How to Pitch: Al-Qaeda Magazine

How to Pitch: Al-Qaeda Magazine

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Jamie Malanowski, in this month’s Washington Monthly, addresses the editor of
Al-Qaeda’s newest media venture:

The magazine’s called The Tip of the Camel’s Hump, right? Right away, I’m thinking of a “Best of” guide—a two page front-of-the-book feature that’s all about the tips of whatever camel humps are out there. You could do the best sports car or the best golf club or the best demolition ignition trigger — whatever. You could rate them. Prada: four humps! Kalashnikov: four humps! It would be your signature.

Now, I know you’re thinking: “Nice idea, but we could do that in-house.” Can you really? You guys have a lot on your plate. This kind of feature involves detail. Are we going to use pick-up art, or are we going to shoot the thing? There’s a lot of dealing with publicists, who, as you know, can be a wee bit difficult. Perhaps you’re thinking that being one of the world’s top terrorist organizations would insure that you get prompt callbacks, but why risk it? Think about why you’re publishing The Tip of the Camel’s Hump in the first place. You’re not going to convince anybody that your organization is professional and capable and really understands what it’s doing by using interns.

We at mediabistro would like to augment Malanowski’s piece with a few handy tips for pitching Al-Qaeda:

1. Know your audience. I know you’re thinking, upscale, luxury, 18-34 demo–who isn’t?–but keep in mind what that means for your audience. This are Riggs Bank customers we’re talking about. They don’t want to hear about the Learjet 40. They want to hear about the Gulfstream G550!

2. Read the publication before you pitch. And if you can’t, find a google translator that can.

3. Don’t barrage the editor with phone calls hours after you send your pitch. The batteries on black-market Thurayas rarely last long and editors tend to get cranky when you waste their satphone minutes.

Dear Abu: How to get the attention of Al-Qaeda’s managing editor [Washington Monthly]