When you first start on a PR campaign, you are probably very eager for lots of amazing media hits to start happening right away. As much as us publicists would love for that to happen (and as much as we try to do all we can make that happen) it usually does not happen right away. The old PR adage is “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!”
We had a great PR hit recently go live for one of our clients that took a LONG time to come to fruition. I thought it would be fun to share a timeline of just how long things took. Don’t worry, there’s a TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) at the end.
Day 1: Send the initial pitch. It’s an interview pitch around a client’s new book.
Day 16: Editor requests a copy of the book, saying she is considering an article around the topic of the book.
Day 23: I tell her we won’t have hard copies until next week, but ask for her address.
I can’t remember why I took so long to respond? I’m guessing I was trying to find out when we would have hard copies of the book, so I put off responding.
Day 28: Editor responds with her address.
Day 42: I follow up to make sure she received the book.
Day 43: She responds, yes.
Day 80: I follow up, asking if she is still working on the article she was planning.
Day 83: The editor replies, saying she ended up going in a different direction, but invited my client to pitch an article idea to her around his book topic.
Day 87: We send an article pitch that my client put together, which included a suggested headline and a high level overview of what the article would look like.
Day 107: Still have not heard up with the editor, so I follow up.
Not sure why I waited so long, tbh. This was during Thanksgiving, so I may have been adding more time to amount for the holiday.
Same day: She think it’s an interesting idea! She asks for more details on a few things we mentioned in our high-level overview.
Day 118: I send those over.
Day 142: At this point, we are into JANUARY 2019 — THE NEW YEAR.
She responds and asks for my client to write the whole article and gives him a word count. YAY! I tell her he will get started right away.
Again, why did I wait so long? Usually I would have been following up much quicker, but it was THE HOLIDAYS, and I didn’t want to be a PR grinch.
Day 154: We send the whole article for her review.
Same day: Editor tells me the article looks good, and asks for my client’s headshot and email address so she can send him a copyright form to send.
Day 170: We still haven’t received the copyright form, so I follow up.
Day 177: She says she handed it off to a colleague, and he has just gotten back to her with edits. She also tells me we should be getting the copyright form soon.
Day 197: We FINALLY get their edits. They had some feedback, so our client had to rewrite in a couple places.
Day 202: We sent back the edited piece.
Day 206: I send a quick follow up, making sure they got the edits. They replied that they are reviewing the changes and will get back to us by early next week.
Day 210: They send another round of edits. We accept them all, and they let us know it’s being sent to their top editing team before being published.
Day 230: We still have not heard anything or seen the article go up, so I follow up, asking if there are any updates.
Day 238. The editor emails me back: the article IS LIVE! I have never been so happy in my life to click on a link.
I’ll do the math for you: This was over 7 MONTHS!
TLDR: Big media takes time, media folks are busy, patience (and strategic follow up) is key!
BONUS TIP: I am obsessed with Boomerang for Gmail to help me remember to follow up. For example, when I first send the editor the book, I “boomeranged” it back to my inbox in 2 weeks to remind myself to follow up. Looking back at that original chain, I boomeranged it back to myself 60(!!!!) times. I don’t always follow up when I get a boomeranged email — it’s more so I remember to keep certain emails top of mind.
Are you still with me? Here is the article this whole blog post is about.
I’m so happy. This article has been my white whale for the past 7+ months.
What’s the most exciting PR hit you’ve ever had? How long did it take? Let me know below or tweet me @shelbyjanner!