In our 5 Questions series, we catch up with our favorite editors and influencers to find out just what it takes to make them want to learn more about a business and consider it for coverage.
Today we bring you freelance writer and content creator, Susannah Chen! You've read her work in outlets like PopSugar, AFAR magazine, Lifehacker and Zagat. And if you haven't, head straight to her Instagram feed for some serious food and recipe inspiration. You'll thank us later.
Name: Susannah Chen
City: San Francisco
IG Handle: @susannahchenWhat’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to pitches you get?
Getting poorly targeted pitches! I’m regularly sent pitches that aren’t part of my beat (sex toys and golf tattoos, anyone?) as well as pitches that are for launch events somewhere other than where I’m based (San Francisco). Another *huge* pet peeve is when I’ll reach out for more information in response to a pitch or press release, only to never hear back. It completely defeats the point of a pitch!
What is the most useful piece of information for them to include?
Journalists are always looking for the who, what, when, where, and why, so those are key. Also, for products, pricing is also key.What do people often forget to mention or include when pitching you?
Why it might be relevant to me. Just a little bit of extra effort goes a long way. I frequently get pitches for stories I wrote a long time ago that get recycled, so people think I’m still working somewhere I’m not. Just a simple Google search will tell you what I’m up to now and help make the pitch stronger.
How often do you want to hear from people?
Pitch once, and follow up once. If you really want to get my attention, personalize your email!
What’s your preferred method of communication?
Definitely email. I’ve never met a writer who prefers a phone call pitch, ever.