Here’s a not so surprising statistic for you – 91% of professionals check their emails daily. What’s also very obvious is that half of them hardly ever respond. After the 386th follow-up e-mail that seemed to be delivered into a black abyss, I had to try something new. I want to take you guys through what has worked and what hasn’t worked for me. Honestly, my career in PR has helped me handle rejection and the ability to follow up without being entirely too annoying. I owe it to all the reporters/editors that shall remain nameless 🙂
So for starters, stalking. It’s important to understand the interests of the person who you are trying to connect with and it’s pretty easy (especially, if you have experience doing so with your significant other). A lot of the time it starts on twitter. The below has worked in my favor when trying to barter with a reporter.
- Retweet a tweet they are mentioned in
- Respond/tweet reply to an open question they ask
- Share an article they have written or are mentioned in
- Just ask – you have 140 characters, don’t choke
No elevator pitch intro, nobody cares, cut to the chase bro. I learned this the hard way after receiving this message, “please just tell me what you want, not who you are”. Since then, I’ve learned to sneak my about me in by utilizing my e-mail signature as my bio.
- Your Name
- Your Title/Profession
- Link to website
- Hyperlinked social accounts
- not your mixtape
There’s also that saying ‘the key to getting what you want is asking what you want’. Be specific with your request, add value, and spoon-feed. No one wants more work than they already have so give it to them straight.
So here’s what you can do
A linkedin pitch to that classmate you did that one group project with:
Came across your profile and hope all is well. Seems like you’re killing it over at US Weekly. I’m working on the other side in PR and was wondering if you might be interested in catching up/learning about some of my clients.
An e-mail to your mentors/network looking for specific opportunities:
I hope all is well! I saw the photos of the conference you held last month on Facebook—it looked like a fantastic event.
I’m reaching out because I’m currently seeking a new position. As you know, I have been XX PR for almost three years, but I’m ready for a new challenge in the tech PR world.
I know that you used to do work for XX Company, which is on my short list of dream companies. Do you still have any contacts there, and if so, is there someone that might be willing to do an informational interview with me? Any introductions you could make would be greatly appreciated.
A stalker-ish tweet to a reporter you are dying to pitch:
140 characters in these streets 🙂
Post Interview e-mail
Good morning Charlotte,
It was great meeting you this past Friday, and I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. I’m excited to be considered for the Production Coordinator position as well as all of the opportunities your company presents. I had a good time discussing my passion for event planning and really enjoyed learning more about RF Binder.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Again, safe travels and best wishes on your business trip.
Post interview e-mail to someone you’ve interned/worked with previously
This was done through paperlesspost.com, I highly recommend it