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Pitches

Pitching Advice from a Former Tech Journalist

Bekah Grant is no longer a tech journalist. But she covered startups, apps and acquisitions (aka our clients) for more than two years at VentureBeat, and she has some advice worth heeding beyond these truth bombs:

In a Medium piece last week, Grant offered PRs some general guidance on understanding and interacting with the writers who cover the tech beat.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking in Public

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You sweating yet?

In most PR agencies, flacks have one fear coursing through their bodies that forces them to consider wetting their pants just to relieve some stress — public speaking. You would think in this industry those are fears you leave at the door or reconsider your career choice, but there it is.

The public relations pros that have this issue — glossophobia, to those diagnosed and on medication — love pitching because they can hide behind a phone, or even better, an anonymous IP address and email. However, if those same folks are on the pitch team, they freak.

So, if you are among those whose knees are knocking, palms are sweating, and throats are cracking reading this post, don’t fret. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when caught in front of a crowd of possible clients.

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New Gmail Extension Allows You to Be Even More OCD Over Pitches

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So last month while we were sleeping, Google released a new Chrome/Gmail extension called Streak that allows you to see when recipients read your outgoing emails.

We’re a little glad that we didn’t hear about it upon release, because the appropriate adjectives used to describe it include “horrifying” and “creepy.”

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How to Pitch: Down East, the Magazine of Maine

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Down East, “the Magazine of Maine,” covers more than just lobsters, beer and farming. It spotlights the local dining, art and culture scenes — and even runs investigative pieces that have actually changed state legislature.

The mag’s readership is 60 percent out of state, including those who flock to Maine for the summer. So here’s how to get editors to consider your pitches:

Publicists can help in two areas: Down East is actively seeking more “cool stuff that’s made in Maine,” especially for its new December gift guide issue. Send your pitch in by August to make the December issue and be sure to include paid return postage as the magazine has a strict policy against accepting gifts. Publicists can also pitch successful Maine businesses as potential profiles for the “Making It in Maine” column.

To hear more about the mag, including contact details, read: How To Pitch: Down East.

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.

Spotlight Your Clients in Natural Health

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Natural Health‘s key demographic is women in their 30s who are focused on having a healthy body and living an “earth-friendly lifestyle.” Because the mag has a brand new look, mission and stable of editors, it’s a good time for PR pros to reach out.

This bimonthly pub’s editors are happy to accept publicists’ pitches, as long as they’re on target: “Think of the sell for the Natural Health reader,” said deputy editor Andrea Bartz. “Yes, these chips might be tasty, but are they actually healthier? Where do the products align with the mission of the magazine?” You also need to be able to communicate effectively:

While novelty and timeliness are both key components of a successful PR pitch to Natural Health, more important than both is a clear communication that the client being pitched holds the same standards and beliefs of the magazine. “If you tell me about a dermatologist that’s a good dermatologist, we won’t be very interested,” Bartz explained. “But if you tell me about a dermatologist who takes a very integrative approach and thinks about things the way we do as a magazine, that’s huge.”

For more about this pub, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: Natural Health.

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.

Generate Buzz for Your Clients in Fit Pregnancy

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Niche magazines are perfect for publicists looking to pitch their newest product. You know exactly what kind of readers the publication is targeting and can therefore customize what you’re promoting as you see fit.

Fit Pregnancy is one such magazine. With a circulation of 500,000 and a happy, upbeat tone, this pregnancy pub is always open to PR pros. Just be aware of its longer lead time (around six months) and communicate your pitch effectively, so the editors understand the timeliness and novelty of what you’re selling:

For publicists looking to generate buzz for their pregnancy and baby products, “new” is the key word that will unlock the door to Fit Pregnancy‘s pages. “We’re always looking for something that’s new, or that has something new about it,” said [deputy editor Andrea Bartz]. “So maybe the stroller isn’t new, but they’re just releasing it in the cutest new color, or there’s a really great update. If there’s something about a product that makes it first to market in some way or another, that will catch our attention.”

To hear more about this pub, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: Fit Pregnancy.

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.

4 Tips for Writing Email Pitches That Reporters Will Read

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In case you’re just a little bored with “how to pitch” stories…here’s another one!

Confession: we know how frustrating the process can be. We also know that being a good writer does not always make one a good pitcher.

Mattan Griffel, CEO of app launch service One Month Rails, wrote a great Medium piece on emails that busy people might actually read—and while he wasn’t specifically writing about pitches or addressing PRs, his points still apply.

We’ve adapted them after the jump.

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Showcase Your Clients in Draft, the Magazine for Beer Lovers

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Draft is a magazine dedicated to all things beer. Its core demographic are avid travelers who enjoy pairing beer with specialty foods and are always up to try new things. As managing editor Jessica Daynor says: “If Draft can get you to order a different beer than your usual Corona next time you hit the pubs, we’ve done our job.”

The mag is more than open to PR pitches, so getting your clients a prime spot in this niche pub should be relatively easy. Just be aware that Draft‘s headquarters are in Phoenix, so calling them at 7 a.m. from New York isn’t the best idea. Here are more details on what Draft is looking for:

Daynor welcomes celeb Q&A pitches. Generally, much of Draft‘s market editing is fueled by relationships with PR professionals and press releases. The annual gift guide, “Gear,” and “On Tap” departments are always accepting information on new products active beer drinkers enjoy, noted Daynor. And she urges anyone who represents a brewery, bar or beer-forward restaurant to get in touch immediately!

To hear more about this mag, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: Draft.

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.

Snag Your Clients a Spot in Women’s Health

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Women’s Health has grown immensely since its inception in 2005, and now, with almost two dozen international editions, the mag boasts 15 million readers each month. That’s a whole lot of eyeballs and all that attention could be the key to getting your client noticed.

So how can public relations specialists snag their client a spot in this healthy-lifestyle mag? Well, it helps to have done some research on the pub. Also, make sure you know what section/editor you’re pitching to:

PR peeps should pitch the same sections as freelance writers [fitness, health, love, sex and "Know It All"] and keep in mind that the magazine is not open to profile stories. [Executive editor Lisa Bain] urges publicists to use the masthead and pitch the right person. “Please don’t send them all to the executive editor,” Bain laughed. “People should really try to be targeted in their pitches,” she stressed.

For more info about the pub, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: Women’s Health.

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.

5 Most Important Findings from Vocus ‘State of the Media’ Survey

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Last week the integrated marketing software brand Vocus released its annual “state of the media” report, created by surveying hundreds of active journalists.

We found some of the report’s conclusions worth sharing, and Vocus CMO You Mon Tsang answered our questions about what they mean for PR after the jump.

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