How to Follow Up on Press Releases and Story Ideas

How to Follow Up on Press Releases and Story Ideas
April 24, 2014 PRSA-Author

So you’ve sent out your press release or story idea to a carefully tended list of news media mavens who should be interested in your news or idea.

What do you do next? Nothing and hope for the best? Call every one of them?

What works? Follow up selectively by email. If your list is large, choose the most important ones for follow-up. You can also rotate different media on your list for follow-up, so you’re not always following up with the same journalists. Always follow up with anyone who’s indispensable.

Here’s an example of a follow-up email that’s worked well for me.

“Hi Joe (or Dear Joe… depending on how well you know him or her):

Just checking to see if you had chance to take a look at the story idea on five surprises in retirement I sent two days ago. Glad to resend if you missed it.”

Pretty often, I get a reply along the lines of: I didn’t see it – could you send it again? It makes you wonder about how efficiently folks are handling their email. But heck, it works. It’s unobtrusive and doesn’t put the journalist on the spot.

There are a few folks I always call instead. Either email doesn’t penetrate their consciousness and/or their very helpful corporate system sends 99.9 percent of everything to spam.

Post Author

Blog-author_stimpsonHenry Stimpson, APR, is founder of public relations and marketingcommunications firm Stimpson Communications in Wayland. He can be reached at


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