Tag Archives: pitching

Guest Blogger – #PR: How to Pitch Media

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.

Anonymous Reporters – Who Dat?

Dan poses as an anonymous reporter

Today HARO – an absolutely phenomenal PR pro friendly site showcasing media inquiries – had no less than 10 anonymous queries in its midday and evening editions. Seems like the reporters want info and sources but they don’t want PR people filling up inboxes with TMI.  One cloaked query a day is certainly understandable but 10 is getting up there (note: Profnet had only one anonymous entry over the last few days, but their query volume is dramatically lower since 2009).

Richard from Bad Pitch ranted about this in his recent post (def bookmark the site), a must read; but what will it take for reporters to understand?

who dat?

Our clients do not want us pitching anonymous reporters. What if we represented the Christian Coalition (we don’t) and the anonymous media person was with Playboy magazine?  That noise you hear would be the client screaming through the phone.

Journalists could be missing out on critical information or connecting to sources that could help round out the story. Many colleagues have stopped responding to anonymous requests as have we. Join us in stopping the nonsense in today’s transparent society. Reporters: if you want our help, tell us who you are.  Period.


-Team Tellem