July 13, 2007

PR Interview: See Your Name in CIO Magazine

SUMMARY: CIOs and top execs love the all-encompassing nature of CIO magazine. It covers all industries, topics and company sizes. In fact, the magazine ranks No. 1 among 80+ publications measured in CIO coverage, composition and budget.

If you would like to know how to pitch the magazine that provides IT trend analysis to leaders in more than a dozen countries, check out our interview with their mobile technologies, consumer IT and product reviews beat writer.
Contact information
Al Sacco
Editorial Operations Specialist
CIO Magazine
492 Old Connecticut Path
P.O. Box 9208
Framingham, MA. 01701-9208
Phone: 508-628-4816
Fax: 508-879-7784

Sacco started at CIO magazine immediately after he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston’s Northeastern University. Sacco’s current beat areas are mobile technologies and consumer IT. In addition, he reviews products for CIO.com.

Circulation & readership
Total qualified circulation: 140,000 readers; pass-along rate: 4 readers per copy. The magazine’s target audience is CIOs and IT managers. Their readers’ average IT budget is $203 million.

CIO’s departments include career advice, leadership & management, sourcing & staffing, enterprise infrastructure, technology and research & surveys.

Web site
CIO.com gets 800,000+ unique monthly visitors and averages more than 2 million page views per month. CIO.com is updated daily and has content that's exclusive to the Web. It includes blogs, polls, research and columns.

How to pitch
If you have a query relating to Sacco's beats, the best way to pitch is to email a brief pointed description of your story to him. If you have a general inquiry, direct it to Kristin Burnham, Editorial Assistant at Burnham(at)cxo(dot)com or 508.988.6877. Your pitches should be “practical, actionable and relevant to information systems executives.” Surprisingly, Sacco has nothing against press releases. In fact, the magazine receives hundreds of them per day. That’s just all the more reasons to tailor your press release as much as possible.

When putting together your inquiry, here are five tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1. Understand the nature of the publication. Yes, we know that we say this every time. However, we cannot emphasize the importance of knowing the focus and readership of the magazine. Read a couple of issues. Check out their media kit. In general, they are looking for comprehensive case studies, original user stories and novel developments. What they don’t want is product announcements and breaking news.

Tip #2. Time your pitches perfectly by subscribing to CIO’s monthly PR newsletter. It highlights upcoming stories, their focus and the writers' contact information. If you’d like to be added to the subscriber list, send an email to kwalsh(at)cxo(dot)com.

Tip #3. Offer exclusives only.

Tip #4. Keep your promises. If you recommend a source, make sure that the person is aware of the upcoming interview and doesn’t mind participating.

Tip #5. Don’t attach files larger than 200k.

Sacco’s pet peeves
Sacco warns that PR people shouldn’t be overzealous. Because the magazine has a long pitch cycle, your queries might be put on hold until a relevant story turns up. While it’s OK to follow up once, someone who calls or emails repeatedly is one of his biggest pet peeves. If you are truly concerned that your email might be lost in the junk folder, use the “receipt” feature in your email service.

Contribute to CIO magazine
If you have stories of exceptional innovations your customers are furthering or information about new business technology advances that would greatly affect CIOs’ endeavors, the magazine’s editors would like to hear from you. To set up a meeting, go to http://www.cio.com/staff/beats to find out which journalist covers what topic.

However, you don’t have to specify the editor you are interested in meeting; everyone on the editorial staff will consider your request. If an editor decides to meet with you, you will receive a confirmation of the date within a few days of requesting the meeting. Keep in mind, though, that your briefing will not be written up immediately. As mentioned above, writers will contact you when they are doing a story on your expertise area.

If you think your pitch is feature-worthy, plan ahead. The biweekly magazine has a 3.5 month lead time on features. Check out the editorial calendar -- http://www3.cio.com/marketing/media_kit/editorial_calendar.html -- to time your contributions.

Press kits
Since CIO magazine encourages kindness to the environment, we suggest that you use email instead of snail mail. If you absolutely must send something tangible, don’t mail it to the entire editorial staff. One package to a particular editor will suffice.

Meet Sacco and other editors
Sacco and other CIO magazine journalists attend shows and do vendor visits. We suggest that you check out CIO’s own executive conferences.

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