Re: News Story Pitching - Call & Blab?

From: Nick Wreden <>
Date: Tue 24 Oct 2000 19:54:15 -0500

> And what about these online PR agencies/services that
> distribute your story for you, they always tout their
> close links with certain publications but how good are
> they? Has anybody had any experience with them?

One of the great semi-myths in the PR biz is that
publication depends on "who you know." Anyone who
thinks that is always true should check out Press
Access ( Each week Press
Access publishes the names of editors and writers who
have been reassigned, left or hired. That weekly
listing is generally 5-8 pages about the career moves
of dozens and dozens of journalists, underscoring the
infamous fluidity of the editorial profession. It's
hard to have a relationship that pays off long-term
when editors and writers are constantly moving (or
maybe relationship has been redefined to mean a
one-night stand equivalent of a single phone
conversation or email). It's even harder these days
with a growing reliance on freelancers. What works
much better than knowing people is knowing the
process. At the most basic level, it's knowing
deadlines--what are good days to call, and what are bad
ones? What days are story assignments made? For some
weeklies, it's Monday a.m.; others, it's Friday p.m.
Who determines story topics--reporters, or various
editors? How does the publication handle exclusives?
What is the standard story "format?" At some tech
pubs, it's rigid to the point of boredom --
announcement, analyst input, major features, customer
response, and, sometimes, remark about competitive
entries or market obstacles. Obviiously, editors at
that pub will be most receptive to a pitch in that
format. If you're dealing with a publication for the
first time, call the editorial assistant. They can
tell you the best person to call, the best time to
call, and if anyone else is involved in the process.
But, ultimately, publication still depends on news
value. You could run over the editor's mother, and
the pub would still run your story if it hit home with

Nick Wreden
Author of "FusionBranding: New Branding Models for the
New Economy"

Received on Tue Oct 24 2000 - 19:54:15 CDT


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