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Coffee with a Journalist: Karla Pope, Good Housekeeping

Coffee With A Journalist: Karla Pope, Good Housekeeping

Joining us on the podcast today is Karla Pope, freelance writer for Good Housekeeping. Karla’s work has also been featured in Woman’s Day, People, Parade, BET.com, WebMD, and more. Her coverage includes lifestyle, entertainment, beauty, parenting, and style content.

During the episode, Karla talks about working both at an agency and being a freelance writer, how you can make your pitch stand out in her inbox, how to best time your pitches for her coverage, and more.

During the episode, Karla talks about working both at an agency and being a freelance writer, how you can make your pitch can stand out in her inbox, how to best time your pitches for her coverage, and more.

Click below to listen to the full conversation and read below for highlights from the interview:

 

Her Pitching Requests

[00:05:44] BB: Now, it does. Now, it does. I love this epiphany we’ve had live here. This is so exciting. Well, Karla, given all those pitches you do receive, what are the three elements that you look for in a pitch that make you go, “Yes, I want to respond to that,”?

[00:05:59] KP: Well, first, I love personalization. If you’re like, “Karla, you have to –” I know it may seem cheesy to some. But for me, if they personalize and put my name like in the subject line, like that gets me to open it. That really gets me to open it because at least I know who they’re pitching. They know who they’re pitching. Because I do receive a lot of pitches, and they’re addressed to someone else. 

[00:06:24] BB: Like Bob or something?

[00:06:25] KP: Yeah. I keep getting one for like Roberta, and I’m like –

[00:06:29] BB: Roberta. Yeah, that’s clearly the wrong name.

“But for me, if they personalize and put my name like in the subject line, like that gets me to open it. That really gets me to open it because at least I know who they’re pitching.”

[00:06:32] KP: Yeah. That happens. So you said the three elements?

[00:06:37] BB: Yeah. So right name, obviously. Personalization, personalization. Yes.

[00:06:42] KP: Just like a real like newsy hook. I mean, something that’s just going to really catch my attention. Let’s see. I really like it when they refer to my latest piece, and they start it with, “Hey, Karla. I read your latest piece in Good Housekeeping, and I love the story. Can I somehow get my client or my person involved in what you’re writing about?” So I really like that because it’s like, okay, they read the story, so they know what I write about. For me, that just shows that they’re paying attention. Yeah. So that’s really what I look for. 

[00:07:23] BB: Okay. Acknowledging and saying, “Hey, this piece,” and even mentioning what the piece was about because I definitely know some people who are like, “Yeah, I saw you wrote a TechCrunch piece.” Like, “Yeah, duh. I’m a reporter for TechCrunch.” I have 17 articles in the last month. Yes.

[00:07:38] KP: Right. But, no, the ones that actually read it, and then they can point to things that you mentioned in the story.

 

Her Favorite Subject Line

[00:07:46] BB: Okay, everybody. I hope we’re listening hard here. I like it. What’s one of the best subject lines you’ve ever seen? 

[00:07:53] KP: Oh, gosh. This is actually recent. I was like –

[00:07:55] BB: Oh, we love a recent one.

[00:07:57] KP: Yeah. I just got one recently that said, “Rapid trivia all about the booty,” and it had a peach emoji in the subject line as well. I was like, “All about the –”

[00:08:07] BB: No way.

“It was super creative, and it really caught my attention.”

[00:08:09] KP: Yeah. I was like, “All about the booty. What?” So, of course, I –

[00:08:11] BB: And a peach emoji. Hell, yeah. You opened that? 

[00:08:14] KP: I opened it, and it’s actually for like Preparation H. So it was really cool. It was really cool.

[00:08:21] BB: That’s so creative. 

[00:08:22] KP: It was super creative, and it really caught my attention. I was like, “Yeah.”

[00:08:26] BB: You didn’t feel at all like you were being duped or anything. Because I know journalists get mad at that, of a subject line that’s hyperbole. You open it up, and you’re like, “Oh, it’s about a SAS programming company.” 

[00:08:37] KP: Yeah. No, I mean, I felt like that when I kind of could figure out what it was going to be about, like something with your derriere. Like I didn’t feel like it was going to be something for like WebMD, like something more serious that I write about like health story. I didn’t think it was going to be like that, so I thought it was pretty cute.

 

Her Fill-In-The-Blank Responses

[00:09:19] BB: Let’s do it. My favorite sources always –

[00:09:23] KP: Get back to me in a timely fashion, like before my deadline. 

[00:09:27] BB: There you go. You’ll never get a response from me if –

[00:09:31] KP: You address me by the wrong name.

“Stories that I would like to read, like things that I relate to. I’m a mom of two. I’m over 40. I still like to look good, beauty stories, lifestyle, and things that pertain to like black women issues. I really enjoy writing about those stories.”

[00:09:34] BB: You can follow up with me if –

[00:09:38] KP: I have not responded within 48 hours. I’m pretty quick to respond. I’m really quick.

[00:09:45] BB: Oh, 48. That’s good. People aspire to that. The appropriate amount of lead time for a story is –

[00:09:54] KP: That one, for me, it really depends because for some outlets, I write like well in advance. Then some it’s like kind of quick turn. So it really depends for me.

[00:10:07] BB: And by well in advance, are you talking months? 

[00:10:10] KP: Yes. 

[00:10:11] BB: Okay. Is that because it’s something like you’re doing for the fall, for instance? So you need to know about it in July.

[00:10:16] KP: Exactly, exactly.

[00:10:17] BB: Okay. Got you.

 

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Learn more pitch tips and insights from previous guests on Coffee with a Journalist in our journalist spotlight videos available for free on YouTube.

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Jered is the co-founder, COO and support manager at OnePitch. He handles operations for OnePitch; along with strategy, support, business development and hiring. He studied Communications with an emphasis in marketing at Cal State University Long Beach. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, eating cheap street food, cooking, and exploring the outdoors.

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