But unless you do your homework first and get to know everything you possibly can about the journalist you’re pitching it to, you could be blowing a golden opportunity for publicity.
Let’s say you want to pitch a story about tweens to Caren Oppeneheim, an assistant editor at Family Circle magazine. You find her email address, write the pitch, send it off, and hear nothing.
You wait several days, follow up with a phone call, leave a message, but still hear nothing.
It could be that she’s busy tweeting about her love for the Yankees, her cravings for sweet and salty snacks like chocolate covered potato chips, or the recipes she’s busy planning for her next Emmys party. Or maybe she’s reading the final few chapters of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.
Research Doesn’t Have to be Time-Consuming
I don’t know Caren Oppenheim.
But it took me less than five minutes to find out all those details about her simply by Googling her name. I also learned that even though she welcomes email pitches, she does not like follow-up phone calls.
If I were sending her a sample of a product, and an accompanying press release, guess what I’d slip into the box? A bag of chocolate covered potato chips, and a personalized note thanking her for recommending Unbroken.
What do you think Caren is most likely to do? Return your phone call that she didn’t want in the first place? Or give a second look at my product sample while she’s munching on her chips?
That’s why pitching quickly, without doing your research, is a waste.
How to Get into Magazines
I spent most of Thursday’s webinar on “How to Find Your Way into Glossy Magazines” discussing the many ways to research magazine journalists, connect with them and build the relationship, long before you pitch. (Update: The video replay of that webinar is available.)
Later today or tomorrow, I’ll email the link for the video download and all the bonuses, including my handy checklist for 11 Ways to Prepare for a Magazine Interview. If you missed the webinar, you can still register here for the replay and miss nothing. If you have questions while reviewing the material, email me and I’ll be happy to answer them.