Where Do I Pitch Now?

Was that the sound of another “new economy” magazine dying? It was, and the latest victim is Red Herring.

Welcome to 2003, the land that magazines forgot. Five years ago the magazine world was like a giant cornfield at harvest time. All a PR person needed to do to get a client or their company some ink was to go out into that field and stumble around a bit.

But the world has changed in the past five years and with Red Herring’s death, another potential clip has fallen by the wayside. Countless business oriented magazines have failed in the past few years. From The Industry Standard to Digital Coast Weekly, the available space to get a write-up has become golden turf. Even newspapers have cut back on tech coverage with many canning weekly technology or biztech sections.

So where can you turn for a tech friendly face these days?

There are still the CNET’s and’s of the world out there, so don’t fear. Both online publications have rehoned their coverage to look at emerging technologies and innovative companies. And neither will be scared off by a small size company. Remember that these guys pander to techies and business people in the tech arena.

On the magazine front, Business 2.0 (now owned by AOL Time Warner) and Wired are probably your best bets. Remember that lead times for magazines are long and you’ll have to make a strong case for someone to put pen to glossy paper. Wired is the last true bastion of heavy technology coverage, so the competition to get into the magazine is stronger than ever. Newsweek and Time run big picture tech stories, but also do sidebars and short consumer-focused pieces still.

There are the trade magazines, too numerous to name, but worthwhile. Regardless of business your company or client is in, it’s always nice to show up the competition by getting some press. Do not discount the value of trade press. It’s not as splashy and fun as consumer press, but the payoff can come back in the form of clients, customers, partners or even investors.

When looking at daily newspapers, keep in mind what’s in the news these days. If you see a “coverage theme” (i.e., a paper has been covering FCC-related stories lately), tailor your pitch to the story. The San Jose Mercury News, New York Times, USA Today, Wall St. Journal and Washington Post are the national forces in tech coverage. Your local paper, even though it’s probably cut back on tech coverage, is always looking for an intriguing story. Wire services Reuters and the Associated Press tend to run lengthy tech stories on weekends as well.

Once you get some press, the most important thing you can do with it is to “piggyback” it. You want the widest exposure possible for your company or client and various newsletters and websites pick up interesting stories.

CBS MarketWatch’s Frank Barnako writes the Internet Daily column and he picks up three or four stories from around the business world. If you get some ink, make sure you send him the link to the story. John Paczkowski at does a newsletter every weekday called Good Morning Silicon Valley and links eight or nine different stories. He also looks for interesting and offbeat stuff.

Speaking of offbeat, if your company gets some ink, try to get it linked on The article will get plenty of traffic, which will make everyone happy. The standard for traffic in the tech world however is still A story linked on the site can send upwards of 250,000 readers in a few hours. loves anything telecom related (high-speed access, VoIP, file-sharing, etc.). There are thousands of tech- related weblogs out there can help raise you company or client’s profile, but remember that these guys link to existing stories and rarely write their own pieces. Still, their power is inescapable.

I’ve covered how to get press in the past, so bone up on those articles when pitching these tech-related outfits. The game gets harder when there’s less press to go around, so you have to be at the top of your game or you’ll end being just another Red Herring.

This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (, a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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