or service in front of their readers. If you've emailed an editor and aren't hearing back from them - not a "no", not a "pass" - just nothing - is it all right to start pitching another person at their magazine? Here's how to assess:
#1 - Be sure you've given it enough time and effort. Don't expect an immediate response. If a week has passed and you've not heard anything, it's not time to move on, it's time for a follow up email (or phone call). These days, no pitch is complete without a follow up email (or two) so be sure you're not expecting one email, sent four weeks ago, to do the trick. Editors are bombarded with emails 24/7 so before you give up hope, be sure they got your email and pitch in the first place!
#2 - While waiting for a response, be extra sure you are pitching the right editor in the first place...This means go back and so some research (open the magazine, read it). If you're not hitting up the right person they may just be deleting your emails, which means while you're waiting for a response that will never come you're wasting time. If you don't trust your own research, ask the editor themselves. Just email or call them, quickly introduce who you are and ask if they're the best person to share your story with. They will either say yes (in which case, hooray now you're sure it's them and you have their attention) or they will say no, in which case they'll recommend you to someone else, which saves time for you and provides you with your next step as well! The point here is, before you go on to email someone else, be sure you need to be changing targets in the first place.
#3 - Sure, Try Your Luck with Someone Else. People who work in the press are normal people. That means some will gravitate towards you and your story more than others. Some will even open your email and be attracted to your subject line more than others. If you're sure that "Editorial Option #2" is the right fit for your story, feel free to try reaching out to them instead. Though this is fine to do in your quest for coverage, do not turn this into a situation where you're emailing every editor at the magazine, or you'll be getting a reputation at the magazine, but not the right one!
#4 - Be Prepared For Two Kinds of Results - When you reach out to a second editor, it could go two ways. On the one hand, they could be just the person for the job, and get you the response you have been hoping for. That said, we want you to be prepared for what else could happen: you may hear from them that they've already heard about you as you were pitching Editor #1, and that they've already decided to pass on you. What this means is that Editor #1 just didn't tell you no and that's what their silence meant (not always the case but at times it is). Though we're going to wish you the best of luck on getting an affirmative, positive email response, at times hitting up a new editor doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be giving you your yes. Remember, they all work at the same magazine at the same department, they do talk. That said, it's far better to have reached out to a second person after too much silence and be sure your email was heard - no matter than the result - than to never try for a response and never know!
Hey biz owner: Before you do reach out to a second editor, be sure you read this tip about pitching multiple people at the same magazine!