Patient Advocacy Toolkit: Following Up with Authorities or the Media

Sometimes a gentle reminder is needed that you are waiting for feedback

In the case of media follow-up

Be diplomatic! Contact the editor or reporter you sent your media alert/press release to and try to find out if they will run it. Sometimes your call will make the difference it takes to get your story published
Pitching is an opportunity to relate to the journalist. You can do so by email or with a phone call (best).

By email, you can forward your original mail with a short note such as "Hello, have you had a chance to read this release? I thought your readers might be interested because there will be a public event next week which will be attended by...". Please find a sample follow-up letter here (Word)

If you prefer to call, make sure you come across as enthusiastic and confident. You will be interrupting them so start by asking if this is a good time to speak: "Hello, this is ... from .... (your country), is it a good time to speak?"

If you do call, have a few bullet points written down:

  • Do your homework, know who the journalist is and angle the story to his/her audience/area
  • Introduce yourself
  • Tell them you sent through a media release on (date) and wondered if they'd read it
  • Offer to re-send the release if they haven't
  • Explain briefly why you think they should be interested (give them a story/angle that her/his readers will read)
  • Be ready to provide more information (spokesperson, interview opportunity, images, facts...)
  • If they say they are not concerned, ask if they can recommend anyone else in their outlet to send it to
  • Be brief and to the point
  • Don't hassle

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