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How to really annoy an editor

Off Pitch: Five Ways to (Really) Annoy an Editor

One of my favorite things about my work life is that I get to wear two hats. One as a PR and Marketing pro and the other as a travel and accessories editor and contributor to several outlets including Nicole Magazine. Getting to wear the editor hat is such a privilege because it allows me to experience firsthand the things that PR pros do that drive editors bonkers. There are some repeat offenses that I see over and over again that always lead me to hit the delete button. Here are five surefire ways to annoy an editor in a pitch:

Send the same exact pitch from-or-to-different email addresses

Seems obvious right? However, in this modern world of mass or blast pitching, some publicists don’t check for duplicates when they pull a list. A PR firm that shall remain nameless sent me the exact same pitch for a product I already told them was not a good fit. I received emails from three different account executives on the same day. I now hit delete when I see a pitch come in from that agency.

What to do instead: Assign one person to manage a single pitch, or at least check in with one another to ensure there is no duplicate effort. Manually check your list to ensure you don't have multiple emails for a single outlet, like info@, hello@, etc. Pitches should be personalized to the editor at the publication, but if you are sending out a mass pitch, make sure your list is clean.

Choose not to include pricing

Every outlet needs to know the prices or price range of a product line, whether it is a luxury publication or a budget conscious outlet. Prices help editors determine if the item is the right fit and also place items in stories.

What to do instead:  Don't be shy about listing pricing. It might even make sense to do so in the subject line. For the right outlet, something like "The most flattering pencil skirt is under $50" could be a winner. After introducing your product images, include pricing and direct links for each look featured.

Pitch something that has nothing to do with the editor’s scope of coverage

This is single-handedly the biggest reason why publicists can get a bad rap. Off-topic pitches are a waste of everyone's time. If an editor covers women’s fashion, don’t pitch them a baby toy.It really does pay to do a little digging to find out what an editor has written before you pitch. Off topic pitches are a sure fire way to ensure your pitch will go straight to the trash bin.

What to do instead:  Take a quick look at recent stories, either through the outlet itself or social media, and ensure you are pitching something relevant, and something that hasn't just been covered. If an outlet puts out a "Best Boots for Winter" roundup, and you have a great pair to pitch, wait a few weeks or pitch a fresh angle.

Pitch a HARO without following the instructions listed

For the uninitiated, HARO or Help A Reporter Out  is a resource that editors and reporters use to source material for stories. Writers can list their needs and instructions for pitching in a blast that is disseminated to PR pros and those in the know. The newsletter is distributed three times per day. I have found that for every HARO, query I have listed, at least 50 publicists fail to follow the explicit instructions I have listed in my request. I don’t even read those pitches. I immediately delete.

What to do instead: Read the query very carefully and double check you have included all the relevant information before sending.  Some common HARO infractions include pitching well after the deadline listed in the HARO, not pitching to the email listed, sending the editor an email instead of a direct reply, and of course, pitching off-topic.

Send an email newsletter-style pitch

Editors are not interested in receiving news of your latest collection in the same format that you send email newsletters to customers. Also, an email marketing-style look and feel is an immediate clue that I was most definitely part of a blast pitch. These pitches generally are missing descriptions, pricing and product background information that I like to skim through when being introduced to a new product or brand.

What to do instead: Embed image collages directly into your personalized pitch.

What have you learned to never do when pitching an editor?

PS: For more easy-to-implement tips on how to pitch editors and bloggers that land coverage, (without making anybody go crazy!), check out Pitch Perfect: The PR Couture Guide to Fashion Media Coverage

Photo Credit: [BOOX]

[Sponsored by the Two Point Oh! Annual Snowball] Twitter's Calvin Klein Allegation, Millenials Overtaking the Workplace & Tips for Introverted PR Pros Fashion PR Fridays: PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of November 10, 2014

[Sponsored by the Two Point Oh! Annual Snowball] Twitter’s Calvin Klein Allegation, Millennials Overtaking the Workplace & Tips for Introverted PR Pros

This post is sponsored by the Two Point Oh! Annual Snowball. Blogger community Two Point Oh! are having their fifth annual Snowball on December 6 at Maker City in L.A. and are seeking sponsors and partners for the event. The Annual Snowball is a gathering of fashion, style and beauty bloggers based in the Los Angeles area who get together and celebrate the holidays - prom styley. The event features a daytime styling and beauty suite, and the evening sees the ball itself - a decadent party featuring music, drinks, dessert and in infamous "Socially Gifted"  gifting suite.

Sponsorship and partnership options start as low as $150 + product for the Socially Gifted gifting suite - a fun activation where the attendees must tweet or Instagram to claim their goodies, and go all the way to $1500 for a booth or on site activation. It's the perfect time to tap into an enormous reach and access all your favourite bloggers in one place. For more information, please contact kelsi@stylesmithonline.com

  • Millennials are officially taking over the workplace. What does this mean for other working generations. (via Fast Company)
  • Lucky magazine is listening to readers and putting e-commerce first. (via AdWeek)
  • Marc Jacobs allows easy shopping by curating items via Instagram. (via Luxury Daily)
  • Follow-ups can be the best way to assess someone, but what do you ask? These tactics will help you get a better read on that potential hire or partner. (via Harvard Business Review)
  • And this is how social media rumors get started. Calvin Klein never called Myla Dalbesio plus-sized, but Twitter certainly thought he did. (via Time)
  • A Fashion PR Confidential recap by fashion blogger and PR girl, Alyssa Mopia. (via Alyssa Mopia)
  • Five things you'll hear in a PR agency today. What would you add? (via Mediabistro)
  • Want to get inspired? From selfie culture to color theory, you'll want to take a look at the Influence issue of Shape/Shift magazine - it's free! (via Matte Black)
  • Why Rebecca Minkoff and Ebay are all for smart dressing rooms. (via Venture Beat)
  • A few tips for us introverted pr girls (yes, we do exist). (via Business2Community)

Favorite Fashion Videos

Photo Credit: Anne Marthe Widvey

Why You're Not Moving From Intern Table to Assistant Desk

5 Reasons Why You’re Still at the Intern Table (and not the PR Assistant Desk)

Everyone tells you how important internships are, but when you are working internship after internship for no pay it can start to feel like a job with a paycheck isn't in your future. Sure all the experience is great, but eventually you need to find a way to make a living. If you feel like you keep getting seated at the intern table instead of your own assistant desk, there could be a few reasons.

You're wallflowering

You have to be something really special to turn your PR internship into a job. Be ready to be the first one there and the last one to leave. Never look like you have nothing to do and if you really do have nothing to do, ask for another task. You need to show that you want to learn at the firm and you can prove to be an asset to the team. If your boss can't imagine a day without you, a paycheck may be in your future.

You're acting above it all

As an intern you have to act like an intern. Getting all buddy buddy with your superiors doesn't make you an asset, it makes you a liability. If you show respect for the office dynamics you may find yourself moving up quicker then you thought.

Show that you want to improve and that you want to be a better publicist. Ask your boss how to position yourself to move up and if that isn't a possibility, move on, but do so gracefully. You never want to burn a bridge.

You're not learning from your mistakes

It's inevitable that you will make a few mistakes. After all, you're learning the industry as well as the specific quirks and preferences of your agency. The key is to learn from the mistake, and commit to never making it again. Your boss needs to be able to trust the quality of your work in order to consider making you a permanent part of the team.

You're still in college

Don't fret. You're still in school. Internships are going to be what you are offered until you graduate, even if you already have 10 of them under your belt.

You haven't asked

If you are about to graduate and are only getting internships, have a very honest conversation about the possibility of moving part time or full time from an internship position. Let your employer know you are serious and you see yourself long term at the company and you want to put things in motion to make that happen. If that doesn't seem like a possibility there ask if they are open to helping you find a job.

When interning you have to know how to ask for what you want, while not upsetting the office dynamics. It takes a little trial and error, but so is finding the right job.

PS: Pick up a copy of Ready to Launch for more fashion PR career tips or sign up for a career coaching session!

Photo Credit: Melanie Souza

Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me a note.