Tips for Public Relations Agencies

 Increase your chances of getting ink
We need your help. You have valuable information that could be of interest to our readers. You also have clients to serve. With that pressure, we understand the urgency with which you need to place a story. But please bear in mind; we get hundreds of press releases, e-mails and phone calls each day.

These guidelines are here to help you increase your chances of getting ink in an IT World Canada publication or on our Web site, ITworldcanada.com. So, before you pick up that phone to call us, or type in our e-mail address, we ask you to read through this section so you can work with us more effectively and productively.

IT World Canada: Understand our focus
Each of our publications has a different focus and targets a different audience.

CIO Canada focuses on the broad spectrum of issues related to the strategic use and management of information technology within the enterprise. The publication does not publish new product or company news. Senior IT and business professionals read CIO Canada.

CIO Government Review is the definitive resource to help executives and senior managers within the public sector stay abreast of important factors in service transformation occurring across the country. Government and broader public sector executives and managers read CIO Government Review.

ComputerWorld Canada, more than any other IT or business publication, remains most focused on the agenda of enterprise IT professionals. IT managers and professionals read ComputerWorld Canada.

Network World Canada is the leading source of network knowledge _ helping network leaders design, deploy and manage the infrastructure and strategic applications driving business success. Network managers and administrators read Network World Canada.

IT Focus is a unique Canadian publication specifically addressing top-of-mind IT issues in targeted industry sectors including manufacturing, retail and financial services. Targeted IT professionals read IT Focus, carefully selected from IT World Canada’s core publications (CIO Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, Network World Canada) based on their industry segment and/or identified topics of interest to them.

PR do’s and don’ts
Not sure of proper protocol when it comes to building a lasting relationship with the IT World Canada editorial staff? Here are a few pointers that will put your efforts in the best light.

  • Read and study several issues of our publication _ available at www.ITworldcanada.com _ and our media kit. The only way to successfully pitch a story idea is to truly understand how we serve our readership.
  • For CIO Canada and CIO Government Review, write a succinct pitch letter regarding information management issues of interest to the audience of those publications. For ComputerWorld Canada, Network World Canada and IT Focus, write a succinct pitch letter about how your client’s products or services address the concerns of those publications’ readers or affect current and future trends in IT management. A single paragraph outline in an e-mail will go far further than a vague telephone call.

    e.g. I noted that you will be highlighting (topic) in the (issue date) of (publication). My client, Company X, has developed new technology/has the highest number of installations/has implemented a program that enables Company Y to _etc. The CIO and CFO of Company Y have agreed to be interviewed for a feature story, should you decide to write one.

  • When pitching a feature story idea, keep in mind that some of our publications (CIO Canada, CIO Government Review) have a longer pitch cycle than most trade publications. Be patient. Good ideas rarely get swept under the carpet; they merely get reserved until the appropriate article is scheduled for print.
  • If you reach an editor’s voice mail, please leave a brief, to-the-point message.

PR don’ts

  • Don’t pick up the phone until you become familiar with our publications _ their mission, editorial focus, readership and deadline requirements. The best way to accomplish this is to study several issues thoroughly and read the media kit.
  • Don’t call editors or writers to confirm receipt of your unsolicited press releases or faxes. We open every piece of mail addressed to us _ you can safely assume we have received your correspondence.
  • Don’t send the same item via several methods _ choose e-mail (preferred), fax, OR mail.
  • Don’t call an editor to ask for suggestions on how your client can contribute to a publication or feature. You need to suggest to us how your clients _ and their users _ can contribute (see sample outline above).
  • Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. When you offer us a user source, please make sure the source is willing to participate fully and is aware that we may want to conduct in-depth interviews for an article.
  • Don’t pitch us non-exclusive user stories.
  • Don’t attach huge files. Many editors work remotely and any attachment over 200k can take ages to download. Our preferred format is a URL to content. If you do attach a small file, please ensure the body of the e-mail provides a clear description of the attachment contents and identifies the sender. If we are in doubt about either of these points, we will not open the attachment _ we’ll just delete the e-mail.

We can’t stress enough how important these ‘do’s and don’ts’ are. We want you to do a great service to your clients and at the same time give you the opportunity to reach us and work with us in a productive manner. We can achieve these objectives if we’re all playing by the same rules.

Editorial deadlines and policies

Lead time
Ideas for editorial calendar items should be submitted four months in advance of monthly magazines (CIO Canada, CIO Governments Review and IT Focus) issue dates, and two months in advance for bi-weekly (ComputerWorld Canada, Network World Canada) publications.

Art/graphics
Artwork is generated in-house; vendor submitted photographs are not widely used in CIO Canada or CIO Government Review, but are occasionally used in ComputerWorld Canada, Network World Canada and IT Focus.

Non-disclosures
Editors and writers do not sign non-disclosure agreements as they are not officers of the company and are not authorized to sign legal documents on behalf of the company. Editors and writers are free to make personal “off the record” undertakings, or to agree to hold a story for a negotiated period of time.

Product presentations
CIO Canada and CIO Government Review seldom attend product demonstrations, as those publications are focussed on management issues and rarely publish information on products, services or proprietary methodologies. New product information is welcome for ComputerWorld Canada, Network World Canada and IT Focus.

Your chances of getting the attention of editors will be greatly enhanced if you fit your product or service into an overall trend or relate its benefits through the eyes of a customer. Contact the editor of ComputerWorld Canada, Network World Canada or IT Focus to arrange product demos.

IT company visits
To arrange a visit or briefing, contact one editor and request an appointment with the editorial team. A single point of contact avoids confusion and will more effectively coordinate attendance across all relevant publications.

Be prepared to provide information on:

  • The objectives for the visit
  • How the company/angle fits into our editorial mission
  • Who will be visiting

Follow up with a brief letter confirming your appointment details.