posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Rebecca Brooks
In the world of PR, publicists are constantly vying to attract the attention of the media. Journalists receive hundreds of emails everyday from PR professionals across the country, so it is crucial to communicate in a way that sets you apart in a positive, compelling way. We spoke with a few of our favorite editors and producers and asked what they feel is the best way for a publicist to catch their attention. Here are the results:
When I can tell someone’s taken the time to go through past issues and see what works. Calling out a story or item we’ve run previously and mentioning how a pitch—for a product, a person, or an idea—could deliver in a similar fashion really shows me that the publicist understands our brand, our reader, and how I can sell her idea.
— Marissa Stephenson, SELF, Fitness Editor
My favorite publicist: organized, efficient, one step ahead.
— Alicia Ybarbo, Morning Show Producer
Any pitch that has some sort of quirky, unique angle – an interesting statistic, a funny back story, a wacky new ingredient gets my attention!
— Runa Bhattacharya, SELF, Beauty Assistant
A well-crafted email can certainly get my attention. I think the best publicists think about how their clients fit into the bigger beauty picture. What other companies are targeting the same issue? Is there an expert who can also give tips on the particular problem the product solves? If you present it to me as a story rather than just a product I'm more likely to cover it. (And always include a low-res image!) It's also super helpful to explain how the product or expert could be covered in different mediums. I'd love to know how the product could work in the magazine, on the web, or in a TV segment. Finally, never underestimate the power of an interesting statistic. I love using numbers and factoids to break up a page, and good ones are difficult to come by!
— Ellen Miller, SHAPE, Beauty Director
What actually gets my attention is a note that addresses me personally, and makes some connection to a specific story or column in Health magazine, a TV segment they saw me do, or a product they know I love. The best pitches are brief and to the point. And while I’ve seen far too many useless products come my way over the years, a lovely, useful, unique item certainly can grab an editor’s eye.
— Frances Largeman-Roth, Health, Senior Food & Nutrition Editor
A publicist catches my attention with wit, humor, and most of all by being themselves - my biggest pet peeve is someone trying to pretend to be something they're not! New beauty products pitched with acreative twist also always strike my attention.
— Jennifer Rice, Freelance Writer