🧐 We interviewed 7 editors in New York and this is what we found 🔎

Have you ever wondered what an editor thinks of your pitch? How many emails do they get per day? How can you better position your client to get picked up in their publication or show?  

Recently, Merlot Marketing interviewed 7 shelter publication editors (home, building and lifestyle) in New York City on our “SpeedBriefings™ with…” tour. Our goal is to share this knowledge with all of you PR and marketing pros across the industry and around the world! What better way to learn what the media wants than to have them tell us? 

Here are our Top 4 Takeaways:

(click the editor’s name to see their answer in video)
  1. Be familiar with the publication before you pitch. Do your research. 
      SpeedBriefings with... House Beautiful
    • “The key is to first educate yourself on who you’re pitching to, the [publication] that they have to put products into, then go from there and reach out with those things that are relevant.” “I sometimes feel like the homework hasn’t been done, and when the homework is done, then you’re pitching me something that’s relevant and that I can get excited about because it really works with the publication or the digital entity that I work for.” Carisha Swanson, Market Director at House Beautiful. 
    • “[H]ave you even opened my magazine? It’s insulting, and I get annoyed because it’s like, ‘Why would you pitch this to me?’ It doesn’t make any sense.” DJ CareyEditorial Director at Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. 
    • “The absolute most important thing for someone pitching is to do your research. Because nothing bothers me more than when I get [an irrelevant pitch] then get follow up, it’s like ‘Hello, look at my magazine. We don’t cover that.’ That’s why I’m not answering you.” Hadley Keller, former Editor at Architectural Digest (currently Senior Editor at House Beautiful). 
    • “Do your research, read the magazine.” “It’s so obvious in a pitchif you know the contentand if you know what I work on or what my colleague works on.” Elizabeth Huebsch, Editor at Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine. 
    • “I think the most important thing is the match your pitch to the platform…It’s so dreamy when you’re working on something and somebody sends you something and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, this is so perfect.’” Ellen Swandiak, Editor-In-Chief at HOBNOB. 
  1. Keep it short and simple. You’re one of thousands of emails. Get to the point.
      SpeedBriefings with CTC&G
    • “On a daily basis, between maybe 30-50 emails…It’s really helpful when you open up an email right away and you can see what it’s about and make a quick decision…What would be a great way to set things up is a little introduction, bulleted points, a visual, and then underneath that a fullpress release.” Ellen Swandiak
    • “Get right to the point of what it is in the beginning, in the subject line of the email…Having the clear presentation of what’s new or what’s noteworthy about what you’re sharing is important.” “I get a lot of emails…thousands and thousands…I leave my desk for 15 minutes and there’s 65 new ones.” Hadley Keller
    • “I try to keep my inbox as low as I can and stay on top of things but…we’re all getting a lot.” Elizabeth Huebsch
    • “I get 600 emails a day…I don’t have a lot of time to go back and forth andhave 5 emails about the same topic.” “In terms of PR pitches, I like an email, I like it to be short, sweet and to the point.” “I will go through five paragraphs and I still don’t know what I’m being pitched, and that makesme nuts.” DJ Carey
  1. Use beautiful visuals and photography. SpeedBriefings with... AD
    • “For me, I work for visual magazines, I need to see imagery…I almost never want to get a pitch that doesn’t have imagery somewhere in it.” Carisha Swanson
    • “I love when people have beautiful photography, of course. It really adds so much to your posting and it makes you look good when you have better photography.” Ellen Swandiak
  1. Use a short video to show an otherwise confusing subject or process. SpeedBriefings with... Luxe Interiors + Design
    • “If there is a process that needs to be shown, if you’re walking me through a space, if you’re showing me how a product works…especially in the kitchen space with all the technology that’s coming to that area, you don’t necessarily get it in a flat picture, so being able to see how it really works is always super helpful. So yeah, I really love video.” Carisha Swanson
    • “If it’s a really quick one that you can embed into an email…” Elizabeth Huebsch
    • “People enjoy videos…especially anything that’s a demo…That’s nice to see a video of how those things function.” Ellen Swandiak
    • “Oh I love videos…but it has to be short, otherwise I need popcorn.” DJ Carey
Merlot has posted 5 of our 7 interviews so far. To watch these interviews on how to pitch the media in full, visit our SpeedBriefings™ with…” YouTube Playlist, and keep an eye out for the next two!
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