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Jul 11, 2008
Interview

Get Your Story in Front of Top Retail Execs: 5 Tips to Pitch Internet Retailer

SUMMARY: Your target is retail executives. Try Internet Retailer. Its monthly print magazine, website and weekly newsletters reach tens of thousands of readers at retailers, including Amazon.com, Staples and Dell. Here are five tips to get your story told.

Contact Information
Kurt Peters
Editor
Internet Retailer
300 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 602
Chicago, IL 60606
312-362-9529
http://www.internetretailer.com/default.asp

kurt(at)verticalwebmedia(dot)com

Background
Peters has been editor-in-chief since 2000, when he joined with Publisher Jack Love and two other partners to buy Internet Retailer from Thomson Financial and formed Vertical Web Media in Chicago. Peters began his career in the newspaper industry after graduating from Northwestern University. In 1983, he started writing newsletters for POS News, which was acquired by Thomson Financial.

Circulation & Readership
The print magazine circulates to 42,417 readers each month, according to BPA Worldwide. The website gets 800,000 visits per month – 200,000 unique. The four weekly opt-in newsletters have about 37,000 subscribers.

Magazine readership:
o 46.2% chairmen, CEOs, presidents
o 24.5% directors, department managers
o 15.1% others
o 8.1% vice presidents

Most readers work for these retail segments:
o 13.9% catalogers
o 12.9% vendors
o 12.3% Web retailers
o 9.5% manufacturers

Editorial Coverage
Coverage focuses on big-picture trends and practical how-to articles. Trend stories cover, for example, how much online retail sales are up or down and how consumers use the Web. Examples of how-to articles: become a better marketer; create a better website design, improve fulfillment.

Most IR articles are written for online retailers so they must have an Internet application.

Topics include:
o Web marketing and merchandising (SEO, affiliate marketing, email marketing, blogging)
o Website operations (Web analytics, design, e-payment solutions)
o Multichannel merchandising (cross-channel promotions, online catalogs, customer service integration)
o Supply chain automation (Internet product sourcing, delivery services, automated restocking)
o Retail enterprise management (systems integration, Web-based POS systems, Web-based store planners)

Internet Retailer’s media kit, which includes an editorial calendar, is here:
http://www.internetretailer.com/images/IR_MediaKit2008.
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How to Pitch: 5 Tips
Send all press releases to this email address: irp(at)verticalwebmedia(dot)com. For story or source pitches, send them directly to Peters. Here’s five tips on what he looks for:

-> Tip #1. Relevancy to retail industry

Make story pitches and press releases about a retailer, technology vendor, or service vendor that are extremely relevant to the industry, says Peters. “We have a focus on how retailers use the Internet to become better competitors so anything we consider has to have a very clear Internet angle.”

-> Tip #2. Stress story angle first

State the angle of your pitch and press release up front. “I’m not interested in any kind of set-up,” he says.

-> Tip #3. Pitch yourself as a source

Get your name and your company’s name in IR by pitching yourself and your expertise as a source for upcoming features.

Peters and his staff welcome these pitches. Send an email to him or an editor outlining who you are and what your expertise is – or what kind of story you think you would be best suited for as a source.

-> Tip #4. Match content to different mediums

Internet Retailer seeks content that matches up best with its outlets. Familiarize yourself with each so you know what to pitch to each medium. All pitches should follow the same guidelines. You can pitch specifically to a newsletter.

Newsletter content is basically the same as the Web content, with each newsletter having a different focus:
o Monday: NewsMakers (profiles on executives considered thought-leaders in the e-retailing market)
o Tuesday: NewsLink (staff-written news articles and press releases about the main e-retail events of the week)
o Wednesday: Top 500 Watch (news about Internet Retailer’s top 500 e-retailers)
o Thursday: Focus (features and news stories with a specific weekly focus, such as search-engine marketing, fulfillment, and site design)

-> Tip #5. Pitch idea before writing an article

The magazine publishes one article from a contributor each month. If you want to be the author, Peters suggests that you pitch your idea before writing the story. And make it original – not something you’ve had published elsewhere.

“Our needs are so specific and we edit everything very tightly so it’s unlikely that a completed piece would get in,” he says. “It also needs to be exclusive content.”

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