How to Build a Great Relationship with Magazine Editors
Building a relationship with editors doesn’t happen overnight. You need to prove your worth by creating appropriate material targeted to the publication’s audience, deliver on time and be able to adjust your article, if necessary, per the editor’s requests. Here are a few suggestions to help grow and nurture that working relationship.
1. Editors prefer email correspondence above all else, especially when it comes to query letters and final articles. Emailing correspondence and articles means the editor can cut and paste it into the publication without having to re-type anything. Digital delivery saves the editor lots of time.
2. If you promise an editor something–an article, a high resolution photo or anything else–make sure you deliver it. Follow through with your promises every time to establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy source.
3. Before submitting a story, remember to fact check accuracy of dates and the spelling of places, names and geographic locations. Few editors will continue to work with a writer who submits sloppy material that requires extensive fact-checking and heavy re-writes. Worse yet, you don’t want something to run with factual errors, as this will cause embarrassment for both you and the editor.
4. If you choose to telephone an editor to pitch them a story, remember that their time is valuable. First, ask them if it’s a good time to speak for 10 minutes. If it’s not, then ask them for a convenient time to call back. If they can speak, limit your pitch to five to seven minutes. No editor wants to be on the telephone with someone for an unendurable length of time.
5. Deadlines are important to editors. They need written material before they can make decisions about visual materials, ad space, and layout and design. If you have promised an editor something, do your absolute best to submit it by the agreed upon deadline. If something has come up, communicate the need to slightly extend the deadline to the editor in advance.
6. Do not write stories or articles that are just barely disguised promotional pieces for your clients or your own business. Any seasoned editor can smell a promo piece a mile away and will not publish it.