On Season 2, Episode 90 of Coffee with a Journalist we sat down with Ryan Barwick, a reporter at Morning Brew who writes for the Marketing Brew newsletter.
As a reporter, Ryan covers media and advertising within the marketing space. His articles cover a wide range of topics including agencies, advertising technology, media companies, and more.
Read below for a list of 5 tips you can refer to if and when you want to pitch Ryan Barwick of Morning Brew. You can also watch videos of Ryan sharing his pitch tips, relationship-building advice, and more in our Journalist Spotlight video series on the OnePitch YouTube channel.
Make Sure it’s Media and/or Technology
As mentioned at the beginning of the interview, Ryan covers media and technology, and more specifically, he says:
“I primarily cover like media and technology, talking with media buyers, with all ad tech, and all the intricacies of kind of the industry.”
Ryan did mention his team at Marketing Brew is growing and that they’re starting to cover, “everything from brand marketing to technology, to the Super Bowl, to whatever the hell’s going on, and like the crypto NFT space, so it’s super broad.” So, if your pitch doesn’t fit his wheelhouse it might be well received by another reporter/writer on the Marketing Brew team.
He opens AND reads his emails
A common misconception amongst PR professionals is that because a journalist doesn’t respond to your email pitch they aren’t even looking at it. While this is true for pitches that are completely off-kilter, there are many times when journalists do in fact open and read relevant emails they receive. A large majority of journalists we’ve spoken with have unique systems for flagging pitches and sources and they are actively following up when the time is right.
Ryan said that he can spot templatized pitches from a mile away and he tends to glaze over them. Make sure your email is personalized and unique if you decide to send him a pitch.
Subject Lines & Exclusives
When asked about subject lines, Ryan explained:
“I often find that like, a lot of emails that I get with the subject line that say exclusive, I tend to think that that’s usually not that relevant to me. Exclusive to me is a story that I’m breaking myself that I’m doing the reporting on like a scoop.”
He went on to say that if he has a relationship with a source who is pitching him an exclusive he will consider it, however, if you’ve never connected before then chances are he won’t be following up.
Ryan also mentioned Twitter is a great place to build a relationship with him. For more tips on building a relationship with Ryan, watch this video.
Sources > Pitches
In our recent blog titled 5 Things Journalists Look for in Pitches, we analyzed feedback from 51 guests on Coffee with a Journalist. One of the most common responses to whether or not journalists write about pitches is that they rarely do BUT they do want to speak with sources for stories they’re working on.
Ryan mirrored this sentiment and mentioned a similar point in the middle of the interview:
“maybe this is unique to my beat, but I don’t really write stories on pitches, but I will find people to talk to on pitches.”
He said he loves meeting new people and he, “will talk to literally as many people as possible.”
Tools & Trends
Ryan, as all reporters do, keeps a strong pulse on what’s happening in the industry he covers. Although he’s writing quick stories for the newsletter, stories about trends and tools allow him to dig deeper and uncover insights that others might not be.
“Something I kind of pay attention to or like, tools the industry is using. I’ve written multiple stories about, okay, there’s this new technology that a company is selling, or that the industry is beginning to adopt…”
These types of stories get him excited and make him proud of the reporting he does.
As newsletters grow in recognition and importance, it’s crucial to understand how you can pitch the writer effectively. For Ryan, the examples above pertain most closely to him but they still serve as a benchmark for other veteran reporters.