Get All Access for $5/mo

5 Reasons That Reporter Isn't Calling You Back A veteran journalist turned PR professional explains why your voicemail messages are falling on disinterested ears.

By Gil Rudawsky

This story originally appeared on PR Daily

Having been in a newsroom for two decades, I can attest to how inundated reporters are with email and phone pitches from PR pros. And with shrinking newsrooms, I can only image it has gotten much worse.

To help PR pros tasked with cold-calling reporters and editors with pitches, here's a basic list to help understand why journalists are not calling you back.

First, let's just assume that reporters do not actually pick up the phone when you call, because they rarely do. Blame it on not enough time, deadline, or that they are out in the field getting stories.

Why would a reporter not call you back?

1. Your pitch is not engaging.

Yes, this is the primary reason reporters ignore your pitch. Newsworthiness rules, and "so what?" pitches will be deleted immediately.

2. You're pitching the wrong person.

There has been shuffling of assignments under the guise of doing more with less, so pitches that go to the wrong reporter will be deleted rather than forwarded to the right reporter.

3. You are from out of town.

This one is hard to swallow, but reporters assume that calls from an out of town PR agency will not be newsworthy for local readers. This is especially true for smaller media outlets.

4. Your pitch does not have a local angle.

Publications rely on wire services to cover national stories, and they will rarely pick up on a regional or national story unless there is a strong local angle.

5. You have a track record of providing lame story pitches.

This is about relationship-building and being a good source for reporters, not just a mouthpiece for a client. If you regularly fill up voicemail with nominal pitches, even the most newsworthy pitch will get deleted. Be a good source, understand when to avoid pitching junk, and remember that no one owes you a favor.

Crisis Communications guy @groundfloorpr; Ragan's @PRDaily, @denbizjournal contributor.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

Nvidia Is 'Slowly Becoming the IBM of the AI Era,' According to the Leader of a $2 Billion AI Startup

Jim Keller, a former engineer at Apple and Tesla, compared Nvidia's AI chips to IBM's dominance over PCs in the 1980s.

Side Hustle

This 26-Year-Old's Side Hustle That 'Anybody Can Do' Grew to Earn $170,000 a Month. Here's What Happened When I Tested It.

Stephen Alvarez was working at a dental supply company and following his passion for cars on the side — then an Instagram ad changed everything.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Lauren Sánchez Says This Is the One Thing 'People Don't Really Know' About Her Fiancé Jeff Bezos

Sánchez was interviewed by her longtime friend, actor and producer Eva Longoria.

Growing a Business

5 Lessons Learned From a 7-Figure Founder

Five key lessons I wish someone had given me when I first started out on my entrepreneurial journey.

Business News

Nvidia and the Magnificent Seven Have 'Immense Returns,' but Strategists Say There Are Risks

The Magnificient Seven includes Nvidia, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Google, and Tesla.