How To: Pitch Yourself to a Magazine Editor

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by Summer Bellessa,

My e-mail account is flooded every day with endless PR banter and business owners’ personal pitches that claim to have the perfect product/line/expert for my magazine, Eliza. It can be a full-time job just sifting through my inbox. But there are ways to make me stop and look more closely at your e-mail pitch. Add these tips to your communication toolkit.

1. Know the publication. I can spot a mass e-mail in a second, and will delete it just as fast. Start by addressing the editor by name; include an area in the magazine where you can see your product/expert advice/business being featured. If you aren’t sure, you haven’t done your research.

2. Make it easy. I want to know what the product is and why it’s press-worthy. Include the Web site. And it helps to mention any other press you’ve gotten.

3. Make it pretty. Everything you send out, from the press material to your e-mail signature, should represent your company. If your product is elegant, everything should reflect that. If you have high-quality photography that is press-ready, we’re more likely to feature your product.

4. Make it short. Sometimes I only have time to read the first paragraph, so make it tight, entertaining, and informative. If I’m interested, I will e-mail and ask for more information. If you want to attach a line sheet or product shot, make sure it’s low resolution. Even better is a Web site with the exact product/pictures.

5. Follow up. After about a week, send another e-mail to confirm that the editor has received your first e-mail and to see if she needs anything. One is enough. If she hasn’t gotten back to you, it’s because your product/line/service won’t work into any current stories and she has 5,000 other e-mails to respond to. Don’t take it personally.

6. Repeat. When you have a new product/line/idea/spin, try again. Each month or so editors are looking to fill specific pages, and this time it might be perfect.

Other Ideas

* Have a writer submit a story in the style of the magazine.
* Send samples with an engaging note.
* Build relationships with editors/writers.

Ladies Who Launch is asking you … have you had any success pitching to magazine editors? If so, share your experience with us in the Comments section below!