Dooley Noted

How To Follow Up On Your Media Pitch


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And When To Follow Up On It

We’ve talked about one of the more difficult parts of media pitching: knowing when to do it

But once you’ve sent your pitch, what’s the most effective way to follow up? Taking it even further, when is the most effective time to follow up on it?

How To Follow Up

Assuming you’ve sent your pitch in email format, following up on the original email is a two-step process. 


Following up starts with an email, but if you still don't hear back from a media outlet, should end with a phone call.


The first step is to follow up with another email. Whether or not your follow up email is in the same thread as the original pitch or whether you start a new one is up to you. 

What this does not mean, though, is pitching the outlet again. You’ve already sent your pitch, and if it wasn’t strong enough to garner attention the first time, going over all the pitch details a second time is unlikely to pique anyone’s interest. It’s more likely to annoy the reporter than anything. 

Your follow up email should be short and to the point:

  • A quick hello
  • If you’re not emailing in the same thread as your pitch, a reminder that you emailed them (reference your original email’s subject and date) and the briefest of brief recaps (think headline, not paragraph)
  • Dangle the carrot (offer access to executives, experts or whoever—whatever, even media assets like photos, videos, etc.—you have that could make the reporter’s life easier and more exciting)
  • Sign off

If you’ve sent the pitch email and a follow up email, you’ve got a tool left in your toolbox. Now is the time to pick up the phone. In some cases, some reporters actually prefer direct messages on social media, but direct messages require a bit of pre-existing rapport. Consider both options, but make your decision based on the relationships you’ve cultivated. 

Again, this call should be short and sweet, and does not need to go over details of your pitch. It’s a quick reminder regarding your pitch and follow up, and a question:

  • Is there anything I can do to make your life easier or to push this story ahead?

If your pitch is strong enough and you’ve followed up, then that’s about as far as you can take things before your messages become spammy. Hopefully, you’ve piqued their interest and a news story is either on its way or being considered for future.

When To Follow Up

Timing your follow up is tricky and depends on the pitch. 

If your pitch is time-sensitive, then you need to follow up quickly. If the news is only news for so long, it makes sense to follow up so as not to miss your window of relevance. 


Timing your follow ups can be tricky. If your pitch is time sensitive, you must ensure you don't miss your window of relevance.


But if your pitch is evergreen, appearing overzealous can be off-putting to a reporter. Evergreen pitches are not time-sensitive and should be relevant for sometimes weeks or months or longer. For these reasons, your follow up should not be time-sensitive either. 

In this case, it’s acceptable to wait days or weeks. Heck, you may even circle back after a month or two. But the point is to still check in with the reporter you’ve pitched, and the follow up looks roughly the same:

  • A quick hello
  • If you’re not emailing in the same thread as your pitch, a reminder that you emailed them (reference your original email’s subject and date)
  • If it’s been some time, then take a sentence or two to remind them about the nub of the original pitch (ie. why should they care?)
  • Dangle the carrot (offer access to executives, experts or whoever—whatever, even media assets like photos, videos, etc.—you have that could make the reporter’s life easier and more exciting)
  • Sign off

Reporters are busy with daily deadlines, so it’s easy to understand how pitches can fall through the cracks. 

Following up is a surefire way to nudge your pitch back to the top of any reporter’s inbox. Reporters are constantly moving on to the next story. They may have forgotten that you’ve given them an idea they could use. A gentle nudge never hurts, and sometimes it’s even the difference between garnering media pick up or not. 

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