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May 18, 2007
Interview

PR Interview: Pitch PRWeek's Features Editor + Tips From News Editor

SUMMARY: The PR industry's national leading magazine is the one to pitch with your PR news. We talked to PRWeek's Features Editor and got tips from their News Editor on how to get your name into the weekly. Includes their top five no-no list.
Contact information
Erica Iacono
Features Editor
PRWeek
114 W. 26th St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 646-638-6102
Fax: 646-638-6115
erica(dot)iacono(at)prweek(dot)com

Background
Iacono attended the University of Delaware, where she majored in English with a concentration in journalism. After graduation, Iacono worked at a variety of local and trade magazines before coming to PRWeek, where she started as a Reporter in 2004 and moved up to Deputy News Editor and then Features Editor.

Circulation & Readership
US subscribers: 10,896, according to PRWeek’s data card for list rental. They have 18,000 email subscribers, and the PRWeek Contact Directory has 9,900 subscribers. 52% of PRWeek’s print readers are male.

The website, http://www.PRWeek.com/us, contains all of the magazine's content. It offers an archive of editorials, news, features, research and special reports. In addition, it provides daily updates and exclusive Web content, polls and Q&A with PR leaders.

Examples of current editorial coverage
Owned by Haymarket Media, PRWeek provides news, reviews, profiles, techniques and research. PRWeek Awards recognize the best in the field. The magazine also offers the largest job listings section in the industry.

Specials accessible to subscribers include: Editors' Choice, Book of Lists, regional roundtables, Marketing Management Survey, Diversity Survey, CEO Survey, Cause Survey, Corporate Survey, Career Guide, Agency Excellence Survey, Global Special, Agency Business Report and Salary Survey.

You can see their editorial calendar at:
http://www.prweek.com/us/contactus/editorialCalendar


The PRWeek Contact Directory contains more than 11,000 companies and, for simplicity’s sake, is split into nine sections: PR agencies, public affairs, trade associations, charities/nonprofits, advocacy groups, federal government, corporations, services and education.

How to pitch
Iacono prefers to be contacted by email. As to what she hopes to see in those emails, “we are always looking for good case studies to feature -- client examples of how companies are addressing the changing marketing and media environment through communications.”

If you want to contact Iacono’s co-worker, News Editor Keith O’Brien, keep in mind his resolution to become more environmentally conscious -- so, send an email. In addition, postal mail takes too long to arrive: “Considering how I often want press releases yesterday, the fact that it reaches me days after it was sent, rather than milliseconds, also provides a compelling argument for email.”

Picture Time: Besides case study pitches, PRWeek editors are open to cover your illustrative events. Make sure you let them know an event is occurring in advance (and don’t forget to send photos once it’s done). But, keep in mind, they want first dibs on your happenings; if some other publication already ran the story, PRWeek will pass.

Time Frame: The editors strongly suggest that you email them by Monday for the highest chance of seeing your name in the next edition of the magazine. Sending a pitch on Tuesday is still OK, but not great. Wednesday is the last possible day to bother with a query. After that, “unless you come sweeping in with a Fortune 500 win … or a game-changing M&A -- I will likely tell you to hold your news for a week,” O’Brien says.

Launch Pad: The Lauch Pad section examines the marketing behind a recent campaign, product or service launch. If you have an interesting upcoming launch, email Iacono or O’Brien.

Their Agency Business Column wants you to be a lead pitch on some new topic, such as something interesting you do regarding HR, benefits, global or local structure. Tell about the time you got your client on the front page of a major publication or placed them on an original blog that reaches a new audience.

Send press releases to news(at)prweek(dot)com, feature possibilities to features(at)prweek(dot)com and exclusives to keith(dot)obrien(at)prweek(dot)com.

What *not* to do
o Don’t email a list of agency accomplishments
o Don’t end your pitch with a suggestion to feature the aforementioned agency and a “What do you think?”
o Don’t pitch on Fridays
o Don’t send news regarding people’s moves below the VP level
o Don’t bother sharing about external awards

Press kits
We warned you -- don’t send press kits to PRWeek. As O’Brien says in one of his blogs about snail mail press releases, “Please don’t do this unless there’s some added component that makes postal mail compulsory.”

Meet Iacono and the other editors
Iacono occasionally attends trade shows and “will accept lunch or breakfast meetings.”

Pet peeves
Send the right reporter appropriate news. Check PRWeek's website to make sure that the journalist covers the material you’re emailing:
http://www.prweek.com/us/contactus/masthead


Also, give the reporters and editors time to respond to your inquiries. “I understand that PR professionals have to follow up press releases that are sent, but when someone calls me minutes after sending a release, it drives me crazy,” Iacono says. “Just use some common sense. After all, they might be in the middle of editing an article and your email does not qualify as a drop-all-and-respond priority.”


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