4 Tips on Pitching U.S. News & World Report’s Devon Thorsby
Devon Thorsby is a real estate reporter for U.S. News & World Report‘s Consumer Advice section and has been with the publication since October 2015. Below, she gives communications professionals insights on pitching, pet peeves and what stories peek her interest.
Ms. Thorsby, what kind of press releases do you prefer to receive?
I’d like to receive real estate related pitches with a consumer advice spin – preferably regarding residential real estate. I also welcome survey/study results regarding the housing market, trends and statistics on renting, home buying, etc, as well as expert input on current trends or events affecting the housing market.
It largely has to be relevant to something already in the pipeline – but we cover a very wide range of topics regarding real estate so a lot of things will work. Sometimes a pitch will catch my eye and I’ll flag it, but won’t be able to reach out for a couple weeks, until it’s formally on the schedule for stories.
Do you have any advice for PR professionals pitching you?
I love getting a heads up when key people from the org will be in DC. I enjoy being able to meet sources in person, and unless I’m contagious I’m going to want to meet. Those in-person interviews have been great for getting input on a wide range of topics, and from one interview I’ve been able to cover two or three story topics.
Do you use social media for story leads and pitches?
I use Twitter for possible story ideas and would welcome leads and pitches through that channel.
Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to working with PR?
Calling right after you send a pitch email — half the time I’m typing the response in that moment, the other half I’m in the middle of something else and haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. If there’s not an immediate response a follow up email is sufficient – I’ll reach back out if it’s something that works for us.
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