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Aug 01, 2008
Interview

PR Interview: Pitch BusinessPundit Blog: All Biz with Humor: 6 Tips

SUMMARY: The BusinessPundit blog provides a healthy dose of news and commentary tempered with humor. Writing posts about subjects, such as bargaining tips, inspired by Carl Icahn’s antics at Yahoo!, gets them through their days. Pitch to the blog if you want to reach out to business readers in a fresh way. Here are six tips on sparking interest from Senior Writer Drea Knufken.
Contact Information
Drea Knufken
Senior Writer
BusinessPundit.com
P.O. Box 529
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
Info(at)BusinessPundit(dot)com
http://www.businesspundit.com/


Background

Knufken joined BusinessPundit a few months ago after working in Silicon Valley for seven years. She started in sales and customer service, then segued into Web writing and editing with some marketing responsibilities. Knufken worked at Google for three years, first in the ad works department, then for Blogger. She has co-authored a travel book, “Backroads & Byways of Colorado.”

Subscribers

BusinessPundit has more than 165,000 RSS feed subscribers and 1,200 email newsletter subscribers. The typical reader is a man aged 35 to 49 who makes $30,000 to $60,000 per year. Other demographics:
-42% female
-30% earn more than $60,000 per year

Editorial Coverage

Economics, entrepreneurship, leadership, and management are their passions. “Under those umbrellas we post just about everything,” says Knufken. From startups to marketing to national economic policy, the thread that links posts together is a focus on “what’s hot” in national and international media. That and humor. Knufken writes humorous posts because, especially now, “business needs some funnies.”

Knufken often finds topics to write about by reading the RSS feeds she subscribes to. “I scrutinize what the media is putting out in various outlets,” she says. “When I find something that I don’t understand … that’s usually my trigger to post.”

Coverage includes one interview per week with a senior-level executive at standout and Fortune 100 companies. But Knufken will interview any business contact she thinks is interesting.

BusinessPundit also compiles Top 10 or ‘Best of’ lists each week. They include lists, such as “Best VoIP Service Providers for Businesses,” “Ten Worst Job Interview Questions,” “Best Web Conferencing Tools for Businesses,” and “Top Ten Business Magazines and Journals.”

How to Pitch

Because it’s a blog, the preferred method for pitching story ideas, products and people is slightly different – and very informal. Here are a few tips.

->Tip #1. Submit a form

Knufken receives most pitches from an advertising form on the site, http://www.businesspundit.com/advertise/ or the general email address, info(at)businesspundit(dot)com.

->Tip #2. Make pitches relevant

Your pitch must concern business in some way, Knufken says. She recently compiled a list of “10 Essential Items to Bring Life to Your Cubicle,” for example. If the product is a tool that business owners or someone in an office could use, it could get a mention in BusinessPundit.

->Tip #3. Keep pitches friendly, to-the-point

Knufken prefers pitches that don’t sound like spam. Starting it with “Hey, blogger” or “Hey, business owner” will not impress her. She also prefers hearing from people who make some sort of connection between her and the blog. That’s why telling her that you read her post about x, y, or z before pitching will probably impress her.

Knufken likes introductions similar to someone approaching her at a networking event. If you write, “Hi, my name is… I sell …,” she will likely respond. Including a clear statement of intent is equally compelling, so if you intend to be interviewed, state it. If you’re trying to get your product mentioned, state it.

->Tip #4. Keep pitches short

Pitches don’t have to be more than three or four sentences. “I don’t read really long pitches,” Knufken says. “I will scan them, but if they’re really long and detailed, it’s really hard to grasp what the person is trying to get across.”

Knufken does read press releases. She just prefers concise, personal pitches.

->Tip #5. Pitch your book or success tips

Knufken has posted on books that deal with everything from success tips to investing to marketing to managing. It’s a venue to get some publicity. Also, if you’re a consultant with relevant tips to share, Knufken would love to hear from you. She likes talking to consultants because they share insider perspectives on the industries.

->Tip #6. Pitch innovation and new business models

Innovative companies and business models are two areas that fascinate Knufken. She wrote about a company that discovered new ways to create biodiesel, for example. So, if your company is doing something that few people have heard of, you know whom to contact.



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