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Oct 10, 2008

PR Interview: Get Your Story on the Cover of CIO Magazine: 6 Pitch Tactics

SUMMARY: Are you aiming a PR campaign at IT executives? Then find out what grabs the attention of CIO Magazine’s cover feature writer. You could get your client in front of 140,000 senior-level IT execs.
Contact Information

Kim Nash
Senior Editor
CIO Magazine


Nash is an award-winning reporter with 18 years of experience writing mostly for technology publications. She has spent the past 15 months at CIO Magazine after working as an investigative business technology reporter at Baseline Magazine. She went to Baseline after working 12 years as a feature investigator and beat reporter at Computerworld.


About 140,000 CIOs and high-level IT executives read CIO Magazine. Average readers handle IT budgets of about $361 million. They are involved in 100% of purchase decisions and spend about an hour reading each issue. They pass it along at a rate of about 4 readers per issue.

Other demographics:
-average age is 46
-85% are male

Editorial Coverage

CIO Magazine focuses on real-life, in-depth issues surrounding ways to leverage information technology for business objectives. There’s a heavy emphasis on telling IT executives how their peers and other organizations do things.

CIOs also face pressure from regulators, security threats, and the economy. The magazine helps them understand and navigate these pitfalls.

“They are looking for stories that break through the hype or the marketing message of a particular vendor,” says Nash. “Our readers are looking for coverage that tells them the bottom line, what they need to know, and what are the potential obstacles they need to overcome if they’re going with a particular technology.”

CIO Magazine offers:
-case studies

How to Pitch: 6 Tips

Nash is responsible for the cover feature stories at CIO Magazine. Here are six tips for pitching ideas to her:

->Tip #1. Pitch the issue that your product/service addresses

For cover features, Nash focuses primarily on issues that affect only senior-level execs. This includes trends, things to look out for, success stories, and companies doing something others could learn from.

“I like … stories that don’t focus on a particular vendor or a particular product, but some larger issue that the vendor or product is trying to solve,” she says.

->Tip #2. Pitch a product

Nash will consider product pitches, although the website does more of that. “We don’t do a lot of product coverage in the magazine,” says Nash.

If she is not interested, she will pass your pitch along to the Web editor or a section editor who might be working on a related tech story or tech-trend story. “We do try to answer all the emails,” she says.

->Tip #3. Pitch something unusual

Nash likes getting pitches about companies that get positive results by doing something unusual with technology.

->Tip #4. Have a CIO and others ready to talk

Nash usually develops her own cover features. But if you have a story idea based on a specific project and represent a vendor that has a customer ready to talk, Nash would like to speak with the CIO and another executive involved with the project.

“If you’ve got a good idea and you’ve got a CIO willing to talk about it, that’s the kind of thing we really like to run with,” she says.

->Tip #5. Read her stories

The website has an author’s page that lists past articles for every reporter at the magazine. It’s helpful when people read a few articles before they pitch so they can get an idea of what Nash writes about, she says.

Try pitching this way: “Kim, I see you’ve written about product management in the past. Here’s how my client might be of interest to you.”

->Tip #6. Pitch three months in advance

To pitch a topic for a particular issue, pitch at least three months before the date of the issue. There’s a two-month lead time that all CIO Magazine editors and writers follow.

See Also:

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