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How to Pitch Gets Personal

These guys do work. Now, How to Pitch does, too.
In mb editorial, we’re like most service-minded editors: obsessed with making our stories do work for our readers. We share queries that landed their writers the bylines of their dreams so you can replicate their success; we tip you off to media industry movement so you can get a lead on places seeking staffers with skills you’ve got in spades; and we dig into how media folks prevail in their work so we can take cues from them. So, to keep things as helpful as we aim to be, we’ve organized our How to Pitch archive by topic, to mirror the way we know freelancers target places to publish their work.

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Q&A: Zoozoom, Webby-Landing ‘Online Glossy’

Anyone who’s paged through the September issue of a fashion mag and claimed they aren’t reading partly for the resplendent double-page ads is yanking your chain — who wouldn’t? Seldom is content and advertising on such even footing as when the major print glossies strive to sway the hearts and minds of fashion consumers with their annual September opus. But how to replicate the experience online? Better yet, how to maximize the year-round opportunity the Web presents? ‘Online glossy’ and two-time Webby winner may have the answer (hint: ‘you’ and your user-generated content have little to do with it). We put some questions to Zoozoom CEO Mike Hartley CEO and publisher David McIntyre, who filled us in via email.
What about Zoozoom’s offerings were most integral to its recent Webby win?
We think it must be the unique combination of creative, professional content and ads, the approach to interactivity and format that ZOOZOOM embodies. We call it an ‘online glossy.’
What did it take for ZOOZOOM to make it onto the radar of key fashion advertisers?
Consistently delivering quality content year on year has given us a platform to work with fashion brands online. Our ad unit also speaks fashion’s language. Although even the most luxurious of brands have sucked air when we tell them our CPM, on closer inspection our long-term value is apparent. But it’s still a work in progress. Fashion in many respects is very conservative and seemingly old-fashioned. Some brands aren’t however — Chanel, NET-A-PORTER.COM, Neiman Marcus, Diesel and others. We’ve developed relationships with these brands over a number of years, we’ve been persistent, we’ve worked hard and whilst trying to be respectful, we’ve sometimes had to be cheeky. Also, one of the advantages of producing our own editorial content is that we’re out there; we’re in the showrooms, talking with the designers. If we were a blog that regurgitated press releases, we’d have no real contacts within our industry. Our video interviews with designers and Fashion Week coverage are another way we interface. These are just a few of the ways we’ve been able to get and stay on the radar.

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Best of the Rest: Ocean Drive

With an editorial admission policy almost as elite as its glitzy readership, this Miami-centric monthly isn’t the most accessible mag around for freelancers angling to break in. However, if you’ve got a few key qualities, your chances are better than most. Things to help tip the scales in your freelance favor include:

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Back with a Bing

Ready for a date with the Tin Man, as a Bing reader posits?
Stanley Bing, the one who told us all our jobs were bullsh*t, is at it again — most recently with a reissue of his tome taking on Crazy Bosses. But this time around, he’s getting all multimedia about it, with the launch of The Bing Blog. Here, our favorite dual personality dips a toe into user-generated content, getting readers to write in with their own tales of crazy bosses, and even running a little competition last month. We’d be remiss not to note our up-close and personal relationship with the winner.

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Best of the Rest:

biglogo.jpgBecause we editors are experts at co-opting identifying others’ killer ideas, I’m adding to Noah’s great micro-series, and bringing you another How to Pitch-esque treatment of online outlet To learn why this site’s a great spot to place longer features and score repeat assignments, read on…

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Be the ‘Dopest Wordslinger in Town’

spunk_cover.jpgOn the heels of the paperback release of his 2005 grammar guide, Spunk & Bite: A Writer’s Guide to Contemporary Style, we put three quick questions to its author, Arthur Plotnik. He responded by playing favorites, copping to a Freudian daddy complex starring Strunk & White, and explaining why blogging shouldn’t be burdened by quality control.
The newly-published paperback edition of Spunk & Bite boasts an appended study guide, in which you provide exercises to help writers craft prose with ‘bite.’ Which is your personal favorite and why?
Choose one out of 30? You’re giving me abulia! But here’s a shorty that can have your readers noodling the time away instead of working:

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Out of Towners Need Better Apply

Here’s my pet peeve when receiving resumés, though you can surely see for yourself that it is not the only one. When a job candidate has an out-of-state (from where the job is) address on his resumé, why-oh-why would he not include something in the cover letter explaining that he is either a) living locally, but using, say, his parents’ house to get his mail; or b) planning to relocate soon. It’s so tedious to have to email a qualified candidate and ask if he or she is living in town.
Just a note from the underbelly here in searching-for-a-new-assistant land.
—Taffy Brodesser-Akner

  • Why You Didn’t Get the Job: The Cover Letter
  • Why You Didn’t Get the Job: The Resumé
  • Why You Didn’t Get the Job: The Interview
  • ‘Til Someone Tells You to Stop

    There’s something I can’t get out of my head that came up during the video shoot for our Redbook Pitch Slam 1-on-1: We’d concluded the planned portion of our taping with would-be Redbook contributors and editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison, and dismantled the camera setup that had eaten up her office real estate for the preceding two hours. The pitchers had taken their leave and myself, our assistant editor Noah, and our freelance videographer Kelly were swapping impressions of how things went. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Kelly picked her camera back up and began roaming Redbook‘s halls, shooting. My first thought was, “We didn’t request permission to shoot this — this girl is going to get us bounced right out of Hearst Tower.”

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    How To Pitch: 5280 — Shoot For The Mountains

    With its head in the clouds, this magazine with a strong tradition of excellence needs stories covering the Rockies and beyond.
    AvantGuildHow to Pitch: 5280
    All ‘How to Pitch’ Features

    How to Write and Cast Your Awful Film

    An L.A. publicist explains how to get your movie off the ground and into the “pre-production” stage — no matter how bad it is.

  • How to Write and Cast Your Awful Film (Image:
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