The Art of Follow Up

by Booth Media Group

Good things come to those who work. And better things come to those who work hard. In PR, the hard work is the follow up. We send out press kits, packages, and pitches with what sometimes feels like wild abandon. Desks around the world are graced with materials from our office. The inboxes of countless producers and editors hold striking PDF press kits attached to friendly email pitches from our publicists with compelling subject lines. But is it enough to put together a beautiful press kit complete with sample interview questions, compelling topics, and a riveting press release on colored paper?

Of course you know the answer is, “No!”

At Booth Media Group, we pride ourselves on being “Pleasantly Persistent” in our efforts to work with the media. Whether we leave voice messages or send emails, we always have a smile in our voice and are clear in our emails. We know our media contacts are incredibly busy, often getting hundreds of messages and emails each day. To make it easy for the media to book our clients, we send multiple emails (but not too often!) and call frequently in order to have the best chance at speaking to a live person.

We often hear that the 10th email was the ticket, or that the 7th call that ended in a conversation was just what the media wanted. “Oh, thank you for trying again! I wanted to book with you but the email got lost in my inbox,” they say. Or, “So glad you emailed again. The timing is perfect right now as we are covering politics all week. Your client is perfect to have on the show to discuss the primaries.” That extra mile is one of the keys to our success in results. Being the right person at the right time takes persistence.

And when that last email results in a “No, thank you; we’ll pass this time,” we never argue. We’re just glad to be considered and to get a response. After all, no one likes arguing with a stranger about something they don’t want. It makes no sense to burn bridges with the media just because they’re not interested in this story; they might love the next one, so we need to let them know we respect them even when they say no.

The art to follow up is to realize that the media are people, too. Let’s make their lives easier by making it simple to say “Yes, let’s book!” That way, we all win.