A call for the end to the 24-hour pitch follow-up

By Matt Lindner   This post can be found here

I get pitched dozens of stories by publicists on a daily basis. After the initial pitch comes the inevitable follow-up designed to bump the pitch to the top of my inbox, generally after around 3-4 days.

I’ve been a member of the press for nearly a decade now, so I’m used to it. I also worked (briefly) on the PR side of things, so I understand why these follow-up e-mails get sent. Your client or boss has goals he or she expects to be met in terms of coverage generated and naturally, the more placements you get, the better you look to the powers-that-be.

Lately though, I’ve been noticing a trend. More and more e-mail follow-ups are coming 24 hours or less after the initial , completely unsolicited email pitch has been sent with a note along the lines of “Just checking in…”

To the entire PR industry, I ask of you this : Make it stop. Put an end to this trend. Please.

Let’s say you had a sales guy send you an unsolicited sales pitch. He didn’t hear back from you within a day, so naturally he sends a follow-up wanting to make sure you got the pitch and to see if he could set up a time to speak with you about the product he is pitching.

Not only would you delete the e-mail, you’d probably send him a note asking them to remove you from their list and tell your colleagues in the industry about that person’s overly aggressive tactics. And with good reason. It’s bad business practice to treat your potential audience like you’re a child in the candy aisle of a grocery store who is starved for attention.

A 24-hour follow-up to an unsolicited e-mail is not only annoying, it’s completely unnecessary. Most tech-savvy reporters check their e-mail about as often as they take a breath, which is to say we’re always connected and well aware of what’s showing up in our inbox on a daily basis.

Checking in to “make sure you got this” is borderline oxymoronic. I got it. If I’m interested, I’ll get back to you. If a follow-up must be sent, at least have the courtesy to wait 72 hours before sending it to give me a chance to determine if what you’re pitching is relevant to my audience and worth discussing further with my editors.

It’s a small thing, but one that will go a long way towards making sure I actually accept your pitch versus rerouting all of you and your agency/company’s e-mails directly to my spam folde

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