Photo: Robert Libetti/Business Insider
A large part of my day as the Contributors Editor at Business Insider is spent reading through pitches from people who want to contribute to the site. Many of these come from PR firms.
As a journalist, I’ve had my fair share of battles with publicists, but I don’t particularly have a problem with what they do. I find the claim that PR people are the “livelihood of journalists” a bit dubious, but think editors, journalists and PR reps can have a healthy relationship.
I have, though, come to dread the canned emails offering another client from another no-name company that promises to tell our readers how to migrate their IT department to the cloud or offers the best crisis communication tips.
Here are some suggestions so that editors actually read your pitch, instead of sending it straight to the trash can (which happens more often than not).
1. Make sure your pitch is relevant to a section covered by the publication or site.
2. Send a personalised email — not a blast.
3. Just because your client may be successful as a CEO or marketing manager does not mean he can or should write.
4. Do follow up in a way that is helpful, not obnoxious.
5. If I say I’ll pass on something, don’t send me examples of similar posts that we’ve published on that topic.
6. If I don’t respond right away, don’t immediately request to connect on LinkedIn.
7. Do send clips to show me that your client has written and published before.
8. Do offer your client as a source. Maybe it’s not a good fit to have your client write something but he might make a great source for someone else to interview.
9. Don’t send over a post that is simply promoting your client’s business or book — we don’t publish press releases.
10. If we do publish the piece and send you the link, make sure you do some promotion of your own!
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