January 30, 2003
More than 237,000 marketing, advertising and PR professionals get MarketingSherpa newsletters each week (including this one!). Find out how you can get your story or your clients interviewed for a story in the Sherpa publication of your choice.
Anne Holland Managing Editor, Newsletters MarketingSherpa, Inc. 499 Main Street Warren, RI 02885 USA AHolland@MarketingSherpa.com (401) 247-3055 (do not call unless requested to) http://www.marketingsherpa.com
237,000 subscribers to eight different email newsletters. VPs and directors of marketing at mid-size companies, and their agencies.
-> Holland’s background:
After getting a BA in history from Connecticut College, Holland set about trying to break into publishing, but as a marketer instead of an editorial staffer.
"I called all the publishing companies where I lived and asked them what temp agency they used, then I signed up with that agency and temped until they sent me to Ziff Davis where I jumped ship."
Over the next decade, Holland worked her way up from Data Entry Operator to Marketing Director at a variety of publishing companies including The Oil Daily, Jane's, and Phillips Business Information, while winning regional and national awards for marketing.
While at Phillips in the mid-90s, she launched the subscription newsletters Interactive Marketing News, Selling to Kids, MIN's New Media Report, Interactive Daily, as well as one of the world's first subscription Web sites.
In 1999, Holland left the corporate world to found MarketingSherpa Inc. "Most of the info on marketing on the Web then was either for entrepreneurs or it was very vendor newsy. There wasn't much for people like me - heads of marketing at traditional established companies. I wanted to fill that gap."
Initially Holland hired an experienced Managing Editor, but then moved into the role herself. "I wasn't a journalist, and I was very intimidated at first. But I felt I knew on a gut level more about what marketers wanted to know than most journalists would."
Now Holland oversees a team of reporters. "There's a misconception that I write everything myself. I couldn't possibly! But, I do review everything that goes out and if there are mistakes, they are probably mine."
-> Current editorial coverage:
MarketingSherpa publishes eight newsletters:
1. B2B Weekly Focuses 100% on business-to-business marketing, publishes a new Case Study every week. Stories may include offline tactics such as DM or PR, but must have at least a slight Internet or email angle.
2. B2C Weekly Case Studies on business-to-consumer marketing especially for consumer packaged goods (CPGs), e-retailers, traditional retail, brand and direct response marketing. Stories must have a strong Internet or email angle.
3. MarketingSherpa Weekly News, interviews, how-to features, and occasional Case Studies on email marketing.
4. ContentBiz Weekly Case studies and features on the business aspects of online and email publishing, such as ad sales and subscription sales. No news coverage.
5. ContentBlog Weekly News, notes and links to topics of interest to the for-profit online and email publishing industry. Reader letters may be posted.
6. GreatMinds Interviews *only* with speakers at AD:TECH or IIR-run events. Fluctuates from biweekly to weekly depending on the season. No news coverage.
7. SherpaWeekly Summaries and links to the past week's MarketingSherpa stories, plus a regular book contest (see below for details).
8. FAME Weekly Profiles of influential journalists for PR-professionals, briefs on speaking gigs, awards to enter, tips for marketing consultants, places to plant articles. Includes related news coverage.
In addition, MarketingSherpa's Reports Division publishes a series of Buyer's Guides and How-To reports on a variety of marketing-related topics.
-> What Holland looks for in a story pitch:
"Results," she says, "we don't cover launches or new campaigns. We cover the campaign after it's done and results have come in. We want to know, ' Did it work? What did you learn from it?'"
MarketingSherpa publishes more than 100 new Case Studies per year, so Holland is on a constant look-out for pitches. She has a few rules:
1. Results metrics: A percentage will do. "We won't publish a story ending 'It did well.' We need metrics or it's not useful.' It doesn't need to be competitive data. We can work with you to find numbers that are useful to our readers that don't leave you feeling too naked."
2. Client-side interview: "We do not ever rely on only a vendor or agency-side interview. We'll give you a link, but most of the quotes and the focus of the story must be on your client."
3. Four-week exclusive: "Don't bother sending me a Case Study pitch that you're also giving other press at the same time. I'll can it. However, if you check with me first, I can tell you whether we'll run the story or if you should pitch to someone else."
4. Short pitch: "You don't need to write it up and do a fancy PDF or anything, just pitch me your idea in a brief email and if we decide to go ahead, our reporters do all the research and writing. This is easier than you think."
"Please, please, please don't call me on the phone with pitches unless I emailed and asked you to," begs Holland. "We are on daily deadlines here with long feature stories, phone pitches are an unwelcome interruption."
For the publications that run interviews and how-to features, Holland advises, "Pitch me your client if possible. We are probably not going to interview a vendor CEO. Our readers want to read about what their peers are doing, not how great your company is."
Book authors and publicists can get a review and promotion of marketing, PR and advertising-related books by being featured in SherpaWeekly's popular weekly Book Contest. To be considered for the contest, pitch Holland via email. If your book is selected, you will be asked to provide 3-5 copies as prizes.
Pitches should be sent to:
- IIR & AD:TECH speakers for the Great Minds letter: Jennifer Nastu at firstname.lastname@example.org
- B2C: Mark Brownlow, email@example.com
- Tech News for MarketingSherpa: firstname.lastname@example.org
- All other newsletters & marketing news for MarketingSherpa: Anne Holland (who will forward to appropriate reporter) AHolland@MarketingSherpa.com
- Expert sources for or writers of reports (including Buyer's Guides, Metrics Guides & How-Tos) Stacy Cornell, email@example.com
"We're always on deadline, every day. Just pitch me via email and we'll get back to you within 12 hours or less if we want the story."
-> Submitting pre-written contributions:
MarketingSherpa newsletters do not accept unsolicited articles. 99% of the content is written in-house. 1% is written by experts Holland selects in advance.
The sole exception is ContentBlog which frequently prints letters to the editor, reader comments and questions, but not entire articles.
The Reports division does accept outside-written content such as how-to reports for sale in SherpaStore. The content must be highly practical, related to marketing, advertising or PR, targeted to corporate marketers, and clearly written.
It must match our quality and be appropriate for our audience.
-> Becoming a regular columnist:
MarketingSherpa does not currently accept any columnists.
-> What Holland looks for in an online pressroom:
A PR phone number plus an alternate number if no one answers the first. A PR-contact email, but not "firstname.lastname@example.org" which is rarely answered. "If I see a generic pr email address, chances are I'll bail and go to another source. In my experience it's not worth it to email generic addresses."
-> What Holland looks for in print press materials:
"None. Please don't send me stuff in the postal mail or hand it to me at shows. I've got reporters all over the place, I need to be able to email them your stuff. Printed materials are not useful."
-> Where you can meet Holland:
Due to daily deadline demands, Holland travels very infrequently.
-> Holland's favorite professional publications:
"Circulation Management Magazine, Internet Retailer, Media Life Magazine, and almost anything Ken Magill, Kris Oser, or Steve Outing writes."