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Pitching tech sites?

Here’s a counterintuitive tip: try the main inbox

Many PR professionals have long eschewed sending pitches to the main e-mail addresses of media outlets. Often regarded as victims of poorly targeted press release distribution, inboxes belonging to addresses like news@, info@ or contact@ are thought of by many as measures of last resort. The attitude stems from media relations 101: find the reporter or editor who is specifically responsible for covering the topic of your pitch, and contact that person directly.

Sam Whitmore

Sam Whitmore

However, some media outlets, particularly Web sites covering technology, have transformed the main e-mail inbox from a garbage dump into a library.

“They want to be able to have a single repository for news stories, news tips. Engadget is a big one for that, and TechCrunch,” says Sam Whitmore, who interviews tech journalists each week on the Sam Whitmore Media Survey Teleconference Series, co-sponsored by Cision. “In the traditional, mainstream media trade, that’s where you go when you don’t expect to be heard from. But it’s the opposite with these guys because it’s almost a 24-hour cycle. That way, whenever people work, they work late at night or early in the morning, they can just go and feed from the trough. A lot of them like to use MySQL and create a database out of it so it can be searchable.”

Of course, not all outlets utilize their main inbox in this way. For many outlets, it’s still better to pitch contacts directly. But the trend underscores an important point: doing your media research homework, knowing the pitching preferences and tip-gathering methods of a particular site, newspaper, magazine or broadcast outlet will determine whether your pitch gets noticed or winds up at the bottom of the heap.

Here’s a short list of big-name tech sites that have told Cision research editors they keep an eye on the main inbox:

Linux.com

Dvice

ReadWriteWeb

TechCrunch & TechCrunchIT

Engadget

Xconomy Boston & Xconomy Seattle

eBizine

Also, here’s a list of Whitmore’s upcoming guests:

  • Tues. Nov. 4: Rob Malda, Slashdot
  • Tues. Nov. 11: Jeff Burt, lab director, eWeek
  • Tues. Nov. 18 Rebecca Buckman, senior editor, Forbes Magazine
  • Tues. Nov. 25 Ashlee Vance, enterprise tech reporter, New York Times

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