Mashable’s Branded Content Editor Talks Pitching

LAUREN-DRELL-HEADSHOT-newAt a summer event hosted by AirPR, we met Lauren Drell, who runs branded content at Mashable. Drell was being honored for her work that night, and we were impressed by her claim that she responds to (almost) every pitch she receives — especially after Newsweek writer Zach Schonfeld’s “respond to every pitch for a week” experiment got so much attention back in September.

Fortunately, Drell agreed to give us a few minutes of her time for a “So What Do You Do?” interview; here’s a segment from the forthcoming piece.

What sort of advice would you have for those looking to pitch a client to Mashable’s Branded Content department?

My beat is everything, and I do make an effort to reply to everyone because I never know what I’m going to need to know about the latest niche app.

But the number one way to get coverage for a startup would be to email our startup reporters and/or get in touch with them on Twitter.

Of course, you have to do your due diligence…I get some pitch emails that are so off-base that I have to say, “No, this would never be on our site.”

What about your relationship with PR in general?

An increasing number of the stories we work on hinge on influencers and interviews with people at cool companies and startups. I have a couple of go-to PR people to whom I can say, “I need female startup founders in this space,” and they give me a list of names within an hour. This is a relationship: you help me help you.

Periodically I’ll grab coffee with these contacts to hear about some of the new companies that they’re working with and share the programs that I’m brainstorming.

But when I get the total cold PR pitch, it’s still, “No, try again.”

Stay tuned for the full “So What Do You Do?” interview later this week.