in: Public Relations - Pitching The Media
by: Sabina Hitchen
Admit it. When you're pitching a magazine editor you want to increase your chances of getting a "yes" - or simply a response in the first place - as much as possible. Other times you're just not sure which editor is the best bet for your story so you have no other choice but to send multiple emails (or so you think). This choice may seem like a surefire way to guarantee coverage but it could also work against you. Here's why:
Magazine editors aren't all isolated, working separately, doing their own thing. They're part of a team, and this team works next to each other, talks to each other, and has regular meetings with each other. This means that they share the story ideas they have, the pitches that caught their eye and the ones that may have been way off track. If you're pitching to two, three or seven editors (even if they all are part of your industry) and they start to notice it (which they will) your eager emails may be misinterpreted as spam. You may look like an entrepreneur who decided not to put in time to research the best editor for their story, and instead sent it to everyone on the list. They may even wonder, "If Small Biz Owner Sally sent every one of us this email, how many other magazines did she send this story to? Is it even original? Is everyone else already covering it?"
To be sure you don't end up doing more harm than good via sending multiple emails, here is how to handle this situation:
- Before you pitch any magazine first do your research to narrow down your choices of who to pitch. Sure there may be 7 food and drink editors but chances are they don't all cover the same thing (both content and column wise). Reading the magazine will help you figure out which of those editors are the best match for your pitch.
- If you need help narrowing it down try emailing or calling an editorial assistant and asking which editor is best for your company/story angle. You can also send off a quick email to the editors in question themselves asking if they're the best fit for your story. These are easy emails to send and you'd be surprised how many people want to point you in the right direction.
- If you do still need to pitch more than one person, here's how to do that the right way: a) Narrow it down to no more than two people. b) When you pitch them, give them each their own email. c) Within those separate emails acknowledge that you also pitched their colleague (and mention which one by name), and explain you thought it was a fit for both of their coverage and weren't sure who was best for it, so you sent it to them both. This way you're being polite and clear about why you're pitching multiple people.
Taking these three steps before mass emailing a magazine will ensure that your business and reputation start out on the right foot! And don't feel bad about asking the editors for a little guidance and help (as long as you've already done your own research and familiarized yourself with their work first). You'll be pleasantly surprised regarding how much they want to help you get your story to the best person for the job, and their insight will save you endless hours of pitching the wrong people!