How to Handle Unresponsive Editors
You come up with the perfect story angle, spend hours crafting an interesting and informative pitch, distribute it to one or maybe one hundred editors who could find your pitch relevant, then... you wait. In a world where publicists outnumber journalists by 6:1, chances are you’ve found yourself waiting for an editor’s response much more frequently than you’d like to admit. Here are a few tips for eliminating the waiting game with unresponsive editors:
Follow up, follow up, and follow up some more. We cannot stress this one enough. Editors get hundreds even thousands of pitches in their inbox per day. Oftentimes, they are too busy meeting deadlines to spend their day sorting through emails and will miss the first email you send them about a pitch. Send a follow up email to keep it at the top of their inbox. Be patient, vary your responses, and use keywords like “last” to signal that it is your final attempt at reaching them.
CONNECT IN A DIFFERENT MEDIUM
If emailing is your normal mode of communicating with editors, try to reach them another way like by picking up the phone or sending them a message on Instagram. Social media is particularly helpful in forming relationships with editors that you have not met in person. You can even start to incorporate things you see them doing on social media in your email exchanges. For example, if you see that an editor recently visited Thailand, start an email off with, “Your vacation looked incredible! I hope you had a fantastic time in Thailand...” then get to your point. Little factors like these can go a long way because it shows that you are not just in it for yourself.
MAKE SURE YOUR PITCH IS ON TOPIC AND FITS THEIR GUIDELINES
If you haven’t heard back from an editor about a pitch you are particularly proud of and feel deserves pick up, confirm that you are pitching content that is relative to both the editor and the outlet. Successful publicists research who they are pitching beforehand, so make sure you have a strong grasp on what an editor will write about. In addition, certain outlets have guidelines for the types of pitches they will even consider. Look over the pitch guidelines to make sure what you are sending is qualified.
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
While we all work hard to get pick up, don’t get down on yourself if it does not happen. Journalists and editors are always busy researching, interviewing, writing, and meeting deadlines. Sometimes the timing and the content just does not match what an editor needs. Do not give up on yourself or your work and continue to seek different editors and outlets who will cover your story.