Pitching guidelines – updated Aug 2011

Here are my guidelines for pitching input for articles, where I’ve posted that they are open for 3rd party input.

Please note this does not apply to pitches for CEO interviews, broadcast opportunities etc. Please contact me directly by email in that instance.

1. Deadlines
Deadlines stated are the latestI will consider any unsolicited PR input. It is not the copy or publication deadline. I might not disclose those, it depends on the policy of the title.

2. Synopses
I have included, on my blog, as much information as I feel I can disclose, or the titles allow me to disclose. Please do not email for a synopsis. I will delete such emails, unanswered. If your pitch is of interest I will provide more detail, if I can.

3. The pitch
Keep it short, but specific. Please identify (name, job title) the spokesperson you are putting forward. Include 2-3 short bullet points of the areas they can cover, by all means, but no more. Do not attach bios/pics/anything else. Put the article title, and publication, in the subject of your email, along with the name of the client (eg ‘Big data in financial services, FT, spokespeople from Gartner). Include availability of the speaker, bearing in mind the deadline above.

4. Customers/end users/vendors
I will give preference to vendors or consultants who can provide a customer for me to speak to. That doesn’t mean supply a pre-written case study. I may speak to the vendor after I’ve spoken to the customer, but not before. For business titles (FT, CNBC etc) the customer should be line of business, eg head of retail banking, head of distribution. For tech titles, IT directors or CIOs are OK. None of the titles I write for, allow prior sight of copy before it prints.

5. Geographical reach
Global for the FT, CNBC, Infosecurity etc. EMEA for Information Age. UK for Tech Target/Computer Weekly, Guardian Professional, IT Pro. Customers and spokespeople must reflect this. And I don’t interview marketing execs (unless for a marketing story).

6. Pre-written articles and comment
I don’t accept these. Sorry.

7. Timeliness
The earlier you pitch your suggestions in, the more likely they are to be considered. But do keep in mind that I can’t fit everyone in, and also titles like to mix and match spokespeople, especially well-known analysts and consultants. That’s also why it helps everyone to keep it brief, at least initially.

8. Contact
By email. Please do not phone.

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About stephenpritchard
Freelance journalist specialising in business and technology, based in London (UK).

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