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Your Media Interview Got Canceled! Now What?

How to make sure you still get your time in the spotlight

Whether you’re the PR expert who just lined up a vital interview for your organization or a business executive who scored the dialogue, that energetic high you get from securing a media opportunity can get easily deflated if the interview is canceled. A lot of preparation and coordination went into the pitch and the media outreach you conducted so we know it’s disappointing when you get the phone call that breaking news trumped your company news (especially when you’re wearing your media-ready suit!).

First off, it happens all of the time. Second, your big moment can still be big news, it just may happen on another day. Here are some tips to ensure you still get a chance to tell your story, regardless of the cancelation.

Follow up. This sounds easy enough but there’s the right way to request a second chance. Don’t ask to reschedule when the breaking news is hot and heavy. Allow time for the situation to calm down and for the news to return to its normal cycle. Depending on the severity of the situation, this can take a couple days to more than a week. Be patient, then make sure you follow through.

Understand timing. Rescheduling an interview may no longer be possible if the moment (i.e. photo opportunity, event, holiday or campaign has passed). That’s not to say that you can’t still follow up and secure an interview. Think about pitching how your topic impacted the community, or the significance of the aftermath. Offer photos from the event as part of the follow up. Visuals are very important and help the reporter tell your story in a compelling way.

Know the reporter. Genuinely participate in the reporter’s work. This means follow their social media, engage when appropriate, understand their reporting style, read their articles and so on. Familiarity gives you a deeper understanding of their storytelling method and their requirements or essential components for a good story. This will help you customize your pitch so that it has greater appeal to the reporter.

Become a resource. Sometimes despite all efforts, the opportunity has passed and cannot be rescheduled. That’s okay! You can ensure now that you have the reporter’s attention so when you have the next newsworthy topic to pitch, the journalist will be more familiar with your organization. This makes story building, or selling the pitch, easier for both parties. Be sure to come up with fresh topics that are newsworthy. When you prove that you’re a resource with original stories, firsthand information and unique angles, you’ll secure a coveted spot on their go-to expert list.

Need help pitching media and securing interviews for your business? Contact us at (813) 865-3093 or


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