Let's assume you've managed to avoid spam filters and your email pitch has landed in the inbox of a particular journalist. Now, let's assume that the journalist to whom you sent the pitch deleted your email within two seconds of glancing at your subject line, or within three seconds of glancing at your subject line and clicking on it to see the body of the email.
It could very well be that the journalist had a very specific need at that precise moment, and anything that didn't fit that need got trashed. You can't help that—nothing to be done in that situation. It could also be that the journalist had recently been laid off and that your email had been forwarded to a supervisor, who was trashing automatically almost everything sent to the departed journalist. Well, nothing to be done about that either.
Assuming neither to be the case, you have to ask yourself why your pitch got dumped. Here are 7 common reasons:
1. You pitched the wrong topic to the wrong journalist and/or the wrong media outlet. Did you check to see if the journalist's beat has changed or if the media outlet has changed focus?
2. You sent the pitch at the wrong time of day or night to that particular journalist. Try asking an editor or producer at the outlet what time of day is best to send pitches.
3. Your subject line is neither interesting (to anyone other than people in your company) nor adapted to the needs of the journalist.
4. Your pitch is a news release, not news.
5. The last time you sent a pitch to that particular journalist, it took you a full day to reply when he or she responded to your pitch.
6. You tend to follow up your email pitches with phone calls, which annoys most journalists—and they tend not to forget.
7. You spelled the journalist's name incorrectly.
Learn how to develop mutually beneficial relationships with journalists and editors at PR News' May 12 media relations webinar.
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI