PR Buzz: How Not to Pitch Fashion Editors
This week, Fashionista.com came out with an article titled, “How Not to Pitch Fashion Editors: A Complete Guide.” The story commences with, “Dear publicists, we've compiled some (unsolicited) advice to help make both of our jobs easier.”
As a veteran fashion publicist, I’ve avoided these pitching pitfalls for countless years, but it’s easy to make rooky mistakes when you’re just starting out in your PR career (e.g. following up with an editor a little too much, using the words “story idea” subject line, etc.). We’re human, right?! Here were the tips that Fashionista.com provided:
- Regardless of whether we've met, know ouractualnames.Spell the editor’s names correctly, don’t do "Hey [xx]."
- Knowing where we currently work is crucial. They get packages and emails for former Fashionista editors every week — and we're talking ladies who left six years ago and have held multiple positions elsewhere since. Ouch.
- ...as is knowing what beats we cover.This is PR 101 for any pitch you send out the door– do your research!
- Do some research on our most recent features — not only their headlines.
- Before you pitch a brand, service or product, please make sure we haven't already covered said brand, service or product in-depth.
- Do not ask us to cover an event we were not invited to.The article states that this happens all the time, and it is just plain insulting. Totally understandable.
- Do not use a subject line reading "Can you cover?" or "Favor?”
- If we pass on a story, it's for a good reason.They know what their audience responds to better than anyone else.
- Please,pleasenever ask us "What are you working on?"
- Don't tell us you have a "Story Idea!" for us. Coming up with the story ideas is their job.
- If you don't receive a response after two follow ups, we're likely not interested.
- Don't peg a pitch to a national tragedy or otherwise unrelated cultural event. Fashionista once received a pitch about nail polish pegged to the Paris attacks. Seriously.
- Finally, please don't pitch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In or, even worse, our personal email accounts or phone numbers.Just like publicists, they desire to separate business and pleasure.
Have you made any of these mistakes? How are you elevating your pitching game?
Jenn Lake, Senior Vice President