The Power of the Follow Up & Tips for Harnessing It By Delia Mendoza

Before I came to NRPR, I didn’t understand the concept or power of following up with a journalist after you pitch them. I was very shy and I felt like I was bothering them, or felt that if I followed up that they would get annoyed with me. While too many follow ups can pester press, I soon learned follow ups are essential to closing stories and gaining coverage for my clients.

Here are three reasons follow ups are essential to media relations:

Journalists are busy people.
Being that journalists are constantly researching stories and on deadlines, they don’t always have time to respond to your email the first time you send it. Following up gives you another chance to connect via phone or email.

Follow ups are a chance to bring new information to the table.
Especially when pre-pitching a press release under embargo, following up is a great way to update the news as it develops. Perhaps there was another person added to the press release or the date the news goes live has changed. Sending another email to or calling the journalist ensures they stay updated as the news progresses.

Although they might not respond, follow ups build relationships
Chances are if you email a journalist once, the next time you pitch them, they aren’t going to remember who you are. Emailing them again puts your name in their face so they associate you with your client. Once the journalist sees that you have an interesting story that is appropriate to their audience and coverage area, they will be more willing to open another email from you or answer the phone when they see your name on the caller ID the next time.

Follow ups are really an art and now you know why they’re important. How does one go about it?

Here are some tips to elicit a reply from the journalist:

First and foremost, when you pitch a journalist, make sure the news aligns with what they cover. There’s nothing more annoying than a PR person who doesn’t do their homework. Also verify they are still with the publication and their email address is correct. You can’t follow up on a bounced email!

Reply in the same thread. The second follow up should be quick. For example:

Hi Bob,

Happy Friday! I’m curious to know your thoughts on the note below. Happy to have your feedback!

Sincerely,
Rockstar PR Person

In the third follow up, you should outline why the journalist should care about the news in about three to four sentences. What can you offer them? Is it a chat with the CEO of the company? An interview with a celebrity? A demo of the product? What’s in it for them?

The third and fourth follow up should tie your news again to what they are currently writing. Keep up with their articles and see if they are relevant to what you pitched. For example:

Hi Bob,

Hope you had a great weekend! I saw your recent article on mobile apps and how they make life easier for business people. XYZ App helps executives stay on task by organizing their to-do lists.

I’m happy to connect you to Mr. CEO who can explain more. Let me know your feedback either way.

Best,
Rockstar PR Person

Finally, don’t forget about social media! It’s a great way to see what the person is currently talking about. Also, a tweet saying you sent a pitch or follow up regarding the news is never a bad idea. (Unless they state otherwise on their social media feed – which happens. Be sure to check first!)

Something like: Hi @journalistname! Emailed you regarding an opportunity to meet with the CEO of #clientname ane brief description. Let me know your interest!

This, in a nutshell, is the power and art of the follow up. If you follow these simple guidelines, you will find, as I discovered, that you will close more stories. Happy pitching!


Q1 2018 Recap Announcement: Excited about This Year’s Start!

There’s a saying, “you finish the way you start,” and NRPR Group is on a trajectory for a very successful 2018. With two new, innovative clients in the streaming content and artificial intelligence markets and strengthening its account team, NRPR Group is positioned for growth.

NRPR added two new clients to its roster in the first quarter of the year:

StreaMe: the first complete, self-managed streaming content ecosystem, inviting publishers, aggregators, content owners, rights holders, and creatives to be amongst the first 300+ for its Fall 2018 reveal, alongside elite Hollywood insiders such as the Kehoe Brothers, Thomas Ian Nicholas, as well as a strong team of advisors, including Xavier Kochhar (The Video Genome Project), and others. Team NRPR will managing messaging, positioning, and the official launch for the Company.

Soul Machines: a ground-breaking high-tech company of AI researchers, neuroscientists, psychologists, artists and innovative thinkers; re-imagining how we connect with machines. The Company brings technology to life by creating incredibly lifelike, emotionally-responsive Artificial Humans with personality and character that allow machines to talk to us literally, face-to-face! Team NRPR is working on a very special business development project with the Company. More to come!

This first quarter of 2018, combined with a strong finish to 2017, puts NRPR in the best position it’s ever been, strengthening its existing team, and building on its great foundation since opening in June of 2014.

“It’s hard to believe our Company is still so young, yet maturing so well,” notes our CEO and founder, Nicole Rodrigues. “We’ve started 2018 on such a powerful note, which makes me twice as excited for the year to come. We’re at a point in our agency’s life where we know what type of employees really make sense for our culture and which clients do as well. We know who we are, what we want, and where we want to be, which is why Las Vegas is now a hub that makes so much sense for us. There’s more room for us to grow and I look forward to strengthening the company and our team this year.”

NRPR Group is also proud to share that the company has promoted Delia Mendoza to Account Executive, while also adding Tina Margo to the team to manage all client operations, according to company best practices and standards.

“As any business owner will tell you, it’s hard to find great talent,” said Rodrigues. “I’m overjoyed and beyond proud to see the true growth that’s coming from new and existing team members. Our playbook and commitment to excellence have us in the best place we’ve ever been as a team. Everyone is strong, competent, capable, and fired up. Looking forward to seeing this awesome team expand personally and professionally. Honored to be the captain of this dream team.”

Read the full press release here and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more great updates from our team:


Business Lessons from March Madness

 

Over 60 million people have filled out a bracket and have a stake in the outcome of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The tournament has appeal for fans and non-basketball fans alike.

Sports writer Frank Deford, comments on the popularity of the tournament,

“It's the largest national single-elimination competition anywhere in the world. Every game, all 67 of them, the losing team is sent home…In a nation that prides itself on second chances, there are none.”

There are many offshoots of the brackets including the Say Yes to the Dress Wedding Dress bracket, Kanye West's best song bracket, the top Disney ride and Game of brackets. The attraction of the brackets—whether basketball or pop culture—is, according to Brett Frischmann, professor of Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University, in a Salon article, that “when we fill out a bracket, we are predictably irrational and distinctly human. We’re influenced by our emotions — love and hate — and a myriad of irrational factors — the most amusing mascots, the flashiest coaches, underdog status, the deep-rooted rivalries and even the rowdiness of a school’s fan base. “

The tournament also has lessons for PR agencies, account directors, business owners and team leaders. In the real world as in the tournament, the stakes are high and one has to work hard to emerge a winner.

EVERYONE LOVES THE UNDERDOG

Everyone likes a story in which a smaller competitor takes on and defeats the mighty competitor. In business, when competitors, media, influencers, current and prospective clients are ready to count you out, that is the time for the team to unite, create strong products, services and content, and demonstrate results to make success even sweeter.

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

John C. Maxwell coined the phrase, “teamwork makes the dream work,” recognizing the importance of collaboration and cooperation to achieve success. In basketball, the assists are just as important as the baskets scored. On a work team, everyone has something to contribute and support roles are as important as the person working directly with the customer. Encourage your team members to work hard and see how they can bring out the best in others.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING

Neither pleasing clients nor winning basketball games is easy. Things do not always go as planned, consequently it is important to have a back-up plan. This can include stepping back as a leader and letting the team, which is close to the action, make some of their own decisions based on situational awareness of current circumstances. A good leader knows what individuals and the team working together can accomplish.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

The way to know your team has needed information is via preparation and practice. As the saying goes, “you play the way you practice.” At practice, one builds skills that become habits to be prepared for any situation. In the workplace, training and ongoing feedback help workers to build skills in order to focus on executing their roles without added nervousness.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

The most important lesson from March Madness may be the role the coach plays in providing the players with the right tools to be able to take responsibility for their actions. The coach or team leader’s job is to get everyone onboard with the same vision and goal. Successes are celebrated and mistakes are examined for lessons to be learned.

As you watch the basketball games, take some time to think of how the lessons of sportsmanship can be used in the workplace.