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Join Our Research Team at DMA 2014
Apr 27, 2007
Interview

PR Interview: How to Make News in U.S. News & World Report

SUMMARY: Does seeing your name in the nation’s third most popular news weekly sound exciting? Learn how to pitch U.S. News & World Report in our exclusive interview with their Deputy Business Editor. In it, James Bock explains what to include in your email to avoid his delete button.
Contact information
James Bock
Deputy Business Editor
U.S. News & World Report
1050 Thomas Jefferson St. NW
Washington, DC, 20007
202-955-2289
JBock(at)usnews(dot)com

Background
Bock has been in the newspaper/magazine business for more than 30 years. He has held titles of reporter, editor and foreign correspondent.

Circulation and readership
U.S. News & World Report has a weekly readership of more than 11 million. For 2005, the magazine had 2,028,167 million paid subscriptions, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Men make up 57% of the magazine’s readers. The median age is 46.9 years old. 72% attended college, and 16% have post-graduate degrees. The median household income is $63,380. 30% of their readers hold professional/managerial positions while 14% are B-to-B decision makers.

Editorial coverage
U.S. News’ editorial calendar is at:
http://images.usnews.com/usnews/media/print/2007_editca
endar.pdf


The magazine has four main content categories:
o Personal Finance
o Science and Technology
o Education
o Health and Medicine

In addition, the publication offers six double issues per year and five America’s Best Specials that list best graduate schools, hospitals, colleges, health plans and leaders.

Website
Their site had 1.2 million unique visitors in February 2007, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Online departments include:
- Nation & World
- Health
- Money & Business (company profiles, interviews, research; retirement, real estate, investing; business management, technology, entrepreneurial endeavors)
- Education
- Opinion
- Photos & Video
- Rankings

Their Money & Business blogs include:
- An Economic Apocalypse
- Small Biz Scene
- Dave's Download
- America's Business

They also offer two free newsletters:
- This Week newsletter contains the best of print and online, including the weekly cover story, blogs, multimedia, special reports and annual guides.
- Today newsletter brings headlines, multimedia and blogs published every weekday at USNews.com.
Readers can customize their interest profiles, so the newsletters reflect the information they care about the most.

Web 2.0
- Daily briefings are also available on mobile devices, such as a PDAs or smartphones: http://www.usnews.com/mobile
- RSS feeds are available at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/rss_info.htm

How to pitch
The best way to get through to someone at U.S. News is by email. “Phone calls are disruptive,” Bock says. Reporters, columnists and editors are often on deadline, so they don’t always respond to queries. But, Bock promises, “if we’re interested, we’ll contact you.”

Uninformed queries don’t go very far. “Many pitches show that the PR person is not familiar with the kinds of stories we run,” he says. This means: stay away from sending useless boilerplate letters.

Bock looks for “an interesting trend, person, company or source.” He doesn’t answer all of the pitches he gets, though. Often, he will forward them to reporters whom he trusts to take over. “Sometimes I let them decide whether to follow up.”

Meet Bock and other editors
Contact individual department heads if you would like to set up a lunch meeting. Bock doesn’t participate but suggested that you email the section editor who “does most of the lunching.”

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