I have to be honest. If you asked me a couple of years ago about following up with the press I would cringe. I didn’t mind calling to journalists offering a story – I actually enjoyed it. Once they agreed on receiving, emailing all information was also fine. But then … then following up making sure they have all the info they needed – feeling like I am just bothering them (which I probably was). It was not my favourite part of the job.
But, as calling to the press is on a decline and email (and social media) are becoming more and more popular form to share press releases, content and stories with the press, follow up emails are an important part of the outreach. Because as we didn’t speak to them over the phone, we do need to make sure our email doesn’t get lost in the number of emails journalists receive on a daily basis.
I usually follow up with the press two days after I sent my first email. And I only follow up once, unless we started a conversation or I had a positive feedback from them.
I did a bit of test and tracked all my follow-up emails. Because of additional email that I sent to all those that didn’t get back to me or didn’t publish the content I sent over, I earned additional coverage. 20% of those contacted again, used the content in their articles.
What to say
There isn’t a template because you should always carry on the conversation you started (even if it’s a one-way chat for now). But here is what you can say:
Hope you’re well?
I thought I could follow up on this story idea/content idea/new interactive piece/research/infographic/press release (choose one that describes what you offer) to hear your thoughts?
Please do let me know if you need any more information or images.
(also, if you have something extra to offer, additional stats, photos, that are related to your content, say you’ve attached it in case they’d like to use it).
Track your emails to see who to follow up with
You can follow up with all those that you emailed and didn’t hear back from (or know they didn’t use the content you offered them). Or, you can track your emails and see exactly who opened your outreach email and how many times.
Email trackers let you see who opened your emails – and mainly – who did more than once. These people might be thinking of using your content – it’s worth following up with them and offering more to support the content.
I personally use Mailtrack, it’s very easy to use, offers all you need and is very budget friendly! Check it out.
And if you need any more tips on follow-up emails, feel free to get in touch.