While a mass email is the easiest and quickest way to get a story out to journalists, it may not be the most effective. Phone calls that follow your initial outreach will allow for real-time feedback and give you a personal touch.
Make the most of your next story with these 5 tips.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Sending a polished, follow-up email can be done from any environment. Phone pitching does not share that same luxury, but has the advantage of adding that personal touch. When you are ready to make your calls, be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you’re in a quiet room with little chance of any interruptions, and in a location that ensures a good phone connection.
Remember, their time is valuable too.
Many journalists hold your calls in the same light that we do telemarketers’. Thanks to years and years of negative impressions, you are already working against that negative connotation. How do you beat it? By altering your original outreach to a 30 second (at most) pitch. Remember, their time is valuable too. By including only the highlights and any new information in your phone pitch, you become more compelling.
Know who you’re pitching.
While this one may seem tedious and unreasonable, but you owe it to the reporter you’re about to call. At a minimum, browse their recent coverage and Twitter profile. Who knows? You may uncover something that makes your outreach particularly serendipitous.
Keep your ears open for new intel.
Even if your phone call follow-up doesn’t result in a story, it might not necessarily be time wasted. If you keep your ears open, you can learn new information, like a “mystery” editor not on your list. Or you may discover that your contact is no longer working there. Whatever it may be, every piece of information you can gather can be helpful.
Adapt your message to the medium you choose.
The beauty of a phone call, is that you are able to receive real-time feedback. While an email can quickly be opened, closed, and forgotten about, a phone call provides an opportunity to obtain feedback that can be applied to your next call. It can help you to tailor a more enticing message that will resonate more with the reporter on the receiving end. With each call, you have the opportunity to perfect your pitch and make the next one more effective.