Read this post if: you’re curious about reaching out to editors and journalists.
One of the most important aspects of pitching to editors is building a relationship with them. It’s much easier to connect with key editors and journalists via social media but there are a few definite no-no’s if you don’t want to go on their black-list!
- 1. Be persistent, but don’t stalk
If you’re following on Twitter for example, it’s OK to comment on a link or question they’ve asked or an article they’ve tweeted. Retweet by all means, but not every single tweet, every day. Sounds like common sense right, but you’d be amazed how much it happens and it is so annoying!
2. Be persistent!
Yes, I know I’m repeating myself but this is if you’ve submitted an article and haven’t heard anything back. Editors are very busy people and as there’s less staff in the newsrooms, the chances are an editor is juggling a number of roles. It could be that they simply haven’t had time to review your piece.
3. Call them
That’s right, pick up the phone. Remind them that you’re there. It can often be easier to take a quick call and give a quick reply than waiting for that elusive email that may have got lost in the inbox.
4. Speak to the right person
Don’t waste time chasing down the wrong person. Make sure you have the right editor for the right section of the publication you’re pitching for. Again, a quick call to the editorial team will confirm this. If it’s a radio station you’re pitching to, approach the production team directly if possible.
5. Network with journalists
There are plenty of opportunities to network with journalists and editors. Remember that they are looking for stories too and events such as ‘Meet the Journalist’ are ideal for researching the right contacts. Don’t pitch anything, just ask for their contact details and what kind of stories they’re looking for.
6. Read & comment on their articles
If you write a blog then you know it can be a lonely place sometimes. Once you’ve identified a couple of journalists or editors you’d like to connect with find out if they have a blog. You could always ask them on Twitter, then make sure to go and like, share and comment on the article.
7. Take your time
Don’t jump straight in with a pitch. Get to know them a little first. Are they on Linkedin for example? Do you have any connections in common that can introduce you? You can always refer to this in your pitch at a later stage.
8. Don’t take the p**s
As and when you get your story accepted, stick to the deadline – submit earlier if you can. Consider the audience and who you’re writing for. DON’T submit a barely disguised promotional piece, it’s sure to get rejected and put in the ‘DNA’ (Do not accept) drawer i.e THE BIN!
9. Become their go-to expert
Every radio station, news outlet and TV station have a go-to expert that is tried and tested. This data is shared between various stations and channels so the possibilities are endless. Once you’re on friendly terms with your editor, ask if there’s any other area that you can help with. Suggest ideas if you feel it fits with their publication and doesn’t already exist.
10. Say Thank You
Simple and somewhat obvious but often overlooked. If you’ve had a piece accepted and published then follow it up with a thank you call or email. And whilst you’re there, suggest another article/feature – it’s perfect opportunity to build the relationship.
I hope these tips have helped you get clear on how to build and strengthen relationships with journalists and editors. If you liked this post and found it helpful you might also like download Top 10 Pitching Tips here.