The Word NO Translated

The saying goes “ask and ye shall receive”, right?  But how do you handle the No’s that are inevitable?  I will admit, while I get a lot of yes’ I also hear a lot of no’s as well.

How do I handle the discouragement that could come with no?  Read on for my boss tips on translating your no!


I pitch at least three campaigns a week.  This could be for an event or a concert, hair products, fashion, things that are lifestyle related, food, etc.. I get A LOT OF NO’S, for real yall.  But in my head, I hear these four things:


1). Not My Brand

Maybe you are not a fit for THAT BRAND, but I immediately think, what are some similar brands that may be interested in what I have to offer?  If I pitch a hair company and I get a no, I move on to the next hair company.  One “NO” does not mean a NO for all brands in that product line, it is just a no for that brand.  If they give you a reason, for example, maybe your platform following is too low, then do the work, grow your platform and come back qualified.  Maybe you don’t fit the look or a certain demographic and that’s fine too.  There are tons of brands in that product line, update your notes and move. on.


2).  Not Right Now

We all know how hard it is to multitask.  Imagine you are a brand receiving 100s of pitches.  Brands are managing hundreds of campaigns at different stages from ideation to implementation.  You may pitch a brand and they are in the midst of a campaign launch or they are in the planning stages of the next pitch.  If you get a no, a brand may very well be saying not right now.  This essentially is not a no.  This is a redirect.  Wait a month, refresh your pitch and resend for a potential yes.  A no from a brand may not be a hard no, but a not right now.  It’s up to you to be patient follow-up and repitch.


3).  Not that angle

You have a great idea for a blog post interviewing the star actress, but the brand wants to highlight its investment in renovations to the performance hall.  This ‘no” translates into “we have enough press in that area” and not that particular angle.  If a real relationship is established then maybe the brand will clue you in, but in general, if you pitch an idea that’s not the right angle, then you may get a no.  But that’s not really a no.  I recommend before sending any pitch to do a quick google search on the brand.  If its a restaurant, have they launched a new menu item? If it’s a hotel, do they have any amenities that set them apart?  Make sure your angle is one that the brand is interested in, or you may get a no, which really means “not that angle.”


4) Not the right person

You’ve completed a search for your media contact and sent your pitch to a generic email address.  No response.  You reply to that same email hoping the “re:” will prompt the receiver to your message.  No response.  In my mind, NO RESPONSE IS NOT NO.  It is simply no response.   Maybe you should find a contact name to pitch directly.  Have you tried reaching out to the brand on social media for a personal contact? There are tons of networking groups to connect you with decision makers whose job it is to reply to emails.  No response means you aren’t reaching the right person.  That is not a no, it means to network and use social media to find your contact.  I use a few apps that help me find contacts and determine email formats as well.  Be sure to follow-up and it’s always best to find a personal contact to pitch versus a general inquiry email.


Stay encouraged.  The No’s are really opportunities to follow-up, re-pitch, network, or be patient.


When you look at it that way….it is not really a no.  You got this!  Go pitch your ideas and be great!


Karla (KB) Burnett is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Life. She loves coffee and donuts.  She is a Nashville Native and Lifestyle Blogger; a Free Spirit, and a Music Lover. Be sure to follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.
Say hi, I’ll say hi back:

KB The Nashville Social Butterfly

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *