SUMMARY: Millions of people worldwide read The Washington Post online and offline. That’s a highly influential audience for any product or service. Here are five ways to grab the ear of consumer technology columnist Rob Pegoraro.
Rob Pegoraro Consumer Technology Columnist The Washington Post 1150 15th St. NW Washington, DC 20071 Robp(at)washpost(dot)com http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pegoraro writes a weekly column, “Fast Forward,” that runs in the business section of Thursday’s newspaper, and he blogs daily on WashingtonPost.com. Pegoraro has worked at the paper since 1993. His byline has appeared in the National, Metro, Style, Sports, Health, Food, Home, Weekend, Real Estate, Sunday Arts, and Travel sections. He also writes Fast Forward: Help File, a Q&A column that appears on the website and in the Sunday paper.
Circulation and Readership
Daily newspaper circulation is 631,900. Sunday circulation is 881,400. Here are some stats about WashingtonPost.com’s 9 million readers: -82% are from outside the Washington, D.C. area -54% have household incomes of $75,000+ -72% are college graduates -34% make or influence business decisions
Pegoraro writes about computers, Internet services, consumer electronics, cell phones, and telecom products “that are neither commodities nor bleeding edge,” he says. That means no “enterprise solutions” or other products that people can write off as a business expense when filing taxes.
Examples: Pegoraro recently wrote a column comparing four lightweight laptops from leading personal computer companies. He’s written about flip cameras, Internet-based address book programs, and the newest iPhone.
How to Pitch: 5 Tips
Pegoraro finds ideas for columns through many channels, including emails, RSS feed subscriptions, and Twitter. He scopes out competing writers to discover new ways technology intersects with people in their personal lives.
Pegoraro receives dozens of email pitches each day. Here are 5 ways to get his attention:
#1: Show an understanding of what Pegoraro covers and familiarity with stories he’s previously written.
#2: Don’t pitch to him on the same day The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal reviews the product of your query.
#3: Provide a clear explanation of what makes the product or service different from competitors’.
#4: Use email. Unless pre-arranged, do not call to follow up on an email or for any other reason.
#5: Don’t send an email with “[Company Name] press release” in the subject line. It won’t get opened.
Example of a Successful Pitch
With one column and five blog posts per week and at least a dozen pitches per day taking up his time, Pegoraro is quite busy. To improve your odds of getting him to mention your clients, imitate the example below.
Pegoraro reviewed the Eye-Fi Explore – a WiFi-enabled photo-memory (SD) card that can geotag and upload photos as they are taken. Though the company’s PR team had pitched Pegoraro when the SD Card first launched, he had been too busy to cover it. In early July, he got a follow-up pitch announcing that the card could upload photos to two photo-sharing sites. The follow-up jogged his memory and encouraged him to write the piece.
Takeaways: The product was relevant to Pegoraro’s column. And the follow-up provided additional information that nudged him into writing the column he wanted to write about geotagging.
While Pegoraro generally does not prefer breakfast meetings or conference calls, you could schedule a meeting with him when you’re in D.C. It will give him an in-person look at a new gadget and a chance to quiz you or a techie about the inner workings of products.
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