Media Pitching Tips from Top Business Magazines

March 28, 2011
by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/NY
NIkelle Feimster

Nikelle Feimster

The Publicity Club of New York (PCNY) recently held a business media briefing at 3 West Club in New York City. The event, moderated by Peter Himler, Founder and Principal of Flatiron Communications LL, included a panel of guests from top business magazines. The speakers were: Michael Santoli, Senior Editor & “Streetwise” Columnist, Barron’s; Jeff Chu, Articles Editor, Fast Company; Steve Bertoni, Reporter, Forbes; Nadine Heintz, Senior Editor, Inc. Magazine; Russell Pearlman, Senior Markets Editor, SmartMoney Magazine.

Here are a few techniques offered by the panelists on how PR professionals can increase their chances of getting media coverage:

 Make your pitch challenging. According to Steve Bertoni, Forbes is always known as the “drama critics of capitalism”. He said that for the magazine, stories need to have challenge or conflict so be sure there is drama or a lesson in your pitch.

Take time to build relationships. Russell Pearlman of SmartMoney Magazine advised PR pros to invest in long term relationships with journalists. He is willing to contact companies for information, but only after he has developed a relationship with them first. It’s also helpful to provide him with a client list that explains what each client can talk about.

Make sure your pitch fits the publication. According to Nadine Heintz of Inc. Magazine, you should know and read the magazine. “Show that you understand it and how your story would be a good fit,” she said.  When pitching Fast Company, Jeff Chu said to check out the magazine issue covering the world’s most fifty innovative companies to get a good sense of the companies they cover.

 Small companies, small industry you can still get big coverage. Inc. Magazine only covers privately held companies. Heintz will focus on how people start their own business and what makes them successful. Also, Barron’s writers are not bound by a beat assignment so “everything is pretty much fair game,” said Michael Santoli.

The panelists provided additional tips for pitching, like:

  • Don’t continue to call without leaving a voice message.
  • Spell the writer’s name correctly.
  • Stay away from jargon.
  • Put the news in the headline and subhead of the email.

PCNY has monthly “Meet the Media” luncheons that include a panel of guests from leading print, broadcast and online news organizations. For more information on upcoming events, visit http://www.publicityclub.org.


Business Wire New York Hosts Howard University Journalism Students

December 2, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

Howard University Association of Black Journalist (HUABJ) hosted their third annual Multimedia Tour November 11-12, 2010 in New York City. The journalism students visited several news organizations for a chance to tour their offices and speak with professional journalists.

The students were divided into two groups. The broadcast group visited media outlets including ABC, WBLS, WABC-TV, and Radio One Interactive. The print group visited NYU Graduate School of Journalism, HarperCollins Publishers, The New York Times, Amsterdam News, The Wall Street Journal and Business Wire. Both groups visited CBS Interactive and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

HUABJ Print Group

Overall, the students learned so much from the professionals on their visit. “Seeing the tour turn out so well was such a rewarding feeling,” said Mary Godie, President of HUABJ. “It was evident that the students got more out of it than they expected. We changed a few elements up this year so that students were able to get a well rounded view of the industry. And, I know they got that and so much more.”

Business Wire was very excited to be a part of the tour this year. Led by Mike Maguire, Northeast Editorial Supervisor at Business Wire, the students were given a step-by-step overview of Business Wire’s news distribution process. Following the presentation, the group witnessed the day-to-day operations of the editorial newsroom and saw how press releases are formatted and transmitted over the wire.

HUABJ Broadcast Group

“Business Wire has always had an interest in educational efforts that are happening at universities across the country,” said Maguire. “One of the ways Business Wire gets to show off what we do and act as teachers has been hosting students and faculty members at various colleges and universities. The students of Howard provided an audience that was keen to take in the opportunity we presented.”

HUABJ is a student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ). HUABJ was chartered in 1998 with a mission to cultivate, teach and prepare students for careers in journalism.


NABJ at 35: The Power of Change

August 10, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

I recently attended the 35th annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair held July 28 to August 1 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA. The sold out event was a huge success, drawing more than 1,600 media professionals from across the country. The convention was packed with a plethora of workshop and training sessions, forums, plenary ceremonies, and networking opportunities.

Dr. Mehmet Oz at the opening ceremony of the NABJ Convention

In keeping with this year’s theme, “The Power of Change,” a new initiative was introduced: Healthy NABJ. The opening ceremony featured television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and veteran broadcaster Rene Syler. According to Dr. Oz, in order for journalists to do their jobs effectively they have to take care of their health. In addition, journalists can spark change in the black community by spreading awareness of health issues that affect African-Americans including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

The most talked about panel discussion was “Context and Consequences: Conversation with Shirley Sherrod.” Sherrod was animated as she talked about how she was forced to resign from the U.S. Department of Agriculture because a conservative blogger posted video excerpts from a speech she gave at an NAACP meeting. Sherrod claimed her words were taken out of context and she was accused of being a racist.

During the conference, workshop and training sessions were held to provide journalists with the skills they need to stay current in the industry. Some of the sessions were:

  • Advanced Multimedia Training
  • Power Writing for the Web
  • Google for Journalists
  • Internet Etiquette: Being “Socially” Responsible

Benèt Wilson and Nikelle Feimster

I really enjoyed the workshop called “Public Relations and Journalism – The Intersecting Highway.” The room was filled with reporters and PR professionals who were eager to know how they can build better relationships with each other. During this lively discussion, one of the attendees asked if the reporters thought press releases distributed through wire services were useful.  Not only did the reporters find them useful, but one of the panelists, Benét Wilson, Online Managing Editor of Business Aviation, said that “Business Wire is great.” She praised Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager at Business Wire Chicago. Raschanda helped Benét  create a custom newsfeed with Business Wire’s PressPass tool. With PressPass, Benét receives only the news she needs at her convenience. This free media service is a valuable resource to journalists’ news gathering and it makes their jobs a lot easier.

Swayne Hall, AP photo editor, and Nikelle Feimster

Other heavy hitters in journalism who attended the convention were CNN contributor Roland Martin, Soledad O’Brien, and JET senior staff writer Clarence Waldron. Soledad was named Journalist of the Year, and Clarence received the NABJ Legacy Award.

Next year’s convention will take place in Philadelphia. To learn more about NABJ, visit www.nabj.com.


Marketing to Latinas: LatinVision Conference Recap

June 22, 2010

– by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

Nikelle Feimster

On Thursday, June 10th, I had the privilege of attending LatinVision Media’s Latinas Conference.  The panelists, made up of industry leaders, marketing experts and media executives, presented interesting stats about this evolving demographic and gave strategies on how marketers can effectively target this viable consumer segment.

During the conference, I learned a lot about today’s Latina – who she is, how she thinks, and her importance in the Latino market.  Leylha Ahuile, Mintel‘s senior analyst of multicultural reports, revealed in her presentation about Latina women in the U.S. that most Latinas are not traditional mothers with two kids.

U.S.-born Latino women are younger and more affluent than ever before and they represent more than 20% of all women in the U.S.  They’re advanced in education. In fact, Latinas are attending college at a higher rate than their male counterparts. They are predominantly English speaking, 100% bicultural and they’re spending more and more time on social networking sites than the general market.

According to Leylha, when it comes to media consumption, Latinas consume print media in both English and Spanish, but there is an increase in preference for English. One-third of Latinas watch English language TV and a majority consume radio in Spanish.

On the topic of digital and Social Media, Paul Lima of Lima Consulting says that Latinas are spending more time on social networking sites than non-Latinas . . . so why not use social media to engage? They love to share their experiences with family and friends, and they like to comment and share ideas on products. Bottom line, Paul says that brands that engage Latinas do well and prosper. It’s important to connect with them and understand who they really are in order to be relevant: “If you understand your business objective within your site, you will win.”

Business Wire can help brand leaders actively engage with Latino customers. By utilizing our LatinoWire product line, companies can bolster their print and Web marketing campaigns. With LatinoWire, your press release reaches the leading Spanish-language news and information outlets throughout the U.S., including more than 1,200 Hispanic print and broadcast media outlets.

LatinVision is a New York-based organizer of conferences and networking events focused on marketing to U.S. Hispanics and Latin American executives. Business Wire is a sponsor of LatinVision Media’s Marketing to Latinos Conferences. To learn more about the LatinVision Media 2010 Conferences Series visit www.latinvision.com/marketing .



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