Getting Down to Business: Recapping the Pub Club’s Meet-and-Greet with the BBJ

On Monday, October 30th, the Publicity Club of New England got down to business with the Boston Business Journal. These events are my favorite because facetime is so valuable for PR and communications professionals. And, what better way to learn about what makes a story newsworthy than from the journalists themselves? 

We had the opportunity to meet with BBJ’s top reporters, Kelly O’Brien and Jessica Bartlett. Here’s what we learned:

  • Endear yourself to the reporters! If you know a pitch isn’t great but you have to pitch it out, just say so. That way, reporters won’t hold a bad pitch against you.
  • If your pitch covers more than one beat and you think that more than one reporter might be interested, send the pitch to both people on one email.
  • Kelly covers everything tech – here are some of his tips and tricks:
    • He typically does not profile people or businesses.
    • Make the email subject line a headline for your newsworthy pitch (funding, office moves, new CEO, board nominations, etc.).
  • Jessica covers healthcare (and craft beer) – here are some of her tips and tricks:
    • A pitch must feature a Massachusetts-based company and must have a business angle (funding, money, etc.).
    • She will not cover patient stories unless there is a business angle.
  • Both Kelly and Jessica were on the same page with the following tips:
    • If you must phone pitch, after 3 p.m. is best. Be sure to give reporters at least five minutes to read an email.
    • Make sure your spokesperson is available ASAP.
  • And, last but not least – Jessica is expecting her first child in December! Huge congratulations from the Pub Club. Hopefully she can resume covering craft beer in the spring.

Remember that these reporters get over 50 emails a day, and half of those are usually irrelevant pitches. Huge thanks to Kelly and Jessica for sharing these trade secrets in helping us become better PR pros!