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Figuring Out Where to Pitch Your Stories

This week brings another helpful post from our friends at Muck Rack: This one is all about how to figure out which magazines and blogs will be most receptive to your pitches (we know from experience how difficult the process can be).

The individual mentioned in the post was recently involved in user testing sessions for the product he needs to promote, so the following list of tips is especially relevant to brands with upcoming product testing sessions–but it could also apply to those with established customer/fanbases. You know, the kind of brand loyalists who wouldn’t mind having you contact them for input.

Essentially, the tips boil down to figuring out which publications the members of your target audience read most often. This may involve contacting said audience members directly—but that’s usually less stressful than the pitch process, right? The steps:

  • Acquire your audience members’ Twitter handles and see which publications they follow. It might take a little bit of time, but it’s worth it. And it’s public information.
  • Check out their Facebook profiles to see which pubs they like or which media personalities they follow by inserting a “subscribedto” after their usernames.
  • Visit their Tumblr accounts to see who they’re following.
  • Check out their Pinterest accounts to see which magazines’ content they’re posting (this is especially relevant if you’re interested in the sort of lifestyle brands that dominate Pinterest: Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, etc.)
  • Figure out which websites they visit. This one is a little trickier because most people aren’t 100 percent honest about their browsing habits, and even fewer will be OK with you reviewing their browser history. But it’s worth a shot in a face-to-face situation.

Once you’ve compiled a list of blogs and magazines, the post encourages you to use MuckRack’s own search tools to determine which journalists you should contact, but you can also do a little bit of web research—it’s well worth your time to familiarize yourself with the staffers at popular publications.

PR pros: What are the biggest challenges you face when pitching? How do you choose which pubs to pitch?

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