Once I pitch spammed (and most likely upset) Amy Cosper, then Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine. I feel bad.
(Well, we never actually made a connection, so there’s a good chance that she has no idea who I am. I hope.)
Let me explain.
Some time ago, I worked with a company that wanted coverage with Entrepreneur Magazine. Who wouldn’t as a startup?
In sales, if you’re good, you start from the top and you work your way down. Why wouldn’t the same strategy work in securing startup coverage in a major publication?
So I email pitched Amy. The pitch was a beautiful novel. I left no stone unturned.
Crickets. I can remember thinking it was odd.
She must not have received my amazing email. Time to bring out sales tactic number two: send a LinkedIn connection request.
My heart skipped a beat when she accepted the request within minutes. It was now time to enlist sales tactic number three: wait a few days and send a LinkedIn message. Man, this was going to be good!
(Who said getting media coverage was hard work?!)
After firing off a LinkedIn message, it was crickets again for another week. No biggie I remember thinking. I'll just use sales tactic number four: call her.
(Shock and horror I know. NEVER call a journalist. NEVER, NEVER call an editor-in-chief I’ve since learned.)
The closest I got to Amy was a receptionist in Irvine, CA. My guess was I was the thousandth call left for Amy that day, and I guarantee I never made it past the reception desk.
As such, it wasn't surprising to hear nothing but crickets for yet another week.
OK, she was playing hard to reach. I have had CEOs play the same game, and I’ve won on many occasions. Game on.
Time to deploy sales tactic number five: send the office pastries to get noticed.
(Yep… another faux pas when connecting with journalists I’ve since learned).
(I still wonder if the 2-dozen personal-sized cheesecakes I sent to the Irvine office ever got eaten.)
Nothing was working. Time to try sales tactic six: call around the organization and try to get an introduction.
Fort Knox I’m telling you. No one would make an introduction for me. No matter how much I groveled and begged.
Time for sales tactic number seven: send the "get off the fence" email. If you’ve ever been in sales, you may also know this as the "breakup email".
In the email, you inform the recipient that you won't be reaching out again. Unless of course, they write you back and tell you otherwise.
I know this won't surprise you, but crickets again.
And you know what? Amy was right to ignore me(if she ever even got my messages).
Looking back, I should have stopped at the LinkedIn message. If my pitch was noteworthy, I would have heard back from Entrepreneur.
But like every entrepreneur, business, and PR rep, I looked at the absence of a response as a need to increase the pressure.
I was wrong. Lesson learned.
But the good news: It led me to the creation of PR.Directory.
Well, that and an article I read from Mike Butcher.
(But more on that next time.)
PS. Amy Cosper, if I haven't made it clear yet, I'm sorry for pitch spamming you!