As one of the premiere go-to publications for wedding day inspiration and beyond, we are thrilled to interview Elizabeth Swanson, Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor at Brides magazine, who shares her tips about what (and what not) to do when it comes to pitching!
Name: Elizabeth Swanson
Title: Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor
Publication: Brides magazine
Who is your audience?
Women in their 20s and early 30s who are engaged and pre-engaged. But so many people who are single and married have told me they’re enthusiastic readers too, so it really runs the gamut. It’s a great source for wedding inspiration, and sometimes women begin planning their ultimate wedding long before they’re engaged. (And who doesn’t love to look at pretty dresses? That’s really what our magazine is filled with: pages and pages of new pretty things.)
How do you prefer to receive pitches?
Via email, but I really get the best story ideas at events and desksides, when we’re spotting trends and learning about new ingredients in beauty products. Everyone also loves to tell me their own personal wedding-day stories. Talking with real brides creates fun brainstorming sessions!
How far in advance do you work?
We’re bimonthly—which makes it even seem farther ahead—but we work anywhere from three to five months in advance. We’re shipping one issue as we’re shooting the next, as we’re brainstorming ideas for the next. We’re simultaneously working on two or three issues!
What is the best time to send pitches?
In the morning. That’s when the coffee is fresh and I’m raring to go. If it’s sent in the evening, it runs the risk of going unnoticed.
What types of stories/pitches are you looking for?
Anything new and interesting that’s related to wedding fashion and beauty. We don’t limit ourselves to writing about the actual wedding day. In the fashion and beauty departments, we cover the engagement, honeymoon, and all of the events in between.
What makes a great pitch?
It has to be applicable, of course. Sometimes we receive pitches that have nothing to do with weddings! And then it should be really focused and enticing. Celebrity-trend roundups and how-tos are nice too, since we cover celebrity fashion and beauty for both the magazine and Web site.
If you are interested, what do you need to move forward?
All of the essential info: launch date, retail price, and availability. And if it’s a beauty item, then samples to test. We don’t put anything in the magazine or online that we wouldn’t use ourselves.
What is the best way for a publicist to build a relationship with you?
One-on-one face time, whether it’s a breakfast or a nice conversation at an event. And anyone who responds right away to interview and product requests—that’s basically the way to my heart.
What is a guarantee that a publicist will never hear back from you?
I don’t think incessant emails and phone calls will win over anyone! If the pitch works for us, we will let you know.