Tuesday night I attended a PRSA “Inside the Newsroom” event with Bloomberg Tech. The editorial team has gone through a lot of change in the last six months alone – but this slew of new players is a seemingly good change for the publication, and cross-platform teams seem more connected than ever (i.e. Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg News now rely on each other to double dip on story ideas and features to stay ahead of competitive news orgs).

Panelists Included Jeff Taylor (San Francisco Bureau Chief and Editor-at-Large at Bloomberg News), Brad Stone (Bloomberg Global Tech Lead), Mark Milian (Tech Editor) and Danielle Culbertson (Managing Editor of TV & Radio).

The many divisions of Bloomberg News has historically made it confusing and challenging to know who to approach first with a story idea – the new interconnected structure will hopefully solve for that as well. In theory, you should be able to go to whoever is the most appropriate fit to pitch an angle for both print and TV. It’s also worth noting that each subdivision of Bloomberg News exists on various platforms, meaning one editorial contact should be able to navigate whether that story is a fit for online, TV, radio, print (in one of the three magazines) or across multiple platforms.

The desire for “exclusive content” was also re-iterated multiple times throughout the evening – so that’s clearly a focus, and something communications pros need to keep in mind when pitching Bloomberg.

Insights on PR pitches:

  • All participants resoundingly echoed that we need to do a better job of “watching what reporters do” in order to send informed pitches
  • Think about what headlines we as readers would click on, and approach the pitching process that way
  • For TV especially, it has to be visual first and foremost
  • Pitches should be
    • Short and sharp
    • Impactful
    • Exclusive, when possible
  • Pitches should NOT
    • Be misleading, especially with executive titles or prior expertise
    • Take a blanket approach; instead read the reporter’s coverage and customize your approach
    • Be done social media – we assume our competitors will see it, and it’s no longer personal or exclusive

More key quotes from the panelists:

“When you pitch a few of us at once, you run the risk of no one taking ownership to respond – it makes it easier to ignore. If you pitch me directly, I’ll likely pass it on to the most appropriate writer, if it’s relevant for us.” – Brad

“Don’t tell me the whole story of your company or its founder, focus on what’s new and the story I should focus on; I can do that research on my own” – Mark

“Take the approach of ‘I read your story on X OR I read your last five features on X company, and I have a story idea that I think will resonate with you’ – that’s an email that’s hard for us to ignore.” – Jeff