Now that you have developed the rights tools, targeted the rights journalists and spread the news, here comes the next step. Very often neglected because quite ungrateful, to follow-up is however paramount.
What does it mean?
To follow-up means getting into contact with the Tier 1 journalists you addressed your press release to ensure they have all details that would be necessary in case they decided to write an article on your topic.
A journalist is daily assaulted by a continuous flow of information. Consequently, one of his/her first task is to sort that information and pick the pieces of news that would best meet with their readership’s expectations.
Following-up also helps in creating a live dialogue with the journalist. It gives you the opportunity to better understand his/her topics of interest and thus the possibility to better calibrate the information you are sending.
You need to take into consideration the journalists’ constraints and mostly the times when s/he is attending newsroom meetings. Newsrooms meetings are the key moments when the selection of topics covered is defined (in a daily newspaper, those newsroom meetings take place at 10:00 am, 3:00 and 5:00 pm). Call the journalists ahead of those meetings in order to try and get your topic on the top of their list.
Fastidious and time-consuming, the follow-up with journalists is nevertheless essential. Unless you are working for a major well-known company, it is most probable that your press releases will not generate any article at first. And it’s OK. Before relaying your pieces of information, the journalists will need to evaluate the continuity of your approach. But rest assured, that they will remember more easily the companies they are speaking with than the others.
So, stick with it!