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Aug 10, 2007

PR Interview: Connect with iMedia Connection’s Readers

SUMMARY: iMedia Connection is a new media Web site that has a daily email newsletter. It dissects how electronic developments, such as Web, email, podcasts and games, influence advertising and marketing. So, if you are looking to reach brand managers and media buyers, check out our interview with the Editor in Chief of this influential interactive marketing site. Includes five pitch tips and three faux pas.
Contact information
Brad Berens
iMedia Communications Inc.
Editor in Chief & Chief Content Officer
200 Corporate Pointe, Suite 400
Culver City, CA 90230

Berens received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. He started out as a story analyst in Hollywood and as a columnist for ScriptShark. He moved onto Lineup Technologies and, later, to EarthLink. There, he spent four years as the company's digital editor in charge of reconceptualizing, relaunching and managing the company's main corporate website and customer-email-newsletter with a circulation of seven million.

Berens joined iMedia Communications in 2004. Besides his editorial duties, he frequently presents at the company’s summits and events, as well as at other conferences. Topics include transformation in media and consumer behavior, politics, online/offline writing and literature. His hobbies include collecting comic books (he has been doing it for 35 years and has around 80,000 issues) and reading Shakespeare.

Circulation and readership
Many iMedia Connection subscribers are their event attendees. The newsletter reaches 55,000 Internet professionals. iMedia Connection’s audience (175,000 unique users) consists mostly of ad agencies and marketers working in or with interactive media.

Current editorial coverage
Their content aims to serve as a bridge between buyers and sellers. The site offers analysis, opinion and news items. Features might include agency models and leader interviews about lessons learned.

Resource Connection offers objective overviews in:
o Ad networks
o Ad servers
o Email marketing products and services
o Media properties
o Rich media advertising
o Search engine marketing
o Web analytic tools

o iMedia Connection - a weekday newsletter that covers news, features, research, analysis, case studies, interviews, successful creative endeavors and best practices
o Driving Interactive - a weekly interactive marketing resource for the automotive industry
o Entertainment Spot - a weekly newsletter that offers tools to increase brand awareness and advice on interactive strategies

Web site
iMedia Connection's writers cover Web sites, media strategies, consumer strategies, search, creative, research/metrics and people. If you join their free community section, you can have your own homepage with a personalized URL and leave comments on articles.

You can look through industry-related job listings here:

To browse the event calendar, go here:

For podcasts, listen here:

5 tips on how to pitch Berens
Tip #1. Make sure the material is pertinent. “If the pitched content isn’t relevant to brand marketers or their interactive agencies, it’s not right for iMedia Connection.” So, check out the site on a regular basis or subscribe to the newsletter to familiarize yourself with the publication’s audience, style and writing guidelines, which are “available by individual request, as there are different guidelines for different parts of the site.”

Tip #2. Examine the site’s offerings on the topic of your pitch. A couple of minutes of research can save everyone time and effort.

Tip #3. Stick to email, his preferred method of pitching.

Tip #4. Describe how the readers will benefit from your content.

Tip #5. Pitch the appropriate journalist. It helps to be acquainted with the layout of the site and to know which section you wish to appear in. Usually, news items are sent to Michael Estrin and feature pitches to Gretchen Hyman.

If you would like to speak at one of iMedia Summits, send your pitch to Masha Geller.

The email format is firstname(at)imediaconnection(dot)com. The editors are too busy to answer every pitch. “This is simply because of the vast volume of queries we receive,” Berens says, so don’t feel offended.

3 tips on how NOT to pitch
Tip #1. Don’t pitch everyone on the editorial staff or, as Berens put it, avoid “press releases that take a shotgun approach.”

Tip #2. Don’t follow up too many times. One of Berens’ pet peeves is “the email + call + email + call *nagathon*.”

Tip #3. Don’t miss any established deadlines. “Deadlines are negotiated individually with specific editors for specific pieces or regular beats.”

Contribute to iMedia Connection
They will consider publishing prewritten exclusive stories that are under 600 words; “we only publish original content.” Be practical and offer specific how-to tips or bigger-picture pieces on relevant topics, such as CAN-SPAM’s effect on marketers’ practices. Frequent contributors have their own "author pages" displaying bios, photos, lists of all columns and RSS feeds.

To pitch an article, interested writers should reach out to one of iMedia Connection editors:

Regarding the possibility of joining their team, Berens says, “in some areas, we do want regular columnists, but it shifts fairly regularly.”

In addition, if you have an interactive marketing item to share, are looking for deeper treatment of a covered subject or are interested in contributing a feature, get in touch with iMedia Connection here:

If you just want to make a suggestion for future site possibilities, use this link to offer your opinions, compliments and advice:

Press kits
Berens is not keen on printed materials. “Generally, press kits are square pegs in search of square holes, and I don't find them terribly useful as they aren't commonly put together by people who understand the iMedia audience.”

Meet Berens and other editors
Because iMedia is an events company, the editorial staff are present at their events as well as at ad:tech, a sister company.

In addition, Berens doesn’t mind having a lunch meetings near their Culver City, CA, offices. Keep in mind, though, that their staff must always pay their share. Also, it’s important to plan ahead since “it’s a busy crew and last-minute lunch or coffee attempts are unlikely to succeed.”

See Also:

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