I am on the Board of Directors of the Publicity Club of New England and helped plan a program called “Boston’s Hottest Lifestyle Media” that took place on Monday night. It was a great panel discussion where some of Boston’s leading lifestyle editors spoke candidly on a wide range of topics including how they like to be pitched to where they get story ideas to how they feel about exclusives. The panel included:
- Kevin Alexander – Thrillist.com
- Kara Baskin – Editor, Lola
- Chris Farone – Boston Phoenix
- Robin Hauck – Misstropolis.com
- Jolyon Helterman – Features Editor, Boston Magazine
- Rebecca Knight – Freelancer to Financial Times among others
- Alison O’Leary Murray – Former editor of Skirt! Boston (which we found out folded yesterday!) and new editor to West of Boston Life
- Jill Radsken – Fashion Editor, Boston Herald
There is good news and bad news for PR people out there. First, as we all probably already know, no two editors are consistent on how they like to be pitched. For example Kevin and Jill don’t mine getting phone calls – I even caught Jill on the phone when I was confirming whether or not she was still willing to participate in the event – and Jolyon never answers his phone. In fact, he has not checked is messages in more than a year – if you called him recently, chances are he didn’t get your message!
So, the good news – on average, the reporters said that they get about 75% of their story ideas from publicists. And, with shrinking news rooms, reporters are relying on PR people even more. Where before they might have had time to do their own research, they are now counting on PR people to do more of the leg work. Although it has always been a love hate relationship, as long as we are smart in our pitching and do our research reporters, in Boston at least, are willing to listen to us.