10 Reasons That Reporter Didn’t Respond to Your Pitch


There could be many reasons why a reporter didn’t reply to your pitch. Here are some common reasons:

  1. They never got it – Sometimes emails end up as SPAM. Try replying to your original email to see if that makes it stand out (rarely does a SPAMMER reply to their SPAM email.) I also suggest a follow-up call to make sure they didn’t accidently delete it.
  1. It was too long – I once had a reporter tell me they recalled the subject line of my email, which sounded interesting to them, but when they opened it and saw how long it was, they didn’t read it because they knew they didn’t have time. Note: A pitch should never exceed three, short paragraphs.
  1. The pitch wasn’t related to their beat- If the story you are pitching has nothing to do with what the reporter covers, you probably won’t hear back from them. It also makes you look like an amateur because it’s not that hard to look the reporter up and identify the types of stories they cover.
  1. They just did a story on that topic- This should rarely be the case, as you should always do your homework by reviewing some of the reporter’s recent and past work. This rookie mistake makes you appear lazy and inexperienced in their eyes.
  1. You spelled their name wrong- No one likes their name to be pronounced or misspelled. Plus, it’s a fact error – the foe of any respectable reporter or journalist.
  1. It contained too many grammatical errors– Please reread your pitch before sending it. Grammatical errors are a huge turn off and make you seem incompetent. And who wants to take advice on a good story idea from someone who doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re.
  1. You faxed it – No explanation needed.
  1. You left 10 voicemails – One is enough, but none is better. Call without leaving a voicemail if you feel the need to stalk a reporter.
  1. Your subject line was too vague- Reporters don’t want to guess what an email is about, they’d rather just delete it. Let your subject line reflect exactly what you want; Here’s a great non-profit story; Here’s a local story I think you’ll like, etc. and you’ll increase your chances of a reply. An even better idea is to come up with a catchy, attention-grabbing headline that makes them want to open the email.
  1. You left the wrong contact information – Don’t expect a reporter to hunt you down if an email bounces back or the number you left is no longer in service.