Thursday, December 11, 2014

How to Follow Up with Busy People

We've all experienced the feeling of wanting to follow up with a professional, whether it is about that internship position you've been gunning for or to schedule an informational interview. We even experience it when working with the media, trying to contact a journalist regarding a pitch we emailed earlier that day. It can get disappointing when we don’t hear back from a contact, but don’t get discouraged too quickly! As we all know, PR pros are busy so here are a few easy ways to effectively follow up with people who have little time to spare:

  • Effective Subject Line. First things first, you need to gain their attention with a subject line that will stand out. They likely get tons of emails each day, so you don’t want yours to get lost in the crowd.
  • Introduce yourself. Be sure to give an introduction (or reintroduce yourself) so they know who their reading an email from. It’s also a great place to mention a mutual contact or referral.
  • Keep it Short. Industry professionals don’t have time to read a long and detailed email. Effectively getting your point across quickly with the least amount of work is essential. Cover your bases of why, what and why. 
  • Do Your Homework. Do a quick Google search before sending your email. Mentioning an award they received recently or a new client they landed shows that you put in the effort. Chances are they’ll be more likely to get back to you.  
  • Know Your Boundary. Of course it’s encouraged to send a follow up email when trying to contact a busy professional. But there comes a point when you need to realize that, unfortunately, they likely will not get back to you.

Lastly, if you plan in sending a follow up email, be sure to give them enough time respond. That being said, you also want to contact them again in a timely manner. Remember, don’t take it personally when your emails aren't immediately responded to, PR pros have a lot on their plate.

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