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May 09, 2003

How to Plant a Story in iSource Magazine

SUMMARY: 60,000 executives receive iSource Magazine to learn more about managing their supply chain. If you are involved in related tech or services, here is our exclusive interview with the head editor who explains how you should pitch your story to them.
Sarah Murray
Managing Editor
33 Inverness Center Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35242
205-988-9708 ext. 1353

Print - 60,000
Online - 40,000 visitors in March, 2003

-> Miller's Background

Miller is just a spring chicken: She started working for iSource straight out of Samford University in Birmingham, where she majored in journalism (she graduated all of three years ago). She started as copyeditor, and now manages production for the magazine and Web site, writes daily news articles, and edits Web features. One of her key tasks is to make sure that all articles fit the style of the magazine and the scope of what it offers.

“I really like hearing about what other people do in their jobs, getting to hear about their challenges and how they solve them,” she says.

Note: Miller and her art director are based in Birmingham; the rest of the staff live in Arizona and work from their homes.

-> Current editorial coverage

The magazine and Web site cover all details of the supply and demand chain.

In the print version, they run articles about companies that are trying to enable their supply chains or make their supply chains more efficient. Online, they focus on more recent news—“What company has bought out what company, quarterly earnings, that sort of thing,” Miller says.

A complete list of topics they cover can be seen at

The magazine used to be a monthly; now it runs bi-monthly. The industry is leveling out, Miller says.

There are a few places to pitch stories:

1. “Links:” This section in the magazine focuses on traditional brick-and-mortar companies that are trying to enable their supply chains. They like to look at the company and explain what the problems were, who they went to for help, and how that company fixed it.

2. “ROI:” Another section of the magazine, this also covers company profiles, with a focus on, well, ROI. “If they spent money on a project or technology, we like to know what they got back out of their investment,” Miller says. Both of these columns usually appear on the Web site in a section called “Talking About My Integration” before they go into print.

3. “In Depth” section of the Web site: They accept original articles for this section. Check out and click on the In Depth articles on the right.

4. Feature stories: You will find an editorial calendar at

5. News articles online: They try to post 7 or 8 news articles every day.

You can pitch companies to be included in feature stories to editor-in-chief Julie Murphree at

For anything else, pitch either Miller at or senior features editor Andrew Reese at Reese is also the one to pitch for
online news items.

-> Best way to pitch Miller

Email is best. “We don’t really look at mail and fax at all,” says Miller. “We’re so focused on technology, that if they don’t even send it via email...” Besides, as with most editors the staff is always crunched for time. Email is simply easiest.

A couple of tips:

-- Look at the Web site and read the articles in the magazine (which also appear on the site). It will help your cause if you say, “We’ve seen you done some articles on this,” or “Here’s a different take on this.”

-- Make sure your pitch fits with the magazine. Miller reads every email she receives, and she does not want to waste her time.

Pet peeves:

Miller is so nice that it is hard to imagine that anything really bugs her. Her biggest pet peeve—people following up over and over again—is couched in explanation: “We are pretty busy,” she says. “I really do try to follow up with people, but I get backlogged. I will get back to you, so don’t get impatient.”

Does that mean no follow-up phone calls? “No, follow-up calls are okay, but don’t keep doing it. If I haven’t replied via email within a week or two, then you can follow up.”

-> What she looks for in printed press materials

While she does not look much at regular mail, she will look at press kits. “If I’m looking for new products or a new company, press kits are helpful. It’s nice to read up on new companies I haven’t heard of before. I don’t get too many of those, most people just send press releases via email.”

-> What she looks for in online press rooms

Miller does not use these much, but the senior features editor does. “He’s looking for anything new,” she says. Shoot him an email to let him know about your site.

-> Deadlines

The features articles are planned through November, so you may have already missed the boat for now. “I have so many articles I just keep piling them up,” says Miller. However, for the future, they work 2 to 3 months ahead on the print version of the magazine.

As for their online stuff, send news as soon as it happens. They are constantly looking for tidbits.

-> On becoming a regular columnist

Not right now.

-> Prewritten contributions

For now, the only opportunity is in the In Depth section of the Web site.
See Also:

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