Last week I showed 15 pitches to the executive editor of the best-selling newsstand magazine in the nation.
She reacted to them in real time, as if she were opening emails at her desk in her Manhattan office, and followed my prompting to think out loud.
“She’s 23? Too young.”
“Definitely doesn’t matter to my reader that Gwyneth is involved – celebrities don’t do well for us.”
“This one is completely right. It’s right for our demographic. Brain health is something that we’re very focused on.”
What stood out to me right from the beginning is how intimately this editor knows her readers, and how almost protective she is of them.
She wasn’t applying some “standards of newsworthiness” that she got out of a journalism textbook. Nor was she thinking consciously about society’s views of media bias or anything like that. It was only, “Does this hit home to my readers where they live, with what they’re doing every day?”
Every journalist thinks this way now. Because whether they need to sell magazines off of newsstands, or accumulate a certain quota of page views, earn a certain TV rating, or a certain number of podcast downloads, their success or failure is inextricably tied to their audience’s immediate reaction to their content.
That means your success or failure in pitching them is tied to THEIR audience, not yours.
And if your pitches are like most of the ones I see, they are still too focused on your organization’s key messages. I’m not saying you have to abandon those. You just need to reframe them.
Whether you would ever pitch this particular magazine is irrelevant. You need to get inside the heads of the media you’re pitching. Think like a journalist. Best way to do that is talk to them. If you can’t go down to the nearest bar and run into them, then you’ve got to find a way to hear them talk about their needs and how they think.
Do you know anywhere else you can do that besides my Inner Circle? Because I would love to find out.
Right now, the Inner Circle is the only place I’ve ever heard of that lets you hear real journalists’ reactions to real pitches. We’ve done it again and again, with staffers from USAT, WSJ, WaPo, Today, and more.
All those interviews (complete with the screen sharing of the pitches) are available to members of the program.
You can be watching this one, with this particular editor, later today. And then if you want, you can cancel and get a full refund. I’m so confident in the value of the Inner Circle that I happily invite you to do just that 🙂
Last week I showed 15 pitches to the executive editor of the best-selling newsstand magazine in the nation. What stood out to me right from the beginning is how intimately this editor knows her readers. We need to do the same.