Michael McCurdy is one of our favorite publishers who founded HealthNewsDigest.com — he is today’s guest blogger. These words of wisdom apply across the board to all sites on the web, not just his. Here’s what he looks for in a pitch:
- When pitching HealthNewsDigest.com, a PR professional should be aware of the needs of an internet editor as opposed to print. We live on headlines and the key words that attract scores of readers. If you have a good story and a lousy headline, we’ll change the headline.
- Get to the point. We receive hundreds of press releases per day. After we read the headline, we go right to the first paragraph. If that opening paragraph tells us about how wonderful the company is, how many subsidiaries it has, before getting to the story, we delete it instantly. We prefer bylined articles as opposed to interviews. Interviews are time-consuming and costly, with little or no return to the publisher. This is unless, of course, you have a nationally known celebrity that our readers would be interested in reading about.
- Know your audience: 76 percent of our audience is women. We also have more than 7,000 journalists as subscribers and over 4,000 health-related websites that we authorize to use part or all of what we publish in their own media.
- We prefer emails but will take phone calls. Some of the best stories we publish come from phone calls that point out why a story is good for readership – something that we may have not had the time to consider. Don’t be afraid to call – we don’t bite.
About Michael McCurdy
Prior to launching HealthNewsDigest.com on July 1, 1999, Mr. McCurdy spent 25 years as an independent television producer in New York City, focusing on news, commercials, PSAs and syndicated half-hour TV series. As publisher/editor of HealthNewsDigest.com, he has written, edited and published over 30,000 health-related stories.