A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on LinkedIn that he had recently emailed a handful of pitches to reporters. He said, “Guess how many responses I got? Zero.” He went on to say he then picked up the phone and called every one of those reporters—and ended up with an 80% return. Nearly everyone answered the phone and 80% of them were willing to cover his story.
Eighty percent, y’all.
If he had waited for email responses, he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. But, by picking up the phone as we did in the good ol’ days, he was able to secure significant coverage for his organization.
It seems counterintuitive in a time when no one answers their phone. I have that app set up on my phone that if the number isn’t recognized, it goes straight to voicemail. But then, again, there are people like my husband who are so extroverted, that when his phone rings, he’s like a puppy, ‘Oh, someone is calling me! Let’s see who it is!” Even if it’s spam, he very much enjoys giving them a hard time.
If journalists on your list are like me, unless your pitch is crazy relevant and almost exclusive to Spin Sucks, I’m not answering your email or returning your call. But if they’re like Mr. D., you’ll probably have a fruitful conversation.
All to say, there is a lot of work to do in your earned media efforts. Craft an exclusive and relevant pitch for everyone you send it to—and then use multiple touches to talk them through it. In some cases, you’ll have success like my friend. Which, in today’s world of overstimulation and too much information, is a fantastic way to get results.
On today’s Spin Sucks podcast episode, we’re going to talk about how to get earned media results when it’s getting increasingly more difficult to do this job.