Friday, March 28, 2008

17 Tips for Calling Travel Magazine Editors

Your relationship with an editor often begins with a query letter, but there are times when you need to talk by phone.

Here are a few tips for calling and talking with an editor:

When to call an editor
  • You've established a relationship with an editor – either on a press trip or by completing other work for the magazine.
  • The editor tells you to call.
  • You're not sure who to send the query to.
  • You're following up on a query.
When not to call
  • The editor makes it clear in market guides not to call.
  • You've not worked for or contacted the magazine before.
  • How to call an editor
If you're pitching:
  • If it’s a big magazine or you don't know who to send your query to, call the main number and ask for the editorial department. Often, you'll get an assistant who can give you the name of the editor to query and tips for approaching this editor.
  • Be completely prepared. Sometimes a call to the editorial section will get you to the editor you need to talk to.
If you're following up on a query:
  • Be brief and professional, but cordial.
  • Be prepared for the editor not remembering your query. Have a short description of the query and offer to immediately email or fax the query.
  • Have several other ideas ready if the editor asks for other ideas.
  • Ask the editor what kind of articles the magazine is looking for.
Miscellaneous tips
  • Don't leave a voice mail – chances are very good the editor will not call back unless he or she knows you.
  • If an assistant answers the phone, ask for the best time to call the editor.
  • If the editor has an assistant, call either before or after work (I prefer after 5 p.m.) to catch the editor answering his or her own phone.
  • If you're looking for information, call during holiday weeks – the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas. You'll be amazed who answers the phone, and if it’s a slow day, how much information you can get.
  • Come up with bullet points, including info about the magazine, a few sentences about why you're a good fit for the magazine, and info about your query.

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