Pick Up the Phone to Achieve Media Coverage

Conducting media follow-up calls after distributing a news release can be very time consuming or costly if you hire an agency.  Is it truly worth the internal effort or cost?


By Jennifer Manocchio

If you have quality news to share, absolutely!

Media follow-up calls are critical to achieving quality media coverage.  While you might get some coverage by simply distributing your news release or pitch to your media database or over the wire, you will increase your coverage and build relationships with the media if you get on the horn.  This is really more important now than ever before with all the media staffing changes.

Here are three reasons you need to be picking up the phone.

1.  Information overload:  Between emails, faxes, snail mail, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls, etc. reporters are on information overload.  Assuming that a reporter saw your email, fax, or letter/press kit is simply foolish, no matter how important your news is.  Placing a phone call will get the reporter’s attention, and if he or she answers, hopefully an immediate response as to whether they are interested in your news.

2.  Building relationships: How often have you built a relationship simply by email?  The answer is probably rarely, if ever.  The same is true of the media.

You are not going to get to know a reporter’s preference, specific deadlines and interests if you never speak with them in person or over the phone.  Unfortunately, reporters have less time than ever before for in-person meetings, so phone communication is probably ideal.  However, don’t rule out meeting media at trade shows and other industry conferences they will be attending.

3.  Outdated Contacts:  Publications are reducing and reassigning staff to survive today’s economic condition.  If you don’t call the media, it is unlikely you will learn about the change or identify the correct contact.  Unless you have built a good relationship with the reporter, her or she is unlikely to inform you about beat or outlet changes.

Need help conducting publicity and media relations or training your staff to conduct media outreach properly?  Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.