Why would you want to pitch an article to a trade magazine?
If you are trying to establish a brand in the health sector, there are a lot of benefits to getting an article published. It lends authority, it gives you a platform for sharing your thought leadership ideas, and it steers people to your website. In many cases, the published articles will link to your website. This helps your search engine optimization by providing a reputable, external link.
Why would an editor want to publish your article?
To produce a trade magazine, editors need to publish a lot of content. Even if they have reporters on staff or some favorite freelancers, they are always in need of more content.
If that content is targeted to their audience and addresses a major topic in their current editorial calendar, even better.
And if they do not have to pay someone to write it – let alone assign their own staff to write it – that is even better still.
The key is to figure out who to pitch and what article they will be interested in. This post will show you how to do that – and you can even download my guide, How to Pitch the Healthcare Trade Media, to get templates that show you exactly what to write.
Step 1: Choose the right media for your pitch.
There are a lot of publications out there – online and off. If you don’t aim your pitch properly, you will waste everybody’s time.
Start with the basics: who is your target market? The C-suite of large health systems? Directors of radiology departments? Nursing supervisors?
That single piece of information is the fastest way to find the right media for you. Once you know your target audience, you can do a quick search for trade magazines aimed specifically to them.
Step 2: Do your research.
Once you have narrowed down your list of possible publications by target audience, you have to whittle even further by content area. Not all magazines publish on chronic care management or EHRs or revenue cycles, or whatever other topic might be your focus. Review past issues and see what topics they are interested in.
While you’re at it, pay attention to the style they use; you will want to use that style if you are asked to submit an article.
Every publication will have its own rules about how to submit a pitch to them and what kinds of content they accept. They may have set deadlines for each issue, or they may have an ongoing submission process. Print journals typically have an editorial calendar that is laid out a year in advance.
You will need all of this information in order to get your pitch accepted. If that information is not available on their website, use the email template in my free guide, How to Pitch the Healthcare Trade Media, to get them to send it to you.
The publication will usually give you the contact information for the person who accepts their pitches. In some cases, there will be different people for different sections of the magazine.
While you’re at it, if you ever think you might submit a press release to them, it is good to see if they like those to be directed to a separate email. Article pitches are different from press releases but, while you are gathering information, you should gather everything of potential use to you.
Download my free guide on How to Pitch the Healthcare Trade Media to help with this. You will also receive my Healthcare Media Pitch Tracking Sheet, so you can keep everything organized.
Step 3: Craft your pitch.
Use your research to come up with a striking angle on the story you are trying to tell. Try to address a question the publication’s audience would want to know. You should have a solid headline, a main topic, and 3 bullet points – that’s all. You do not need to have the entire article drafted when you pitch. In fact, it’s best not to write until you confirm the editor’s interest and get any suggestions they may have.
Remember, while you don’t want to repeat anything the publication has already written on, you can build on it or give an alternative perspective. You can also fill in gaps if they are not covering an issue that is within their scope.
Above all, stay organized!
It is good to research several publications at once, so you can have a few pitches in play. If you do not hear back from an editor, follow up again in a week or two (use the handy email follow-up template in my guide).
You can re-use pitches, but most publications will want original content. So, either wait until an editor has turned a pitch down before submitting elsewhere, or submit a different pitch. If your topic is of broad interest beyond that one magazine, you can change the headline and tweak the bullet points to create an entirely new pitch. This would allow you to re-use your concept while providing each publication with unique content. Of course, you may also want to have two or three entirely different pitches out at once.
With the right approach and some good organization, you can successfully pitch an article to a trade magazine. Make it easy on yourself and download my free guide on How to Pitch the Healthcare Trade Media. You will also receive my Healthcare Media Pitch Tracking Sheet, so you can keep it all organized.