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Pitching Pitfalls and Editor Pet Peeves
In July of 2009 Michelle Tennant Nicholson of Wasabi Publicity, Inc., sat down to speak with Gracey Hitchcock, editor of DolceDolce.com, a magazine for women.
In this call Michelle discussed pitching pitfalls and editor pet peeves with Gracey, who was one of the founding editors of Russian Vogue and the first English feature writer for Russian Elle.
Here's the transcript:
Michelle Tennant: Hi Gracey. This is Michelle Tennant.
Gracey Hitchcock: Hello.
Michelle Tennant: How are you?
Gracey Hitchcock: I'm good. How are you?
Michelle Tennant: Just great. So we've got the recording already started and so I'm just gonna go ahead and dive right in, if that's okay with you?
Gracey Hitchcock: That's absolutely fine. Go right ahead.
Michelle Tennant: Great. So what we're talking about is how to get publicity results and how to pitch editors effectively. And I'm Michelle Tennant Nicholson and I've been doing PR for 20 years. And if you want to read all about me and my accolades you can go to storytellertothemedia.com. But without further adieux let me introduce you to Gracey Hitchcock, the editor of Dolcedolce.com, a weekly online newsletter for women and she is the founding editor of Russian Vogue and the first English feature writer for Russian El. And she was a columnist for the Women's Post and has appeared in many national publications. I am thrilled to talk to you today, Gracey, about the pitfalls of pitching editors. Thanks so much for being here with me.
Gracey Hitchcock: Okay, Michelle. Just one little correction: I was one of the founding editors of Russian Vogue. There were a few of us because you know, a magazine takes a few people, but it was great fun to do that project.
Michelle Tennant: Well great. Okay well thanks for that.
Gracey Hitchcock: I think they'd come and tell me because it was really, it was a great project but it was really challenging and it took every one of us because we launched it in fewer months than you would normally launch it and in a language that was none of our own for the English side and with a really talented Russian team, but most of them had not worked in glossy magazines before. It was challenging.
Michelle Tennant: And let's just dive into that experience right there. What were the main pitfalls of people pitching you as an editor of some of these really high level magazines and then your current magazine? What's your biggest pet peeve, Gracey?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well actually, I would say over there we really didn't have a lot of problems because it was something that people really didn't pitch us, per se, so that was really pretty fabulous. And I have a terrific, incredibly amazing assistant who was a very young intern and she really ran the most incredible interference when anything did come up, so it was really on that level, fabulous. And we really did not get pitched in the same way because it was so new and so different and it just worked so differently that it's probably not a useful counterpart. I would say that I do have a list of pet peeves and you picked a very good time to speak to me because -.
Michelle Tennant: Oh, good. Did one of them just happen to you?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well I was just recently at a very nice luncheon where I was sitting with a couple of very, very seasoned editors, women, and it seemed that they have had, recently, a few experiences with PR people that they were not too pleased about. And I would say not a mean spirited at all, but a professional discussion of what really should not be done, spontaneously broke out. So some of these things are not just my opinion, but the opinion of some of my seasoned colleagues who are not really friends with colleague and it was funny how there was such a meeting minds.
I would say that one thing ‘cause when people pitch you and they have not read, you know, we're an online magazine so, we do have a newsletter, you're absolutely right, but we also have an online magazine and people pitch us and they haven't read it. So they're pitching things that we don't cover. They don't fit our demographics. Our readers would not be interested in them.
Michelle Tennant: And I think that that's like what we talked about just recently, one of the reasons why I wanted to interview you, Gracey, is I found it really interesting a lot of people erroneously think that if an editor is preparing material for women, that they automatically are interested in mother topics.
Gracey Hitchcock: This is fascinating to me because even mothers are not always interested in being mothers and this may be a rude shock to some people, but it's quite true. And this would be like saying that all men want to read about sports all the time or all men want to read about cars all the time or all men want to read about, I don't know, mercenaries all the time or gardening. Magazines and newspapers and online magazines and blogs, everything has become increasingly more niche.
For online, I think we happen to be a little bit broader than many blogs or online magazines or whatever you wish to call it. We don't really consider ourselves a blog because we have seven people at any given time who work on our staff, but we tend to be a little bit broader. But everything is getting to be so niche now that it makes it even more foolish, but people just waste your time; they waste their time and we can't afford that in this economy. And it's all so irksome. It's just irksome ‘cause everything is manners, just plain, ordinary, old fashioned manners.
Michelle Tennant: And so how are people rude with you?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well I don't consider it very good manners when people call up without introducing themselves and say to me, "Did you get my email?" I get so much email that I almost hesitate to tell people how much email I get because I'm well aware of the fact that I'm no longer at Vogue Magazine or the New York Times, but even for dolcedolce.com, we get scores of emails a day. We get hundreds some days and how would I know if I got their email, particularly since they have not bothered to tell me who they are?
Michelle Tennant: That's right. Well I always say -.
Gracey Hitchcock: And what am I gonna do?
Michelle Tennant: I've been and for years is, what you want to do when you actually follow up is follow up without following up. How can you actually follow up and then give more information like research or just another news tip or "Hey, did you know this was breaking in the news?"
Gracey Hitchcock: But let's jut address this. I'm not even as offended as many people are if someone were to call me on the phone because I'm much more open to telephone conversation than the average editor these days, but I think it is incredibly rude to call anyone and not introduce yourself. "Hello, I am -."
Michelle Tennant: Well you know, there actually are PR people out there teaching publicists to not introduce themselves, saying that it wastes time?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well it will also get you hung up on by me before (Interviewer laughs) very quickly. I'm sorry. I don't speak to people who don't introduce themselves. "Have a very nice day. Goodbye." I'm sorry, I do not know why anyone in their right mind would have a conversation with someone who does not introduce themselves.
Michelle Tennant: Well there's also some, you know this email pitching technique and I think etiquette and do you like when you're sent an emails -? And I know you prefer the phone, but there are a lot of like -.
Gracey Hitchcock: I don't like, for instance, I prefer email, but I'm not offended when someone calls me. There are many people these days are mortally offended with the telephone that much. I'm not. I wish you'd explain to me who in their right minds would have a conversation with anyone that does not introduce themselves.
Michelle Tennant: Well they say that media – I'm not teaching it, but I've heard other people say, "Lead with your angle."
Gracey Hitchcock: No, no. May I just abuse you with it? I have been in this business a very long time. I am not going to discuss who I'm married to, but I married into this business. All our friends are in this business. My life is ridiculously in this business. I can assure you that nobody I know who works in this business in several countries, would ever entertain a conversation.
Michelle Tennant: Well now you know everyone, okay? So if you had -.
Gracey Hitchcock: I don't know everyone. I know a lot of people.
Michelle Tennant: And hundreds of by name, then you can actually set your media trainer correct about that one. I love this Gracey. This is really good stuff.
Gracey Hitchcock: Nobody _____ anymore. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. This is just like 14 year old children calling your house and they don't introduce themselves.
Michelle Tennant: Completely.
Gracey Hitchcock: I mean, "I'm sorry goodbye. You have not -." I mean, if this was a serious news story, what's good is a source that doesn't introduce themselves? I mean, let's face it. The person talking to Deep Throat knew who Deep Throat was. This is ridiculous they're teaching people this.
Michelle Tennant: What about emails, should we introduce ourselves at the beginning of an email, or like if we're from pitchrate.com with you responding?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well that's actually more irrelevant because your name is on your email and so I don't really care. I mean, it takes one second to introduce yourself, "Hello. I'm Michelle Tennant with Story Teller PR. I'd like to speak to you about -. Is this a good time?" That is the only thing you should ever say to anyone when you telephone them. "Is this a good time?"
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, "Is this a good time?" is something that, I mean, gosh if I don't say that, that's one of the things that for 20 years I make sure that I say. Even as today, I was calling someone unrelated to PR and I just asked them. I agree with you, that's just plain -.
Gracey Hitchcock: I say that to my best friend.
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, do you have time?
Gracey Hitchcock: Dear heavens. It's civilized.
Michelle Tennant: Now what else? What else Gracey?
Gracey Hitchcock: An email, that if I cannot tell in the first paragraph of your email what you are talking about, you are in trouble.
Michelle Tennant: Okay.
Gracey Hitchcock: And I can tell you, I've had emails I've read three times and not know what people are talking about, and not one and not two and not three, many emails I've received from PR people and I do not. On the third read if I don't know what you're talking about, I delete you and I think that's probably two more reads than many people will give you.
Michelle Tennant: I agree.
Gracey Hitchcock: I mean, I don't want a mystery and actually, I'm sorry, I'm very basic. I want who, what, where and really why in the front, right up front. Secondly, if you send me a pdf, please also send me a word file because if you have a list of names or places, I may well want to cut and paste them for accuracy.
Michelle Tennant: Right, I know. We really don't -. Yeah, the pdf, I think online press kits or Word documents are so much easier for people to cut and paste. We use PressKit247.com and you can just cut and paste it. And I hear that a lot Gracey.
Gracey Hitchcock: People consistently are telling me that people want these fancy schmancy pdf's. Really, why? Because the media, these media professionals think that bloggers are just going to reprint their materials. Well, maybe they will, but nobody that will do you any good will.
Michelle Tennant: Now I heard that links were preferred to attachments of any kind. Do you agree?
Gracey Hitchcock: What are preferred?
Michelle Tennant: Links, like a hyperlink to some place.
Gracey Hitchcock: Oh, I say put it all in. Some people like links. I personally bless the person who is professionally efficient enough they can get it to me on one page in the email.
Michelle Tennant: Yes.
Gracey Hitchcock: Oh, God bless you.
Michelle Tennant: When you interviewed my client, Dr. Jill Murray, about Rihanna and Chris Brown and domestic violence?
Gracey Hitchcock: And didn't that go well?
Michelle Tennant: It did. And I just sent you some links to her online press kit and it was wham bam complete for you and you even commented later like, "Thanks for being efficient."
Gracey Hitchcock: Mm-hmm because that was a very specific thing. That was a personality. That was not a product. If it would've been a product, it would've been very different. Also, I did not need -. I will tell you in that case, I really would've preferred a better picture of Dr. Murray, but -.
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, I told her to -.
Gracey Hitchcock: You asked her on that?
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, she finally took our coaching and went out and got a professional shoot and this was after you actually published her, but now she's got some high resolution. I agree with you and I told her that and she took our coaching.
Gracey Hitchcock: And I do believe that the picture should always be available in jpeg and they should always be different sizes. People often send you these ginormous sizes that are wonderful for print.
Michelle Tennant: But you don't really need them for an online -.
Gracey Hitchcock: Well and often they're not really convenient depending on how you're working, if you're highly mobile.
Michelle Tennant: That's right.
Gracey Hitchcock: They can jam up laptops. They can jam up different systems and then people will end up not using them and probably something with a bad resolution, which will make your client look old or your pictures look cheap because they'll end up pulling them off the web because they cannot get a better picture in time.
Michelle Tennant: Well and that's one of the reasons why I've had complaints from editors and journalists. "Okay, if you send an attachment via email, then you're gonna jam up my inbox." So I just put everything on their online press kit that has a page with different images that are available and you can just download what you want.
Gracey Hitchcock: Well obviously, common sense rules. You do not send humongous attachments to anybody. That's just foolishness.
Michelle Tennant: You'd be surprised what people do, right? I mean, I hear it time and time again from professionals that have enough experience to know better and then there they are doing it with someone like you.
Gracey Hitchcock: But you know, people just don't realize that it costs no more for a photographer to get a high res shot, a low res shot. Oh, this is another thing, while on the subject of photographs,
Michelle Tennant: Yes.
Gracey Hitchcock: Common sense and do you think -? People do not close crop the client's head shot.
Michelle Tennant: What's your preference?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well it's not a preference. I don't know why people let anyone have a preference. I don't know why people do not have all their clients head shots close cropped. I don't know why they would ever want to trust an editor to be intelligent enough or spend the time or the money or trust any online people to have the facilities or the sense to edit head shots because a lot of people don't. We edit them if people haven't done something funky to them.
Michelle Tennant: Well I think that the idea is from someone in my seat, Gracey, is we want to give you options, but what I'm hearing you say is you just want -.
Gracey Hitchcock: Why? Why would you want the option of a bunch of very bizarre space floating around somebody's head? Why would you want the option of letting them plop your client next to God knows who doing God knows what?
Michelle Tennant: Well I think that probably what we need to do is we need to go to dolcedolce.com and actually look at what Gracey's talking about as an example of some good photos.
Gracey Hitchcock: Well don't because we can't always control them. Look at mine. We do our best with what they -.
Michelle Tennant: Well I think looking at your photos, ‘cause you know, I -.
Gracey Hitchcock: You can look at what they give us, but we try to do our best for people but I end up sending to my art director and my photography people, which do not count on websites to have people's head shots. And I'm always having to have them close cropped so that the people are not floating in this space.
Michelle Tennant: Well I think that you have a beautiful photo of yourself, if people just Google "Gracey -."
Gracey Hitchcock: I have professional photos done by very top notch photographers that if anybody's clients nearby I highly recommend they use. But this is a different issue. I'm talking about cropping, having the photographs cropped so that there's not huge space floating around them because people will not do it for you.
Michelle Tennant: Your image, so for people to find out what a good example of what Gracey is talking about, find her photo and her first name is G-R-A-C-E-Y and then Hitchcock. And I saw a beautiful shot of you on your Mother's Day Sex in the City article from last yeah, actually.
Gracey Hitchcock: Well thank you and it's there every week, actually, we crop, we have pictures of me there every week because this is another thing which is I have a pet peeve, which is that people constantly write about beauty and you never see them.
Michelle Tennant: (Laughs) Good point.
Gracey Hitchcock: But I will say that I really recommend cropping pictures because you cannot see the people. And it all looks like high school graduation when you have like all these curtains and space behind people and I've seen some very, very prominent, lovely clients and the pictures just do not look great because of the cropping and the cropping is so easy to do. Any photographer will do it for you.
Michelle Tennant: Well and so we've got those: research, have manners when you call, first paragraph don't use -.
Gracey Hitchcock: Do not have these mystery press releases. Don't be cute, yeah.
Michelle Tennant: And then what else?
Gracey Hitchcock: Here's a great one. This one incensed every woman at the table.
Michelle Tennant: Okay.
Gracey Hitchcock: We're not very interested in pictures of events that no one from our magazine attended. Now I can't say this holds true for certain websites that may cover rock stars or gossip or Perez Hilton type wannabe's. I don't know. I have, it's the old New England expression goes, "no truck with that". But, if you want to deal with legitimate journalists in print, online, they don't need photographs of events they didn't attend. What would they with them?
Michelle Tennant: I think that where people are coming from, so, sometimes we're told, Gracey, "Hey, staffs are diminished. They don't have the money, now it takes photos."
Gracey Hitchcock: Yes, if somebody was at the event. Some people cannot afford to take a photographer, absolutely. But if nobody was at the event, what would they possibly want with it? It's ridiculous especially if there was no invitation extended to the event. I cannot tell you -. Now I'm personally am somewhat amused and I cannot tell you the ire this raises in some people.
Michelle Tennant: Wow. Okay. Like what?
Gracey Hitchcock: You didn't bother to invite me and you think I'm going to cover it? That is what I hear from people. As I said, I'm personally a little bit more amused like, "Okay, fine." But then again, they are usually events I would not cover so I can probably afford to be amused. That would be me. I'm also probably just generally more amused by things than most people because you live longer, you get the fewer wrinkles.
But that is something that really does incense people. And also I don't think many legitimate journalists cover things they don't attend and we certainly do consider ourselves legitimate journalists. Now that brings me to product coverage, which is a pet peeve of mine.
Michelle Tennant: Okay.
Gracey Hitchcock: We don't review products that we don't see, we just dump. And so when I have in the past received emails from people saying, "Oh, well, we don't have samples to send to online people." or "We don't have this or that." well please don't waste my time.
Michelle Tennant: Yes.
Gracey Hitchcock: What did you think we were? We're not masquerading as something else.
Michelle Tennant: I wanna get this straight. You have people who ask you to review products and then they're not willing to send you a sample of it?
Gracey Hitchcock: Absolutely.
Michelle Tennant: I just can't even believe that. I always tell people, "Don't send a product or a book unless the editor asks -."
Gracey Hitchcock: Absolutely. You are correct. I prefer people never send anything without checking. But that doesn't offend me as much as I'm a little bit concerned for people's budget in this economy and I try to save them problems, that if we're not appropriate for them, I would prefer for to have them waste money sending it to us.
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, I can see that.
Gracey Hitchcock: And I really do worry and I probably shouldn't, and that would be me because you know, and there are some things that do come unsolicited, but luckily, most of it has been on target and we do review it. And it's been very polite, it's funny that unsolicited people are extremely polite in their approach whereas, it's very funny people send us email and it's like -. And also, I had one woman who is, I found extremely offensive. She invited us to go to her hotel opening, it was her client's hotel and they had a floor for women.
Now this was something that we were willing to cover because we have an all woman demographics. We travel a lot and we have mostly professional women. And we have covered hotels that specialize in just having floors for women and our readers love it for many reason, security, comfort, etcetera. Now, I've traveled a great deal and I'm also married and that's not a secret. I write about it in my editorials, and so basically being away from home at all without my husband – you know, we both work a lot – is not something that I'm looking to do.
And so to do this is a little bit of an inconvenience for me, but you do inconvenient things for your work, so I'm not expecting a lot of sympathy. So, I'm agreeing to cover this with her and actually taking a woman with me, a colleague photographer. We're naturally going to leave at this hotel overnight after I see it because I don't really want to stay in it. It's here in Atlanta, so this is my point being, no treat for me.
And we get this set up and I'm really trying to accommodate her arrangement because I do believe it's a two way street. You don't try to be difficult and it is suitable for our demographic, at which point she says, in her email, "Well I'll get back to you if we want to do this with you."
Michelle Tennant: Oh, okay.
Gracey Hitchcock: So I hit the roof and I basically told her "No thank you. You have wasted my time. I'm not very interested in working with you. I consider you extremely unprofessional." and "Have a nice day."
Michelle Tennant: What happened then?
Gracey Hitchcock: She got extremely hysterical.
Michelle Tennant: Really?
Gracey Hitchcock: She wrote back to the email saying, "I'm very upset." which I considered even more unprofessional, and she said that she had so many travel writers. And I wrote her back and said, "Excuse me. I don't want to be unkind to you, but you approached us. You sent actually -." and it was phrased – "an invitation. I only agreed to do this because of our demographic, it being suitable, and this is not ‘a phrase' you use, which I find unprofessional and offensive, ‘a treat'. It is an inconvenience. It is a Friday night and let's have no more about this."
Michelle Tennant: What happened?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well she wrote back again that she would not want to ruin a relationship.
Michelle Tennant: How do you come back on something like that, Gracey? What would you recommend?
Gracey Hitchcock: How did I come back on it or how does a PR come back?
Michelle Tennant: How does the PR person come back from that?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well frankly, there was no coming back from this for her with me. I really had had it with her and I did not believe she was sincere. I think she was upset that she pushed it too far with me. I think she was worried when she figured out that perhaps Dolcedolce was very well known and that I was perhaps not a person she wanted to make annoyed. I'm not a very revengeful person. If we were not having this conversation, I would not bother to even remember this or mention it anyone because it's extremely unimportant to me.
Michelle Tennant: Well exactly.
Gracey Hitchcock: I was actually only remembering it ‘cause I was trying to think of things people should not do for you last night. Now it was funny because the day before another woman had done something similar with a cosmetic company. Two women in a row. I found it very interesting and they were both women who called themselves CEO's of their companies.
Michelle Tennant: Hmm, wow.
Gracey Hitchcock: Very small companies, getting a bit ahead of themselves, I think. But you see the other woman apologized in a way that I considered very sincerely and I wrote her back and I said, "Look, let's just forget coverage of this product. You obviously sounded as if you're very short with your sample, but if you're short, I will not hold it against you. Why don't you just be a little more careful on how you do things in the future for your own sake? And if you want to write to me again about something, it's fine. Don't worry about it." And I meant it quite sincerely ‘cause I do believe that woman took what I had to say to her and took it onboard.
Michelle Tennant: Did she write back or did she just leave it be?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well no, she wrote back just, "Thank you." which was fine. That's what I considered professional. But I had gotten a very professional response the first time I wrote to her, which is, "I'm sorry. You're right. That wasn't a good way to handle it." Not, "I'm so upset, blah blah, I'm so upset." I don't trust that sort of thing. I don't care for it all.
Michelle Tennant: Well I think that over my 20 years, what I've found really works ‘cause you know, you're human. You're gonna make a mistake with some relationships. Like any good relationship -.
Gracey Hitchcock: Shelly, we all do.
Michelle Tennant: You know, just apologize. And I often, you know, I'm clear who's in the power seat. It's the media. So I'm a servant, I think, to people like you, Gracey.
Gracey Hitchcock: Oh, I think it's very symbiotic now, to be honest. I don't see it that way. I think we work together.
Michelle Tennant: I can see that.
Gracey Hitchcock: This is not news, you know. If I was in the news business, it would be very different, but this is charm, this is face cream and shoes that I do and some harder issues like when I worked with Dr. Jill, you know, we do some serious things about women's issues and that and that's more serious and we handle that differently. But are you going to go to the mat with people over face cream and shoes? I mean, come on. This has gotta be a little bit symbiotic, a little bit, you know.
Michelle Tennant: Oh, I love it. Okay, well we've gotten some really good pet peeves. Before we close the session out, any other pet peeves you want everyone to know about? And the primary people listening to this will be at PublicityResults.com and PitchRate.com. So, what else should we not do, do you think?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well I think maybe when people start to make assumptions, you know, as I said, we don't claim to be the biggest game on the block, but we have our place. We work very hard at it. We work very hard to be professional. We have our readers. They're professional women. We work hard at what we do and we've gained ground every day and we gain readers every day and our readers, we believe are very valuable to those who solicit us.
So, what we want when people approach us is the same level of professionalism and respect that we give our readers, which is how we have gained our place, is with respect and hard work and professionalism and ethical behavior, which is why we have had certain accolades that have come to us about the amount of influence that we have. So for companies and products that are looking for influence and buzz, that's what we have to offer. We're not playing some huge numbers game.
We are building numbers, but we're playing a different game, which is going after a very sort of influential demographics of women who really value respect and ethics and professionalism. So that's what we demand back from the people we want to work with and build relationships with. We are in a relationship game.
Michelle Tennant: True. You know, the bottom line is, is it's relationships and that's one of the things that we always teach -.
Gracey Hitchcock: And ethics.
Michelle Tennant: And ethics.
Gracey Hitchcock: And professionalism.
Michelle Tennant: Ethics, I think is translated or defined in many different ways. How would you define ethics?
Gracey Hitchcock: Ethics?
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, in the media world, like for example -.
Gracey Hitchcock: Put it this way, I'll tell you its very simple for me. When my readers read something on my site they know that to the best of my ability that I, personally, not just the women who write for me, who by the way have very high credentials. Anyone can ask for credentials of anyone who writes on my site. I mean, not our guest interviewers, but and they ask for some of them, too, to the best of my knowledge but the women who contribute as editors and contributors of my site, they can ask me anything about those women's qualifications and backgrounds.
But I, personally, verify anything I say on my site, anything, the nutritional content, about products, we test the products. And I believe from the feedback that I get from my readers over this past two years and the women who read my columns before that and my Russian readers who would come up to me in the street, that my readers truly believe that I am out there finding out everything I can and telling them the best facts that I have, to the best of my ability.
Michelle Tennant: I love how you wrap your definition of ethics around who you really service, as readers, who your audience is.
Gracey Hitchcock: That's the only reason for me to do this and it's the only reason for any woman to ever read anything I write, anything I put out there is because its ethical and true and it serves her. What's the point to get a free mascara every once in a while? No. It's because she really wants to know that it's about the truth; it's really about the best way to server her.
It's the best way to make a peach cobbler to the best skin cream and to know that we really tried it and when I tell her that a product is safe to drop it near her eyes, it is and when I tell her that no, that really won't help you lose weight, it really won't and that something is dangerous to do, it really is dangerous and why every week we try to leave people with a thought that uplifts them and brings them closer together rather than pushes them down in the dirt.
Michelle Tennant: Well I want to just piggy back on that Gracey, because the reason why I do PR and it really points to how I define ethics. I wake up every morning to impact positive news stories, that's why I represent people and my PR firm represents people who make a difference in the world. So if it doesn't lend itself toward making a difference for the audience, then I don't do it. So, for example Dr. Jill Murray, I had an interesting response from a reporter, you thought Dr. Jill Murray's tips on how to spot domestic violence was beneficial and then one person questioned whether or not my outreach around Rihanna and Chris Brown wasn't sensational. And I pulled it out for myself.
Gracey Hitchcock: Police -.
Michelle Tennant: I said a Dr. Jill Murray tip makes a difference for the many women who are experiencing domestic violence and so for that the celebrity tie in makes sense for me because we're already fascinated about well what's happening with Rihanna also then has us thinking about our own friends and family members who might be suffering with domestic violence. So, for me, that's how I sort it out. Do you?
Gracey Hitchcock: Michelle can I build on that?
Michelle Tennant: Please.
Gracey Hitchcock: I also thought it was extremely important for me to bring in a Dr. Jill Murray and I was very grateful to have your access to Dr. Jill that you gave to me to Dr. Jill Murray, who I consider frankly, one of the top, top professionals in this country and I won't say that to anyone, because of all the people who cannot, in this country – and is there ever a more timely time to say this? – afford financially, access to an expert like her, personally?
Michelle Tennant: Exactly.
Gracey Hitchcock: Dr. Murray is one of the few professionals through her website who will actually bother to give people personal access to herself.
Michelle Tennant: That's right.
Gracey Hitchcock: So I don't see how this could remotely be sensational. I can see some coverage and as you know, we have a policy at Dolcedolce that we do not like to say negative things about products unless they are dangerous. We do mention dangerous things, or other people's coverage because that's not how we uplift, but I did, indeed, see – and Dr. Jill and I did discuss it, we touch on this in our piece – coverage that we both thought was dangerous and sensationalist because it was not done by experts.
Michelle Tennant: Well I think that's really a good point and -.
Gracey Hitchcock: And Dr. Jill is an expert. How many years has she dedicated of her life in the trenches, the non glamored stuff? Do cameras follow Dr. Jill when she goes into high schools to talk to students and is not paid? No. Do they? No.
Michelle Tennant: That's right.
Gracey Hitchcock: But does she do that frequently? Yes. And can people gain access to Dr. Jill on her website if they need help?
Michelle Tennant: Yeah, exactly, right?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well I consider that extremely important and that's exactly the kind, when these stories happen, I happen to know for a fact, that this is when people do wake up to what's going on right in front of them and they look and if they have money, fabulous. But if they are short of funds, they just constantly do not know where to go because often they come to me and I'm the one who runs around looking. And I'm not complaining, mind you, because I think that's your job partly, as an editor, and though many people disagree, also and they would say it's opportunistic of me, but I'm often running around trying to direct people where to get this help when they don't have financial means. So, that's my answer to that and I hope it's not too long.
Michelle Tennant: Well I really have found this time with you really beneficial and I know that others will, too. I mean, talk about access to information, access to someone like you and you spending your valuable time with us is so important Gracey.
Gracey Hitchcock: Thank you. _____.
Michelle Tennant: You know, if people want to reach you or talk to you in the future about pitching in the right way, how can they reach you? What's your preference?
Gracey Hitchcock: Well I would love to say they can call me, but I'm not sure I'll be flooded with requests, but it might interfere a little with getting Dolcedolce done since we publish weekly, as you know.
Michelle Tennant: Right, maybe if someone even wants to advertise with you.
Gracey Hitchcock: Harem sacrum. We would love to hear about people who might want to take sponsorships, as you know, that's that ethical thing again, we don't do traditional advertising but we are open for sponsorships, so I would love to hear from anybody would love to do sponsorships with us, we're really reasonable. But, I think the best way is to contact me at -.
Michelle Tennant: Maybe the website, dolcedolce.com.
Gracey Hitchcock: Yes, dolcedolce.com and do more, D-O-M-O-R-E at dolcedolce.com, email@example.com, that's the best place.
Michelle Tennant: And for those of you who don't know what dolce is, it means sweet, and you've definitely been sweet, Gracey, spending time with us today.
Gracey Hitchcock: Well I will leave you with this thought: The reason that it's called dolcedolce.com is because what we believe is that everybody, every woman no matter what your age or your budget or who you are or where you are, you can have and you deserve to have a sweet, sweet life.
Michelle Tennant: Oh, I love that.
Gracey Hitchcock: I'm gonna leave you with your wish that you have a sweet, sweet life and a sweet, sweet week.
Michelle Tennant: Thank you so much, Gracey.
Gracey Hitchcock: Thank you.
Michelle Tennant: Bye-bye.
Gracey Hitchcock: Bye-bye.
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About the Author
L. Drew Gerber is CEO of Blue Kangaroo, Inc. and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a no-charge media tool that moves the best interviews to the front of the line for journalists and producers. Gerber's business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 828-749-3182.
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