Ways to Scare Journalists (Not that you would want to do this...)

October 31, 2017 / by Jesse Ghiorzi

iStock-163206284.jpgWe’ve written about the best ways to follow up on your media pitches. This list is the opposite of that. These are the worst things to do after you pitch. Please don’t do these and tell your friends and colleagues to avoid them as well.

We’re writing this on Halloween, so pardon the pun, but following this list is an easy way to scare a journalist or have a reporter ghost you. Some of these are obvious no-no’s, but there are several we see all the time that are still not great ideas. 

  1. Like every post of theirs on Instagram; creepy move bro
  2. Call them (72% of journalists don’t like calls); because it’s rare, this might be a way for you to stand out, but it’s risky, so proceed with caution
  3. Friend them on Facebook and comment on an old photo; again, this is creepy
  4. Show up to the newsroom unannounced and ask for them; no one likes pop-ins
  5. Pitch them the exact same story about your company right after they write a similar company in the same way; they just wrote that story, probably not writing a carbon copy immediately thereafter
  6. Find out where they’re having lunch by checking their timeline and “randomly bump into them”; stalk harder, you can’t
  7. Follow up incessantly; if you don’t hear back after one or two attempts, they’re not into the story
  8. Email their editor and say “This reporter is ignoring me, this story matters”; it’s a quick way to sour you for the whole outlet
  9. Follow up at weird hours; outside of certain industries, it’s not a good look
  10. Beg them to write the story; never a good idea

Looking for good tips on working with the media? Flip through the PR archives on our blog.

Looking for tips on getting PR placements? Check out our newsjacking guide.

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