How to Pitch the Sunday New York Times with Reporter Allen Salkin

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NY Times styles reporter Allen Salkin on what he expects to find in your online newsroom, why he trusts your online pressroom more than your Facebook page and why you need to Google whatever it is you’re pitching before you contact him.

Show Notes:

0:49 – Eric Schwartzman discloses his partiality for The New York Times. He offers his perspective on why he likes the daily print news format better than online news for broader fare, and echoes EPIC 2014’s concerns regarding the internet’s impact on media and democracy in the US.

1:45 – Eric Schwartzman characterizes the Sunday Styles section of the newspaper and the Thursday Styles section, with was more recently introduced. He also talks a bit about the types of stories Allen Salkin has written in the past.

4:36 – Allen Salkin on best media relations practices for public relations professionals looking to submit news for editorial consideration to The New York Times style section.

5:23 – Allen Salkin shares his favorite magazine and television news programs for trend spotting.

7:12 – Allen Salkin on how Google helps him distinguish actual news trends from hype, and why you need to search whatever it is you’re pitching before you call or email journalists, and consider how those search results weigh in on your argument.

8:06 – Allen Salkin on “PR websites,” what he likes about him, what he dislikes about them, and his bias against public relations agency websites that post reviews and other editorial coverage about their own clients online.

9:14 – Allen Salkin discusses social networks, and why he finds them even less credible than PR agency websites as a credible information source. He also shares his disdain for street teams who stage “happenings” and any other marketing tactics that attempt to co-opt the “organic” to stir up word of mouth.

10:43 – Allen Salkin’s attitude toward “PR websites” that he perceives as being transparent about their mission.

11:26 – Allen Salkin on what he expects to find first in a company’s online newsroom and how a poorly designed user interface can negatively affect your reputation.

12:59 – Allen Salkin on why ease-of-use and user experience are central to effective online newsrooms, and what to avoid putting in them at all costs.

13:22 – How a media person’s experience in an organization’s online newsroom affects their ability to do their jobs, best practices for showcasing media contact information and why flash online pressrooms and PDFs are less useful to reporters.

14:30 – Allen Salkin on the difference between advertising photography and photojournalism, and the type of photography he finds most useful in a company’s online newsroom.

14:57 – Allen Salkin on having video in a company’s online news room versus on YouTube, where he’d tend to trust it most, as well as the type of video content he’s most likely to watch.

15:35 – Allen Salkin on why it’s a good idea to make sure your photos are in the online newsroom section of your organization’s website, rather than somewhere else.

16:01 – Allen Salkin responds to Eric Schwartzman’s claim that the more control an organization exercises over the content on its website, the less credibility it has, by likening one-sided websites to PR people who only tell reporters the rosy side of a story. Both, in his view, are unethical and untrustworthy.

17:50 – Allen Salkin talks about social media, acknowledging that while services like Twitter and Facebook have personal benefits, they pose challenges for reporters, because they could be seen by others as representatives of their employer even though they’re using them for social purposes.

20:27 – Allen Salkin on where The NY Times sits in the larger new media ecosystem, and the difference between primary news sources and the online news echo chamber.

22:49 – Allen Salkin points out NY Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s recent Talk to the Newsroom feature and discusses the economics of the newspaper business.

24:28 – Allen Salkin on staff cuts at The New York Times, what makes The New York Times different from other online news websites, the challenges of news content deliver in the digital age and why he thinks The New York Times is more relevant today than ever before.

31:46 – End

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