Should you pitch an editor for a tech publication the same way you’d pitch a publisher in the food vertical? Absolutely not. Pitches for education columns ought to look different than those for automotive features, too. You see where we’re going with this: your outreach strategy and pitching approach should vary based on your vertical.
But how should you begin to understand the nuances between the verticals? BuzzStream and Fractl have helped you get started with the new Guide to Publisher Personas. Using recent articles, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles, and bios from personal and publication pages, we outlined the personas you’re likely to meet in 11 different verticals: automotive, business, education, entertainment, finance, food, health, lifestyle, news, tech, and travel.
Five Traits to Learn
Based on our research, we found that five traits factor heavily in determining the type of editor you’ll most often find yourself working with.
64% of publishers agree that you should learn about them via their social media or published posts and reach out to establish a personal connection before you pitch. Your background research should yield more than a shared love of cats or support of a sports team, however. You can use social media (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+) and publication bio pages to discover how much they may already know about your topic, the audience they want to connect with, the assets they typically prefer, and – most importantly – the tone and scope of their beat.
While knowing a fun personal detail may earn you an appreciative smile when an editor reads your pitch, having a deeper understanding of who they are, how they work, and what they want will earn something much more valuable: their consideration for a placement.
Knowledge is (Pitching) Power
Doing individual research on the individual publisher you’re pitching will give you the best information for tailoring your pitch. Your best bet is to gather as much professional information as you can alongside a few personal details, then create a profile of who your prospective contact is and how to pitch them.
As examples, take a look at four of the verticals we researched. Based on dozens of articles, profiles, and bios, we created broad personas that can help guide your research and pitching approaches.
1. Tech Editors
The tech sector is the third-most-frequently pitched vertical in publishing; top-tier editors may be receiving upwards of 300 pitches per day. In order to get your pitch opened in such highly competitive inboxes it is imperative that you know exactly what your potential contact covers and how they like to talk about it, otherwise your pitch will be quickly passed over or deleted. Be sure to note their brand or tech loyalties, their level of analysis (do they cover broad trends or specific devices?), and any other nuances that set them apart in the crowd.
2. Food Editors
Trade crunching numbers for high-quality images of crunchy granola when pitching editors in the food vertical. Because the majority of their social traction comes from Pinterest, food editors value visualizations more than most. Your research on these contacts should include any regional, technique, or creative specialities they may employ in their content.
3. Education Editors
The goal of an educator is to make a concept more easily understood. Help your education contacts achieve this goal and you’ll earn more placements for your content. To do this, you’ll need to look closely at their profiles and past work to learn whether they cover complex issues or everyday concepts, then pitch to the appropriate end of the spectrum. Pro Tip: Videos and lists typically receive the most shares in this vertical, so keep your eye on whether your contact uses these types of assets and offer them if you can.
4. Automotive Editors
Like tech editors, automotive folks are passionate about brands and innovations. Unlike the tech vertical, older models and brands carry a certain sense of prestige and authority in the world of vehicles. Pitches that make comparisons or draw new (or even controversial) conclusions are likely to fare better in this sector, but be sure to do your homework to learn about the preferences and affiliations of the writer you’re pitching.
See pitching profiles for seven more personas (finance, travel, health, business, entertainment, news, and lifestyle) when you download the free Guide to Publisher Personas.