Wolf Craft - Your PR questions answered

Welcome to the first edition of PR Questions with Nora.

This new monthly newsletter feature was inspired by you! If you've attended one of our recent PR workshops, you likely noticed there were A LOT of great questions during the Q&A's. We've collated all the questions and once a month we'll send you two in-depth answers to your most common PR questions. 
Q: The main thing I struggle with is finding the actual email addresses and contact information for editors and art directors at magazines.
A: What I recommend is becoming an expert Googler. 

If it's for an established publication that's part of a publishing house, like Conde Nast and narrative, for example, it's usually going to be some sort of
"first name . last name @ publishing house . com".

So, if you can find anyone at the publication, you can usually extrapolate from that to the contact that you want to reach out to.

A publications masthead won't often have the editorial e-mail addresses, but they often have the publishing and sales e-mail addresses. The structure of the email addresses are almost always the same.

Another good place to look are in editors' Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn bios. 

You can also try to find their personal websites and reach out via contact form and just say hey I'd like to send you a pitch what's the best email address and sometimes they'll respond to that. This is an especially good tactic for freelancers who often have personal websites for their work.

So getting comfortable with exploring all the Internet places they might live on, is a really good way to find that contact information.

As a professional PR firm, we happen to subscribe to one of those fancy editor contact databases, but we still have to use these tricks because sometimes those fancy data bases are still incorrect.
Q: What are the best practices for making an initial pitch to a publication- email vs. sending samples vs. a snail mail pitch?
A: One of the things that Kirsten and I built our business on was this design thinking methodology and one of the main pillars is empathy.

So if we think about this editor who is getting a zillion emails a day AND is probably working from home AND home is likely a small NYC apartment since a lot of the media live in NYC-- they don't want unsolicited samples right now. If everyone sent them a sample they would run out of space in their home almost immediately.

For that first email, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

You can't ask an editor to write about you.

You're offering them information that will make their job easier so that they can give that information to their readers. Use language like, "I think you might be interested in this story because I noticed like your readers are interested in (insert relevant topic)." 

This is such a better email than, "I would really love for you to write about me", or "it would really help me out." Honestly, it's not an editor's job to help you out.


Ultimately, just remember that empathy piece. Keep it brief, make it an interesting pitch, provide them value, and give them images that they can use.

A lot of PR advice online says "just have a relationship with editors". I think that totally useless advice because it doesn't explain *how* to do that. 

A good way to start thinking about how to start that relationship goes something like this-- "I would like to have a relationship with you, my business does this, I know you generally write about this, I'm going to have something coming up that I like to update you on."

In this type of intro email, you just want to say hello so you're not just pitching the whole time. This is a really great pre-pitch approach.

I hope that helps! Also generally don't send snail mail unless they've already written something about you and then you can send a thank you card.
A few useful tools to help you get started:
Thanks for giving us some time in your inbox! If you have any PR questions be sure to send them our way. We'll always respond and you may even see the answer in our newsletter!

Cheers,
Nora & Kirsten

PS - If you liked the newsletter, we’d be so happy if you shared it with others who might find it useful. Anyone new can subscribe here.

 
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