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An interview with Ben Lobel

Posted: 2012-06-01 in Resources    |   Tagged: ben lobel, businessxl, journalist interview, journalist pitch, journalist relations, smallbusiness.co.uk


TopLine's Hannah Stacey (@hanstacey) chats to Ben Lobel about the do-s and don't-s when pitching a journalist

Tell us a little about the publications you write for

Business XL, aimed at owners of SMEs, is focused on helping companies expand. It features topics such as raising finance, strategy, HR, and technology.

SmallBusiness.co.uk is aimed at start-ups and businesses under £2 million turnover. It has advice articles, features, a Q&A section, blogs, polls, news and directories as well as a store offering other Vitesse Media products.

When are they published and how often?

Business XL is monthly, SmallBusiness is a website.

When do your deadlines tend to be?

Depends, usually mid month for Business XL, SmallBusiness is a website so it doesn't have deadlines as such.

Describe the ideal pitch.

One where the publicist demonstrates a detailed knowledge of their client, shows some intuition and above all how they can make the message relevant to my product (being topical if possible).

e.g - 'Hi Ben, this is Hannah X from X Communications. I represent X Finance Solutions.  I noticed you have a blog on SmallBusiness that focuses on small business finance. X Finance Solutions CEO Brian X would like to contribute an objective opinion piece on what Wonga's decision to enter the business loan market means for small businesses and their quest for funding. I've sent you a brief email summary of his viewpoints and a pic is enclosed too. Let me know if you want him to address anything else. Could you let me know as soon as possible if you want to proceed as he would like to draft it while it's topical.'

Describe the nightmare pitch.

PR person calls up saying (s)he has a client that is 'really exciting' and 'growing' and proceeds to talk in painstaking detail about its service without consideration of why I would care and thinks it's relevant because the service is 'aimed at small businesses' (I'm not putting up adverts!).

e.g. 'Hi Ben, this is Hannah X from X Communications. We've just started working with X Cloud Services. They're different from most cloud operators because they BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH and their service is aimed at small businesses!' We think it's a really exciting time for the company and wondered if you want to feature them?

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Business Money Today

Thu 11th July, 2013

Great post - how to get rid of the BLAH BLAH BLAH - but it seems that that is all there is anymore. How many of the BLAH, BLAH, BLAHs do you get as a percentage of all requests. I bet it is 99% to 1%. Why, because the other - the best pitch - requires work and I am not sure that many people actually know how to do that. Business Money Today - http://www.businessmoneytoday.com/


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