How to get a business magazine to write about your company

The internet’s a wonderful thing. On Linkedin Answers James Cleverly, head of online sales for Real Business magazine, asked “What are the top ten business related blogs, ideally in the UK.” I made some suggestions and then realised it was quite a while since I’d had a look at the all new Real Business website. I’m pleased I did as in the forums I came across this gem of an answer from Tamar Wilner of Real Business describing how to pitch a story to them.

In a nutshell the advice is “Read the magazine, and send us a relevant idea, supported by key facts and no waffle“. That’s good advice that works for any media. You’ve got to read, watch or listen to what you’re pitching. I’m sure Real Business won’t mind me copying the answer here and pointing you to its website.

Hi everyone,
I think I ought to put my two pence-worth in here… I don’t think I can tell you what the local papers look for in business stories, but I can certainly tell you what Real Business looks for! I don’t know if this is what you were after, Dan, but I think it will be useful to lots of people on the forum.
Look through Real Business and you’ll see what while we write about a lot of companies, most of our articles aren’t straight “profiles”. We do run some profiles, of course: the cover stories (“I’ll Have What X is Having”) being a notable example. These tend to be reserved for the hyper-successful companies: founder-run firms which have grown to £100m turnover or more.
But most of our stories talk about how a company solved a particular problem. So that’s rule number one: don’t be afraid to admit you’ve run into difficulties. Conflict is interesting.
Rule number two: Tell us what makes your company UNIQUE. Is it your product, your business model? Have you found a new way of getting finance or advertising your product/service? Make it crystal clear why we should write about you and not your competitors.
Rule number three: Write your email as if you’re talking to a six-year-old, or your gran. Don’t talk about “value-added systems integration management solutions specialists”. Say: “we sell software”.
Rule number four: Do give us numbers. Turnover, profit, number of employees, years in operation. They’re the only way to prove that you’re as successful as you say you are.
Rule number five: Tell us what bit of the mag you think your story would work for.
Rule number six: Don’t send us press releases every day or every week. We get too many to deal with as it is! Instead, send a really well-crafted proposal for an article, listing everything you think we ought to know about your company. Send it to editors@realbusiness.co.uk .
Rule number seven: anniversaries, milestones, charity donation, new products, sponsored events? No thanks!! Maybe it works for local papers, but it doesn’t do it for us. Lots of companies have anniversaries, lots give money to charity.Again, it’s about saying what makes you UNIQUE.
Hope that helps… and that we’ll now be flooded with info about your fascinating companies!
All the best
Tamar


Tamar Wilner
Real Business


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://pr-believethespin.blogspot.com sam wilcox

    Great advice Stephen! Whilst students are taught a lot about the importance of press releases I personally don't think there is enough made about tailoring the information for different publications.

  • http://pr-believethespin.blogspot.com sam wilcox

    Stuart…I'm so sorry!! This is what comes of trying to write comments whilst also trying to watch Hollyoaks on a Sunday morning! Huge apologies again!! :s

  • http://profile.typekey.com/stuartbrucepr/ Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar

    I very rarely uses news/press releases. What we normally do is write a core news release (which we will often put out on a wire service such as Response Source or PR Newswire) and then edit each release to send to individual journalists/publications. It might just be changing the headline or first para, or it might be more substantial depending on the client or story. For example for technology clients we normally do a business/consumer version for national, regional and trade press and a techy version for IT media.

  • http://www.inmedialog.com Jill

    Hey, Stuart.

    I just found this post at the top of the New PR ranks. Thank you for sharing Tamar's insight.

    I've found that tailored pitch letters often return great results. If nothing else, they usually start a conversation about what the journalist is looking for.