Cosmopolitan has long been a bible for the “modern, career-woman”, a magazine that wanted to let its readers know they could have it all, and wasn’t afraid to go where other publications wouldn’t. Under Farrah Storr’s editorship, Cosmopolitan continues to hold its place on newsstands by delivering unique content in fresh and exciting ways.
So, how do you pitch to a magazine that is always one step ahead? On Monday our Rooster’s headed to The Guardian and Observer building for an evening with the Editor-in-Chief herself to discuss the five pillars of writing and turning that into the perfect pitch.
“Women connect through gossip. But gossip should never read like gossip.”
Women’s magazines have long been keen on keeping a conversational tone that engages and connects with its readers. People are buying a voice when they read your work so you need to make sure your voice compels them to go on a journey with you. Your pitch should show that you understand that.
“Everyone tells the same story. It’s how cleverly you spin it that makes it truly memorable.”
If you can pitch an idea with a question, you’re halfway there – especially if you can’t answer that question straight away. Every successful piece of writing has a moment of change. It is important to not have an agenda when pitching a story, keeping an open mind allows new perspectives to emerge.
“Nothing excites a commissioning editor more than a social trend.”
The saying goes if 3 or more people are doing it, it’s a social trend. Spotting new social trends, or a fresh take on ongoing trends is a great way to start your pitch. While 3 is probably slightly low you can use your intuition to pick up new trends from those around you. Reading newspapers and social media will also help you can use to track the rise of a new FAD.
“Quality women’s magazine journalism should enhance your life.”
If a story has something a reader can take away with them it will keep them coming back for more. What facts and data will give your story some hard service? The kind of story that offers some specific advice to upgrade your routine will stick with readers. Speak to the experts who can offer you the facts and put some extra weight behind your pitch.
“Journalists should seek the truth, present the truth and stand by the truth.”
Whether you are pitching the story or writing it, trust is a key element in any feature. In the era of “fake news” quality journalists must work harder than ever to fact-check everything and build a relationship of trust with their audience. Your industry relationships will always be your strongest asset and how you pitch an idea can help or hurt that. Build your relationships by pitching with integrity.
If you enjoyed this blog why not read about when we met Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Trish Halpin.