Persuasion is the art of getting people to do things that are in their own best interest that also benefit you. Sometimes it can be intimidating and awkward when an editor tells you they don’t think your client is a fit for what they’re working on or they can’t see themselves writing about what you pitched them. Getting those “no’s” is difficult, but really there is an opportunity for you to be super creative in this. Instead of fretting about it, change the conversation. You and this editor have a give-and-take going on. He or she needs something to write about, while you need coverage for your client. If you figure out a new angle with your pitch, it’s a win-win for everyone! As a person who has the hardest time “bothering” others, I know better than almost anyone how difficult it can be to push back on someone. You can feel like you’re being annoying or too pushy by continuing to try to get them to cover your product or client, but if you have really researched your editor and their beat, you can almost always find a way to make the story relevant. Some of my best placements have come from doing this. Here’s a few simple rules to remember to be persuasive enough to get what you need:
1. Be confident – Editors are people just like you.
2. Do your research – You’ll be able to find more angles to pitch to this way.
3. Change the conversation – Don’t take the first “no” as the final answer.
4. Offer up new story ideas – The more you give the editor to work with, the better your chances.
*As a side note: Know when to back away gracefully – You can’t always win them all.*