If you’re here, that probably means you either work for a startup, PR firm or some group that is involved with my beat: the Boston tech industry.
I get a lot of pitches every day, so here are some ways to stand out:
Know My Beat
Most people who pitch me regularly have a general idea of what I cover, but I also get a lot of daily pitches from people who obviously have no idea. This is unacceptable and a complete waste of my time. If I was a freelance writer pitching to a publication and I did no research of what it covers, I would get a quick rejection (or no response).
To clarify, this is what I cover: technology, innovation and startup news within the city of Boston (and more broadly, the state of Massachusetts). My beat is in the name of my publication, BostInno, which is a portmanteau for “Boston Innovation.” I am interested in covering out-of-state companies if there’s a local angle (such as opening a Boston office), but if it’s just to meet with an executive who’s in town, I’m probably not.
Occasionally, I will cover news in other regions of New England. For instance, we have covered Dyn, a company based in Manchester, N.H., multiple times.
Include ‘Boston’ in Email
While I know of many companies based in Boston or Massachusetts, there are still a few names I’m not familiar with. That means if you don’t specify the location of the company, there’s a likelihood that I might glaze over it because I think it’s a national pitch.
Offer a Scoop or Exclusive
This is a proven way to get my attention. BostInno has a very concentrated readership of decision makers in the Boston area, including CEOs, investors, service providers and other companies that want to be involved with the local innovation ecosystem. For that reason, BostInno is a great way to get your message out. Here are some exclusives that have performed very well:
- How 3 HBS Alumni Plan to Transform Supermarkets with Robots
- Why an Entrepreneur Walked Away from a $60M Opportunity with Uber
- Inside the Bill Gates-Backed Startup Aiming to Stop the Next Terror Attack
- Fuze Raises $104M, Its ‘Last Round’ Before IPO
- Meet the Man Behind Wayfair’s Move into Augmented & Virtual Reality
Do Not Call Me*
At some point in my time at BostInno, someone thought it would be acceptable to add my personal cell phone number to a PR database (or multiple databases, it’s hard to tell). It’s the only phone number I have, so I use it often for interviews, but I highly discourage people from calling me out of the blue because if multiple people did it, it would become unmanageable. I also get lots of spam calls, which pretty much means I will never pick up a call from an unknown number.
If you feel like you need to reach me directly and you happen to have my cell phone number, you’re better off texting me instead.
* This tip is more explicitly for PR firms. One of my goals for my beat is to develop more direct connections to founders, employees, investors and other stakeholders in the Boston tech industry. In that respect, I’m willing to take a call, especially if it’s for a good tip or scoop.
I will eventually add more to this page on what kind of stories I like to cover.