Monday, July 16, 2012

WHAT EDITORS WANT! Five Smart Ways to Nail a Pitch

Want to better the odds of seeing your pitch make it to print? Here's how!

Check out the magazine’s media kit
Easily available online, media kits are marketing tools meant for prospective advertisers. But what they list, including the editorial and reader profiles as well as an editorial calendar or “general themes” for each issue, make it easy for you to know exactly what editors are looking for and and how to tailor your pitch.

Work with the editorial calendar
National magazines are produced six to seven months out. Regional publications are pulled together three to four months in advance. Online magazines and bloggers generally require only a few weeks or less notice. Pitch accordingly.

Tie-in your idea to a current trend
What’s trending now? The popular British melodrama, Downton Abbey, has made Edwardian grandeur an easy fall/winter fascination among editors. And you can bet that the much-anticipated The Great Gatsby has editor’s composing product roundups with Art Deco twists.  

Give your pitch a subject or intro line
Like a handrail for your idea, this gives editors—at a glance—the skinny on the story you have in mind. A little teaser  for a bright red umbrella like (Cool Wet Weather Gear …….for under $25) helps the editor realize that there are more places than one where your product could fit before they even read the pitch. It also signals to the editor that you have done your part to make a good fit for their publication and that you are ready for press.

Send print-ready images
The single most important component of a product-driven pitch is the image you send with it (and that photo should be embedded directly into the pitch as a low-resolution image, never attached) How do you know what’s good? If it looks as if it could be plugged directly on to the page you are pitching, you’re on the right track.  Don’t style the products with a pretty backdrop or props, which only serves to distract from it. Editors prefer a well-lit picture of the product against a plain white backdrop.

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