If you're trying to get media coverage of your company or cause, make sure you're not making this stupid mistake:

There's a major cable TV network whose PR team emails me several times a week pitching various hosts, shows and other information. Ninety-eight percent of the time, I'm not covering anything related to their topics, but that's not even the problem.

The mistake they're making is not responding to me when I contact them for an interview. They ignore me.

I've tried numerous tactics to get a response:

1. Replying to their most recent email, hoping they'll think I want to write about a topic they're clearly interested in promoting.
2. Sending an original message with a clear subject line like: Interview Request from United's In-Flight Magazine (by 8/1/13)
3. Following up with a phone call, which always goes to voicemail
4. Reaching out to other team members after a couple of days

This unresponsiveness is bad enough, but it's made worse by the fact that I've started using "return receipt" on the emails -- and they're almost always accepted. So I know the message was received.

The result: I don't feature them in my articles. In fact, I track down hosts of shows on competing networks that aren't solely focused on, say, cooking or home improvement. (oops, does that give it away?)

All I'm asking for is a response that they will

  • Are you making a similar mistake?
  • Are you only interesting in working with the media when you have something to say?
  • Are you handing media mentions to your competition?

Media coverage is a two-way street. If you're only going one way, your PR efforts will crash.