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Pitches

JustReachOut Thinks It Can Beat Your Startup Pitches

Sherlock

This week, we’ve witnessed the further evolution of the “do tech startups even need PR?” debate.

Uber’s General Manager Chris Nakutis gave the concept a big thumbs down while contributor Paul Wilke of Upright Position Communications presented ways to try and dispel the sense of inherent distrust between the two parties.

Today, TechCrunch let us know that yet another company called JustReachOut wants to replace you(!) by making the email pitching process a little easier for those startup folks.

We can tell you’re curious…

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: A Kinder, Gentler Ku Klux Klan Using Candy to Recruit Kids

klan-candy

Yes, this is real. Yes, this is 2014. Yes, that is an untouched picture. Yes, the sardonic hicks of hatred known as the Ku Klux Klan have decided to get back on the campaign trail because membership may be a little low these days.

And so this loosely fit flyer made in Publisher because the economy was delivered across an Oconee County subdivision of northwestern South Carolina. Inside, was a candy cane and some family friendly paraphernalia reading  ”Save Our Land, Join the Klan.”

Sweet, right?

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Is the ‘Client/Partner’ Label Spin or a Serious Definition?

recipe for success

If you work with new business pitches for any amount of time, you will see one of the hidden mysteries of PR pitching unfold in a matter of minutes: how an agency transforms from a vendor to a “trusted partner.”

This is the magical moment when PR agencies are no longer looked at as “hired guns,” but rather “extensions of the marketing team to help reach a common goal.” This is when value of opinion becomes a thing. This is when execution of big ideas become a thing. And this is when your retainer is no longer “a thing.”

Shouldn’t the same happen for clients from the agency perspective? And if so (and it really should, in case you’re wondering), when is that moment?

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Mental Floss Wants Quirky, Off-Beat Product Pitches and the Stories Behind Them

Mental Floss is the academic junk drawer of odds and ends of information, origin stories and occasionally the “random things Billy Murray does,” as digital managing editor Erin McCarthy put it. So it makes sense that editors want publicists to come to them with quirky and off-beat products.

Editor-in-chief Jessanne Collins and her staff work regularly with publicists in the fields of travel, books, and spirits and liquor. But, it is not as simple as just pitching an eccentric product. Said Collins:

“There has to be some sort of smart, weird or quirky hook to any hotel or restaurant pitch, and similar with spirits; it’s not just about making a drink, it’s about learning about the history of the spirit and some of the interesting facts and context.”

Collins and her team stressed the importance of understanding the voice of the magazine and its aesthetic. ”It’s really about just being familiar with what we do and the types of things we cover, as well as the angles we cover things from,” said Collins.

For more pitching tips and editors’ contact information, read: How To Pitch: Mental Floss.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

 

New Media Influencers on Rebranding, Expansion and ‘Obsessions’

Mic.com Logo“Voice, perspective and messages framed so they resonate with younger readers have all become more important in media now. That means having our ears to the ground in politics and entertainment, then packaging topics accordingly”, said Jake Horowitz, founder and editor of Mic (formerly PolicyMic).

Mic is among a growing number of media brands that launched or renamed recently, like re/code (formerly AllThingsD), Vox.com and Quartz. Editors from these outlets appeared on a PCNY panel on Thursday to discuss their latest moves.

While these sites generally don’t use PR-related pitches, that may change over time. Given their global focus, one could equate landing a story in these outlets to the U.S. soccer team’s World Cup game vs. Ghana: challenging but not impossible.

Here’s a brief rundown on each outlet and their approach.

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#PRFail: Microsoft Offers To Pay TechCrunch Founder To Promote Internet Explorer

Microsoft-Logo-square

Today in not-exactly-breaking news: Microsoft Internet Explorer lags well behind both Chrome and Firefox when it comes to overall browser usage (though they’re still ahead of Safari and Opera, whatever that is).

This week, the company “accidentally” committed a big PR no-no in its latest attempt to promote the browser; a “vendor” offered to pay TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to write a post hyping the “reworked” version of the product.

Arrington responded with a post on UnCrunched expressing his disbelief: “do people still do this?”

Apparently so.

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Publicists: Latina Wants Your Celebrity Stories

Few things get a magazine more excited than a possible celebrity exclusive, and Latina is no different. The 18-year-old publication is well known for featuring prominent Latina women as sources and experts on a variety of topics, including parenting, relationships, money and more. If you have a story on a Latina celebrity, editors want you to step forward.

While cultural competence is key when pitching to the magazine for the “acculturated Latina,” so is timeliness and content relevancy.

Dan Koday, executive content director for both the magazine and its online counterpart, Latina.com asserts:

Reference something we’ve recently done. We won’t cover someone just because he or she is Latino or Latina. It has to be a compelling story. If you have a specific section to pitch it for, even better.

Writers and publicists should pitch profiles and products at least four months in advance. Also take note: Latina “does stories, not announcements,” says Koday.

For more pitching advice and editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Latina.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

UPDATED: ‘The Oatmeal’ Cartoonist Leverages Love of Tesla Motors to Support Nikola Tesla Museum

tesla-review-hed-2014

I’m a longtime fan of The Oatmeal, and particularly appreciate how cartoonist Matt Inman exuberantly describes and animates his unbridled passion for the things he loves — his dog, grammar, the fiendishly-terrifying Mantis Shrimp, etc.

As it turns out, Inman also happens to love Tesla — both the legendary inventor and the car company — and is attempting to leverage his love and endorsement of the latter to support a museum honoring the former.

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Showcase Your Clients in Wine Enthusiast

Wine-Enthusiast-ArticleWine Enthusiast is a niche mag with a very specific type of reader: usually in his or her mid-to upper 40s, with a median income of  $100,000. It’s the perfect demo to pitch clients of yours in the travel or food and beverage industry.

PR folks should send pitches via email, and the best timing is five months prior to the issue publication date. Here are some other tips:

Publicists should focus on wine, food (both cooking and dining out) and travel. Successful pitches include chef profiles and recipes for the front-of-book, as well as product suggestions for the holiday gift guide. If you represent a restaurant, even better. “A lot of times, it’s restaurant publicists who have something new or special in their beverage programs or some sort of recurring wine series [that we might cover],” says managing editor Joe Czerwinski. “Occasionally we spotlight individual sommeliers in Q&As. So there are some cool things that we’re certainly open to hearing from people on.

For more, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Wine Enthusiast.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Land Your Clients a Spot in Essence

Essence-ArticleEssence, which calls itself the black women’s bible, is ripe for PR pitches. With 1.5 million issues in print (and 1 million online), this pub reaches a large, niche audience.

Editors at Essence want PR folks to know that they are inundated with press releases, so pitches need not be generic. Be sure to thoroughly research the brand before delivering your pitch:

“The number one thing I want publicists to know is that yes, Essence is a magazine for black women. Our mission statement is ‘We tell black women’s stories like no one else can.’ But,” [deputy managing editor Dawnie Walton] stressed, “you still need to know a little bit more about the brand than just pitching anything having to do with black people in general.” Also helpful: pitching to the right person. Take a look at the masthead and know who covers what to make a press release or story suggestion more targeted.

For more, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Essence.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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