Do you pitch more than one editor at the same magazine at the same time…or not? That is the question! Ever since I started working in PR more than 10 years ago, I’ve been motivated by that famous saying, “it is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” My clients hire me to promote their fashion and beauty products to the media – everything from whimsical dresses with polka dots, fancy flat irons to glittery manicure sets.
So, when I want to make sure Cosmo or InStyle or Refinery29 knows about my client’s latest product du jour for a potential product round up story (those single pages in magazines with a bunch of “editors picks” around a particular theme, or online slideshow), I will contact the appropriate editors, and quite possibly their colleagues as well.
Do you pitch more than one editor at the same magazine at the same time…or not? That is the question!
With a predisposition for memorizing mastheads, I pretty much know who covers what section I’m aiming to get coverage in across all relevant publications. Of course, many publications only have one or two people covering the entire market for fashion and beauty items, but for those publications with a fashion director, a senior fashion editor, a market editor, an assistant fashion editor, a fashion assistant, and even an assistant to the fashion director…I might reach out to many of them individually. I’ve also emailed a couple of them in one email at the same, addressing both of them, so that they know I know they both cover the same beat. In the beginning of my PR career, I would question my tactics and wonder if editors hated this. But having been a magazine writer and editor myself years ago, I never had a problem with this and actually expected that publicists were reaching out to my colleagues as well.
But for those publications with a fashion director, a senior fashion editor, a market editor, an assistant fashion editor, a fashion assistant, and even an assistant to the fashion director…I might reach out to many of them individually.
To make sure that I am in good company with this strategy (and not some crazy rogue publicist with her own agenda), I recently asked some other fellow publicists about what they felt was the appropriate etiquette for this pitching tactic. When pitching lifestyle products for round up stories, most publicists are perfectly on board with pitching more than one person at the same time.
According to Smack! Media founder Elisette Carlson, “Many editors within a single outlet don’t speak to each other either because they are too busy or because they freelance. Therefore, it is ok to pitch more than one editor.” She does go on to encourage, as a common courtesy, to let them know you’re doing this. “For example, write, ‘Hi Robin, I passed this along to (Jane) from your team, but thought it might interest you as well as it seems to be in line with topics you cover.’ This way, the editors can communicate if need be and you’re letting them know that you’ve shared the pitch. If you wait to hear back, it may not be of interest to one editor whereas it could have for another, and you may lose the opportunity. This also plays well into what passions and interests editors have. One might not want to write about lipsticks or moisturizers on that day, whereas another might be a lipstick fanatic on the hunt for the latest look.”
Many editors within a single outlet don’t speak to each other either because they are too busy or because they are freelance. Therefore, it is ok to pitch more than one editor.
Pitching expert and former writer/editor Meagan Rhodes is also of the same belief. She shared that “It’s absolutely fine to pitch to more than one editor at once. The appropriate way to go about that is to CC them and ask that your information be passed along to the most appropriate person. Editors’ inboxes are completely swamped with pitches, so many emails simply get overlooked. It helps if there are a few more eyeballs on it–either the correct editor will notice it and take action, or the other editor will remind their coworker verbally (they’re often sitting next to one another in the office), or they’ll forward it to the correct person. Once an email gets forwarded, it’s more likely the correct editor will finally take notice.”
Before sending any emails out, however, make sure to do your homework on who the right department contacts are. It’s pretty easy for editors to figure out if you just spammed the entire magazine’s masthead, and that will not be looked at fondly.
If I only reached out to one person at a time per publication, not only would I quite possibly go gray waiting for responses that may never come, I might also prevent my clients from missing out on potential opportunities. In all the pitches I’ve sent out over the years, I’ve never had an editor say to me, “Since you didn’t just pitch this necklace collection to me, I’m not going to cover it!”