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Pitches

50 Publishers Share Their Pitching Pet Peeves

Last month, Fractl‘s VP of marketing Kelsey Libert wrote a guest post detailing the results of research conducted by her company and CRM provider BuzzStream. The topic of that story was tips for writing email pitches that editors will actually see.

Spinning off the same project, the team surveyed members of the editorial teams from the “500 top-tier publishers” included in the previous infographic to help identify their biggest pitching pet peeves.

The resulting flipbook is a great — if sometimes painfully honest — document. Interestingly, some of these quotes address pitches from within the given publication’s editorial team, not from outside PR contacts:

The lessons are the same, though. Some basic takeaways after the jump.
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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

F/W/V CEO Offers Tips for Pitching Sports and Celebrity Clients

moves mag

You may have missed the fact that Moves magazine relaunched earlier this month; you may not be familiar with the property at all. But the release tells us that Moves has been “the premier lifestyle magazine for pro athletes” for a decade, and parent company Moves Media Ventures plans bigger things with its relaunch and transformation into “a diversified media company serving athletes, entertainers, managers, moguls, influential tastemakers and the advertisers seeking to reach them.”

Moves also has some serious PR industry connections: French/West/Vaughan founder and CEO Rick French is both a partner and a chairman of the mag’s editorial board.

We spoke to French, a former print and TV journalist, to learn more about what Moves can do for your sports and lifestyle clients.

5 Email Myths, Debunked

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What does the perfect email pitch look like? It’s a question without an answer, really.

Yesware is an email tracking/analytics software provider primarily concerned with serving the sales side of the business equation, but we think PR pros will be able to relate to some of the company’s recent findings a little too well. A 2012 McKinsey study told us that the average office worker spends 13 hours — or 28 percent of his or her week — sending, reading, sorting and deleting emails.

We’re sure the numbers are even higher for some media relations specialists, so after the jump we have five myths allegedly disproven by Yesware’s analysis of 500,000 individual emails.

Let’s see if they apply to the pitching process…

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The Atlantic Wants ‘Tech in the Home’ Pitches

Print

Here’s an interesting tidbit from The Atlantic Technology Channel this morning: the magazine is looking for great stories about adventures with tech in the home.

It’s true that this call for pitches is really aimed at freelance writers, but given the fact that home tech is one of the industry’s hottest forward-facing topics at the moment (arguably second only to wearables), it could certainly be a great opportunity to work with journalists who specialize in that subject.

From the post:

“We want to hear your stories about homes, about the physical and digital spaces where you live, about what draws you to them, and the defining rituals that happen within their walls.

Remember: Technology doesn’t just mean the Internet and gadgets—we want your adventures in architecture and systems and ways of thinking.”

They don’t want your standard formatted pitch. Also:

“We hope you’ll do a little searching before you pitch to see if the concept you’re looking into has been done before—not just by us, but by anybody.”

So this is a challenging one. But the resulting series would be a great place to showcase home tech products in action and their practical effects on everyday life.

25 Things Journalists Think You Should Stop Doing Right Now

Here at PRNewser, we often post lists of best/worst practices in media relations. We’ve done the pitching thing and we know how hard it is; it’s nothing if not an imprecise science.

This week, our friends at Hubspot have called upon their team’s knowledge, along with “journalist gripes from Twitter and from in-person interviews,” to compile a second annual “S#*t PR people do that journalists hate” project.

Here’s the slideshow:

We especially love the part about copy-and-paste pitching and the hook ‘em first email trail leading to “more information.” These context-free pitches often come from robots (we think) or people based overseas, but there has to be a there there, right?

After the jump, some additions to the list from us and our Mediabistro colleagues.

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Late Washington Post Editor Reprimands ‘Flack’ in Classic Letter

WaPo

News of former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee’s passing earlier this week rightly led many to declare an end of an era in journalism. A quick look at his paper today reveals protests by staffers unhappy with new owner/Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ management style — primarily his plans for staffing cuts.

But this Throwback Thursday revelation (which actually posted yesterday) reveals that some things never change: namely, the relationship between journalists and PRs who don’t know how to take “no” for an answer. Here’s the full letter Bradlee wrote to this guy about his misguided campaign to get the paper to run a profile on his client.

Also: PR has never liked the word “flack.” Shocker, we know. Full letter after the jump.

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Mashable’s Branded Content Editor Talks Pitching

LAUREN-DRELL-HEADSHOT-newAt a summer event hosted by AirPR, we met Lauren Drell, who runs branded content at Mashable. Drell was being honored for her work that night, and we were impressed by her claim that she responds to (almost) every pitch she receives — especially after Newsweek writer Zach Schonfeld’s “respond to every pitch for a week” experiment got so much attention back in September.

Fortunately, Drell agreed to give us a few minutes of her time for a “So What Do You Do?” interview; here’s a segment from the forthcoming piece.

What sort of advice would you have for those looking to pitch a client to Mashable’s Branded Content department?

My beat is everything, and I do make an effort to reply to everyone because I never know what I’m going to need to know about the latest niche app.

But the number one way to get coverage for a startup would be to email our startup reporters and/or get in touch with them on Twitter.

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Why Do So Many Journalists Dislike PR?

His-Girl-Friday-still

This morning we came across a post on LinkedIn written by Account Executive Kim Cox of The Cline Group and titled “There’s a Reason Journalists Hate PRs.”

We were compelled — especially since the premise of the story was a reading of EZ-PR founder Ed Zitron‘s book This Is How You Pitch, which he also discussed with us two months ago.

The headline’s conflict is a problem to which we see no long-term “solution”. Cox’s point (and Zitron’s) is that each PR professional needs to develop something approaching a relationship with those on the other side of the media aisle rather than simply sending blind emails and wondering why no one ever replies.

But we all know this. And it’s not so simple, either: no matter how often the journalists Cox cited in her post talk badly about PR, we also see them going back and forth with smart reps on Twitter. And those are just the public interactions.

We reached out to Zitron, who had a few things to say and write.

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Newsweek Journo Responded to Every Pitch for a Week. You Won’t BELIEVE What Happened Next

newsweek

In a perfect world, every journalist would respond to all of our pitches, right? Even a polite “thanks, I might check it out” would be better than nothing at all, wouldn’t it?

Yesterday, Zach Schonfeld of Newsweek posted a piece in which he recounted his experience doing exactly that for a whole week.

Let’s just say it doesn’t sound like much fun.

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The Denver Post Marijuana Editor Gets Some Interesting Pitches

Weed 420 bro

In case you weren’t aware, public perception of the world’s most popular weed is changing.

Since the states of Colorado and Washington effectively legalized the possession and consumption of cannabis, an endless number of related businesses have sprung up to take advantage of a market newly illuminated by the (grow)light of day.

In fact, just over a month ago we spoke to friend of the site and Clear founder Andrew Graham about his plans to launch an advocacy group best described as “the NRA for Cannabis.

But what about the journalists covering this brand-new industry?

Glad you asked: we recently spoke to Ricardo Baca of The Denver Post. He serves as the head of The Cannabist, or the first news vertical dedicated entirely to the culture and business of marijuana.

Selected quotes after the jump.

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