As much as we love getting submissions, sometimes we get some pitches that leave us saying, “Really?” As much as we understand not everyone can assemble a professional release or digital EPK (nor do we expect it ), we do think there are some “common sense” editorial courtesies we should all follow. We are all busy people, so why not work together to gain you some awesome coverage? I think these tips will help make everyone’s lives a bit easier 🙂
Issues That Create Problems
1. Sending an Invite from an App or Mailing List – This is a big no-no! The main problem with sending us an invite via your app or mailing list is there is a good chance we won’t see it. We’ve signed up for hundreds of different mailing lists, applications and betas through the years, and we have filters designed to send out of our main mailbox. Be sure to use the proper submission form and NOT an invitation!
2. Referencing Your Media Coverage on HypeGirls.com competitors’ media – We have a good relationship with most of our “competitors” and will link to their coverage when they have something interesting or a juicy piece of breaking news. However, if you’re a company with a launch date or an artist with a special event, we’d like to know about it beforehand, not after it has already been covered by a half dozen other blogs or magazines. But again, we will honor all embargos if you would like to do it this way!
3. Private Messages on Social Network – NO NO NO! We get A LOT of application invites, music posts, and general messages on Facebook. Also we get Tweets, FourSquare action here and there and of course the occasional “pin”. We don’t really mind it, but again, you’re lowering your chances of actually getting your pitch seen. Our super awesome Community Director is pretty good about responding to all of these, but she can’t catch them all! We spend A LOT more time in our main mailbox (the email@example.com email) than the 68 different private message systems we have via different social networks. Just be safe and use the form!
4. Trying a Backdoor – We love establishing quality relationships with our sources. Unfortunately, we actually do have to sleep, which means if you send a message to one of our writers at 3am, they may not get it to it in a timely fashion. However, our firstname.lastname@example.org address is monitored just about 24×7 these days and we all see what comes in, so this is the best way to reach us! We will always get back to you!
5. Contacting Nichole Directly – While she is an up and coming Tech Web Celeb, a BoCampers regular, and would love to check out your company or brand at some point, HypeGirls founder Nichole Dawkins is also insanely busy with things way beyond editorial. Much like some of the other less efficient modes of pitching us, if you contact Nichole directly, there is a good chance she won’t see it and get it to our editorial team on time.
6. Unsolicited Phone Calls – Most of our phone numbers are private, but nonetheless, some of you sneaky techy sleuths are able to find them and cold call us. While we love setting up a time to chat with you and demo your product, music or service, unsolicited calls during our workday are a huge distraction. Please be respectful and don’t harass our editorial team, again we will always get back to you!
Our Editor Pet Peeves
1. USING ALL CAPS – Avoid at all times writing subject lines in ALL CAPS. Firstly, this means that less of your subject line shows up in the preview screen, meaning you have fewer words to convince us that your story is worth covering. Secondly, it’s considered SHOUTING! And finally, ALL CAPS is a red flag for spam filters, so if you use them, your message might not even get through to us at all.
2. Misspelling Our Names – Amber Monique’s name is Amber, not Monique. Nichole’s name is spelt with an “H” and it’s not “Nikki” either, it’s Nicky. Doriean is preferred over Dori, and Macielle is preferred over Maci. Christian is her name, not Kristen. And if you can’t spell Mary, Brittany, Samantha or Kathy then even we can’t help you. We’re not vindictive people, BUT, when you mess up our names, it makes us think you don’t really read our awesome vlogazine, which hurts our feelings – ok not really, but come on this should be easy!
3. Trying to Setup a Lunch – While we would love to go sit down to a lovely meal with you, unfortunately, a HypeGirls editor hasn’t been “out to lunch” since Nichole started this whole crazy thing a couple years ago. The “vlogger” lifestyle isn’t for everyone of course, but the fact of the matter is we generally don’t take more than a 30 minute break during our workday, let alone a couple hours to enjoy a three course meal. Not quite there yet guys!
Things you should know are just BAD
1. Not Including a URL – Yea…this should go without saying, but you’d be surprised. The reality is, the most important part of any pitch (especially for new products, artists or brands) is your WEBSITE! So if you submit to us without including a URL, you’re pretty much screwed.
2. Not Offering a Preview of Your Private Beta, New Album, Store Opening etc – While it’s great to learn about “secret” brands, there is a limit to just how “secret” you can be before receiving coverage. For example, we wouldn’t have covered Lady Gaga’s LittleMonsters unless we were able to uncover some details beyond the “invite only” landing page.
3. Pitching Old News – Sending us an old press release is definitely a lose-lose. For starters, if we research it and see it has been covered a dozen times elsewhere, we probably won’t cover it. Additionally, if we research it and see it hasn’t been covered anywhere, it makes us question if the story was newsworthy in the first place. It also comes off as though you ran through your top options and now you’re just “working your way down a list.” No media likes that! However, if you’re pitching a new story and want to include old news as a frame of reference, that can be useful and is totally acceptable.
As we have said before, we really depend on you just as much as you depend on us! So lets make sure your submissions always get covered by the HypeGirls!