Sometimes There Really Is No Answer
Frustrating, isn’t it? You send out your perfectly crafted pitch. You’ve given all the key information, you’ve made it relevant, you’ve made it interesting. Why haven’t you got any response.
It must be tempting to put it down to one of two things:
1/ It was a lousy idea, what was I even thinking?
2/ That journalist is a lazy incompetent who wouldn’t know a good idea if it slapped him in the face.
But there is a third reason.
Pitches, good or bad, that don’t work for a particular publication are easy to deal with. It’s an instant no. Ideas that have a germ of an idea that could work are more of a slow-burn, and that is partly because of the way the editorial hierarchy works, certainly in newspapers and magazines.
You pitch to a blogger, and they have total control over what does and does not go into their blog. It’s their domain and there are no limitations of space.
Main stream media is different. Everyone is answerable to a more senior editor, and even the overall editor may be answerable to a proprietor(not that a proprietor is likely to get involved in the nitty gritty of food coverage).
For myself, I am the food editor of a newspaper that has no dedicated food section. My content nestles in different sections which have their own separate editors, who in turn report into other editors. So every time you pitch a story to me that I like, I have to pitch it to a section editor. Another busy journalist who has lots of other probably more pressing matters to deal with. Things can slow down. Answers can be elusive. But it doesn’t mean it’s a no.
So a lack of reply isn’t necessarily bad news and you just have to be patient.
Except, of course, for those times when the journalist is a lazy incompetent who wouldn’t know a good idea if it slapped him in the face.