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Dec 10, 2004
Interview

PR Interview: Brag About Your B-to-B Campaigns in Business Media Matters

SUMMARY: 69,000 b-to-b advertising, media, and marketing pros get American Business Media's monthly newsletter featuring profiles of the hottest campaigns both offline and online. It's great exposure for agencies -- find out how you can get your campaign spotlighted:
Monica Toriello, Editor Business Media Matters American Business Media 675 Third Avenue New York, NY 10017-5704 212-661-6360 ext. 3329 info@abmmail.com http://www.americanbusinessmedia.com/news/bmm_archive.cfm

-> Reach

69,000 professionals in the advertising and marketing industry

-> Toriello's background

As Director of Communications for American Business Media, Toriello is responsible for all publications the company distributes. Her previous career included a job as Editor at office.com before she moved into corporate communications and finally "ended up here," she explains.

"What I like about B-to-B media is, it's always the right audience, very unlike consumer where you're casting a very large net and aren't sure who you're hitting," she says. "There are a lot of smart people working in B-to-B media. It's unglamorous, it's not that sexy, but it's also the underdog -- a totally underestimated and very powerful medium."

Toriello lives in New York with her husband and four-year-old son, and she's still "madly in love with the city."

-> Current editorial coverage

The monthly enewsletter was created last January as a tool for B-to-B media to reach out to the advertising community. "We wanted to create a vehicle for sharing success stories and information about the space," says Toriello. So the newsletter covers not just magazines, but the Web, events, trade shows, face-to-face media, and enewsletters.

Stories focus on innovations that have helped clients achieve their marketing goals: "I look for not a lot of fluff but actual ROI data -- concrete results and hard data that can be shared," she says.

She also covers general data about the industry, stories on topics such as measuring return on investment, and anything that would help a marketer make a marketing decision.

News on new campaigns generally doesn't make the cut, "because we don't really know if it works yet. But if you already have measurable results and you can say 'Our response rates are this and that,'" she'll consider it, she says.

-> Best way to pitch Toriello

Press releases, case studies, quick personal notes: all of those work because, she says, "I pretty much trust myself to see a good story however it's sent."

If you can highlight in three sentences what the story idea is, what it's all about, and what a reader can learn from it, that's best. "I don't care what format it comes to me in but the more you can help me out with brevity and no fluff, the better."

Email info@abmmail.com, which goes to Toriello herself. Don't call to pitch, and don't follow up. She'll send an email within a week, whether she's interested or not, "unless it's just a press release that looks like I'm on a big list," she says. Phone calls are just too time-consuming. "The day is short," she says. "Phone calls are bad for [PR] relationships."

-> What she looks for in a story pitch

If the subject line smells of spam, it will get caught in her filter and if it doesn't, she'll simply delete it, so don't use superlatives, exclamation points, etc.

Include in the subject line something such as, "Story idea for Business Media Matters," and she'll absolutely read it and get back to you.

The content of your pitch should be interesting and innovative, not simply, "We ran a full-page ad and it was great."

"I kind of like small advertisers making a big splash with not a big budget, and stuff that has a lot of data. The more you're willing to share the stronger the story becomes," she explains. Basically, she wants what any editor wants: people who think out of the box, somebody who takes a risk and it pays off, data that's helpful to people.

-> Pet peeves

--Press releases that are eight paragraphs long and say nothing --People who pitch stories with no knowledge at all of the medium they're pitching --Product announcements that have nothing to do with business advertising or media

"There's this one name that whenever I see it in the 'From' line I just delete it, because she's pitched me hundreds of times with nothing that's relevant. You really destroy your credibility that way," Toriello says.

-> Prewritten contributions

She hasn't published any in the 11 issues they have run so far. "That's not to say that I wouldn't, it just has to be pretty compelling."

-> Becoming a regular columnist

Not much chance of that.

-> Deadlines

The newsletter is published during the last week of every month. Deadlines are mid-month -- generally around the 15th.

-> Favorite professional publication

"Ad Age is very insightful, edited very well," she says. "The New Yorker and Real Simple are the only magazines I'd read if I didn't have a job."

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