I understand that journalists and producers are very busy. I respect their time and want to help them make the most of it (hopefully in a way that spotlights my clients). Emails can be an effective pitching tool in some instances; however I still find that I get the best results when I pick up the phone. Of course,
I only call after I’ve done my due diligence, ensuring that I have the right person and that they care about the topic I’m pitching.
Here are my three main reasons for making the call:
- Phone conversations lead to chit chat. Getting to know editors is the best way to truly understand them, their jobs, and how you can help them. Maybe you are both dog lovers or are going on similar summer vacations—having a casual conversation can go a long way in fostering a relationship. Who knows, maybe they’ll even come to you the next time they are working on a relevant pitch.
- You get instant feedback….good or bad. Clients like to hear feedback on pitches. You may be able to get this type of feedback from email pitching, but I have received better insight over the phone. Editors are more likely to explain why they aren’t interested in your pitch—it might be that they are working on another pressing story, or they just filed a similar trend piece, for example.
- Phone calls allow time to seed other stories. Before I make the call I jot down a few things so I’m never caught off guard. Even if an editor isn’t interested in my original pitch, I’ll throw out another idea to see if it sticks.