With a fashion and beauty enthusiastic audience that measures in the millions, Stylebistro.com is a go-to resource for women looking to define their own personal style through celebrity inspired fashion trends. We are thrilled to share tips from Katie Davidson, Screen Style Editor, on how to best pitch her ideas and develop a more personal relationship.
How do you prefer to receive pitches and when is the best time?
By e-mail, and mornings. I'm not too picky on this, but that's the time I go through my e-mails and before the stress of deadlines and to-dos kicks in.
How far in advance do you work?
Since we are a website, we have multiple deadlines a day. While I try to work in advance and am constantly thinking weeks and months ahead, a lot of times I am meeting deadlines the day of—which is also why it can take me awhile to respond to e-mails. But I'm working on getting better; it's one of my New Year's resolutions!
What types pitches are you looking for?
StyleBistro is a fashion and beauty site focused on helping women find their personal style. We pull inspiration from celebrities/street stylers and aim to make it attainable by capping products featured at $300. Personally, I handle all of our pop culture coverage, so anything worn on TV as well as in film or music videos is always welcome. I also am constantly looking for interview opportunities with celebrities and experts in the entertainment industry (costume designers, hair/makeup/fashion stylists, etc.).
What makes a great PR pitch?
Understanding my specific role is key. Often times I get pitches and respond by letting them know what I specifically cover on the site (which is entertainment-related, has to be under price point mentioned above and available to purchase online, etc.), yet I’ll continue to receive the exact same pitches. Tailoring them to the publication or editor takes a little more time but goes a long way. I'm also always interested in learning more about the brand or company, so a brief bio is always a nice touch.
If you are interested, what do you need to move forward?
Hi-res imagery is really important. For fashion items, flat (off-model) images are much easier to work with, and for beauty products, samples are necessary to make sure it's something we would recommend, etc. Also, since we are web-based, I need links to purchase items;
often times, the products I'm pitched are only available in stores/boutiques, but we need to be able to direct our reader to the actual product [online] in order to feature it.
What is the best way for a publicist to build a relationship with you?
Meeting in person is always nice. I’m from California, so when I first moved here and started in the industry (a year and a half ago), I was overwhelmed by all the coffee/lunch dates, along with all the market appointments and after-work events. However, building relationships is key to understanding your clients and will help you stand out amid the massive amounts of e-mails received. As far as social media, I welcome publicists to follow me on Twitter and Google+, but for me, my Instagram and Facebook accounts are still pretty personal. With that said, I've become close to many of the publicists I work with and end up adding them.
What is a guarantee that a publicist will never hear back from you?
Being rude or bullying. It doesn’t happen too often, but pressuring or guilting me to feature a product or person on or site will not get you very far.
What do you wish more publicists understood about your job?
Editors have not only their publication's voice and brand to uphold (as do your clients, which we understand) but also their personal integrity. Still, I always make it a point to understand what exactly a PR rep would like to promote and how we can tailor that to fit our site. So, it's frustrating when we get asked to change small things, for instance the way something is worded. Obviously, if it's something important, I am happy to make adjustments, but asking to change minor details of a story is something editors are not cool with.