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Aug 17, 2007

PR Interview: How to Reach IT Project Managers

SUMMARY: Since many project managers work alone, it’s particularly vital to be able to discuss strategies and tools with experts and colleagues. A leading information source for IT project managers, offers the largest community of industry professionals, while Projects@Work is the No. 1 online magazine for project managers. We interviewed editors from both to let you know how to pitch them.
Contact information
Erin DeCaprio
4035 Ridge Top Road, Suite 300
Fairfax, VA 22030

Aaron Smith
8024 Winsford Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Circulation & readership
- 315,000 registered members
- 2 million monthly page views
- 150,000 unique monthly users

Readers’ job titles include CIO, VP IT, Director Application Development, VP/Director PMO and IT Project Manager. 70% of the audience holds managerial job functions, and 29% of their members are involved in the IT field.

Total registered subscribers: 80,106 with about 225,000 monthly impressions, 13,000 unique visitors each month.

Editorial coverage presents management of processes, projects, knowledge, customer relations; templates and workforce; ecommerce; applications; business intelligence.

As of August 2007, their library contained 805 deliverable templates, 260 presentations, 133 project plans, 189 checklists, countless articles (e.g., case studies, principle applications and technology trends).’s newsletters:
o ganttheadLITE: biweekly: articles, downloads, special offers, quotations
o IT Strategist: monthly: strategy and business research
o Heads Up Training: monthly: job search, hiring, training, certification

Members (standard, premium and corporate) can access personalized news, headlines, book reviews and tool listings. In addition, the site offers a process library. Higher levels are available to all members, lower levels -- to paid members.

At sister site, Projects@Work departments include: Methods & Means, News, Views & Issues, On Budget/On Time, PMO/EPM, Project Portfolio Management, Team Talk, Training & Education.

Projects@Work’s newsletters:
o Projects@Work--articles, downloads, news, hot topics
o Executive Report: monthly executive audience newsletter
o PPM: monthly newsletter on project portfolio management (best practices, case studies, tools)
o Training Takes: monthly newsletter on training and education (trends, profiles, opportunities)
o Business Analyst: monthly newsletter for managers, systems analysts, business analysts and process improvement

The site contains case studies, features, news, research, expert advice, trends, analysis, leader interviews, product reviews and podcasts. Go here to see their editorial calendar:

How to pitch
11 tips when contacting
#1. Email your queries. DeCaprio promises that the process will be automated soon. “Potential authors will be able to submit articles and get basic information without having to go through me.”
#2. Make a great first impression. Hint: proofreading your email helps.
#3. Customize your pitch to suit the interests of’s audience.
#4. Indicate in which section you envision your story appearing.
#5. Be as specific as possible. “A vague pitch like ‘the importance of project management in your organization’ doesn’t mean much to us.” Instead, send how-to and lessons-learned types of articles.
#6. Distinguish yourself from the pack. “We get literally dozens of pitches every week ... and our publishing calendar just doesn’t have room for everything.”
#7. Avoid clichés and colloquialisms. “Any articles that start ‘Webster’s Dictionary defines’ or ‘To (blank) or not to (blank)’ will not see the light of day.”
#8. Be patient -- you’ll hear back from them in about a week. They’ll acknowledge the receipt of your email or, if they’re interested, ask you to provide greater detail on the pitch.
#9. Don’t use teasers, such as, “I want to tell you about a new and exciting product.”
#10. Don’t pitch profiles. Instead, have a specific project management story in mind.'s readers are not interested in behind-the-scenes type articles.
#11. If you’re an advertiser, don’t assume that your status has any bearing on editorial decisions. “We take the separation of church and state in that regard pretty seriously.”

Five tips when contacting Projects@Work
#1. Pitch stories on how HR, strategic thinking, outsourcing, risk management, cost analysis and communication “apply directly to the planning, management and completion of projects.”
#2. Your topics should be practical, useful and relevant to the site’s audience. “The best ones frame why the proposed article/interview/tool is relevant and of interest to the audience and often include a possible headline, lead paragraph and outline of areas to be covered.”
#3. Your content should be exclusive, although they might consider a strong previously published piece. Send them an abstract outlining the theme of the story.
#4. Your article should be between 800 and 2,000 words, saved in Microsoft Word, written in 10 point Arial font and include a 30-40-word summary.
#5. If you promise to set up interviews with customers and/or clients in the field, don’t push interviews with executives instead. No one wants to listen to sales pitches for their product or service.

How to contribute to these publications’s editors accept project plans, deliverable templates, tools and training listings.

Projects@Work has a tools directory and services director to which vendors and service providers can submit listings for free.

In addition, there are sections on both sites that ask for reader input. members choose what they want to discuss on a message board, so if you are looking to bounce some ideas off your colleagues, here’s where you can do that:

Projects@Work wants to know your opinion on topics, such as PMP certification and project portfolio management.

Smith's background
Smith received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. During his career, has been a writer and editor covering everything from education to wine. He has been Editor of Projects@Work since it launched in 2001.

Meet DeCaprio, Smith and other editors
Here’s a list of events highlighted on Projects@Work and where you can find their editors:

“We usually have an editor at the major industry shows, where gantthead has a booth,” DeCaprio says. They don’t mind setting up meetings at the shows. Since they work with writers mostly over the Internet, “we welcome the opportunity to put a face with a name.”

Smith is based in Los Angeles for face-to-face meetings, including lunches. He also attends the industry’s major shows and conferences.

See Also:

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