Just Tell Me You’re Not Interested

Uninterested People

I know reporters are busy. We all are. Chris Andersen wrote an article about being inundated with PR spam, and I even commented about how our industry sometimes contributes to this issue.

But I also know the frustration of following up with a reporter, who asks you to resend the email or to call back later at another time.  When you do what they ask, you expect the journalist to follow his/her promise as well. Except, all I get is the cold shoulder.

All I ask is simple respect in turn.

If you don’t want to review or read my email, tell me.

If you don’t have the time to chat with me, tell me.

But don’t tell me to resend an email that you promise to read and call me back after your meetings. And don’t use the same excuse twice to blow me off… because well, I know you’re blowing me off. The outlet and reporter will remain nameless.

OK – back to pitching reporters.


Technorati Tags: media relations


4 responses to “Just Tell Me You’re Not Interested

  1. What if you give them an out? Like “I am sure you are really busy and if you don’t have time I totally understand.” That kind of thing. Also I think another reason they don’t say flat out that they are not interested is that they want to make sure that in the event you do have some kind of breakthrough technology or idea that they have not burned or even closed that bridge.

    It is like the list that Guy Kawasaki has for top ten lies of VC’s – http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/01/the_top_ten_lie.html .

    I am not sure if that helps but I think that maybe reporters don’t want to lose a lead and at the same time they don’t realize how rude they are being.

    That’s my 2 cents.



  2. What about using the method that you’ve got a good piece of news and you are going to give one reporter the inside track on. Does that work consistently?

  3. Eric,

    I always ask if they have time to chat while giving a quick 2 secs on why I’m calling. My hope is that while I respect their time, please respect mine.

    You do make a good point about journalists not wanting to lose a lead. In this case, I doubt the reporter ever read my email or had any intention. My best guess is because my company didn’t have name recognition with him, and I was disregarded from the get go.


  4. Hi Brian,

    I’ve had success pitching exclusives when you have interesting news or angle for the reporter, such as a new product launch, a customer case study, customer event, etc.

    In the above case, I was reaching out to introduce the reporter to my company and proposing a possible story angle based on the magazine’s coverage.

    – Cece