Having been an editor of business magazines for more than 30 years, not only do I know what editors want – I know what they don’t want. Editors don’t want their time wasted, they don’t want information that they can’t use and they don’t want to be annoyed with numerous – “Did you get my press release, article, etc.” – follow-up emails or phone calls.

What editors do want is concise, well-written press releases or articles that discuss innovative product ideas or services, and that help to educate their readers about new technology and industry achievements. Most important, editors want good (really, really good) photos.

Yes, editors wield a lot of power. In the click of a keystroke, they can send your emailed press release and photo into the “Deleted” folder for reasons that vary from poorly-written material to bad photography to inadequate contact information.

So what do you need to know to get your material into an editor’s “For Possible Use” folder?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make sure you are sending material that is appropriate for the magazine’s readers. Research the magazine’s Web site to see what type of articles the magazine uses and who reads the magazine. If you are not sure, query the editor or send an article abstract to gauge the editor’s interest in your article.
  • Your email should start with a short description of the product or article – include just a few highlights. Attach the press release or article as a Word Document. Include complete contact information: name of contact and title, company name, address, phone number, email address, and web address.
  • Be especially careful about punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, etc. Not only is it inexcusable to have these types of mistakes in your material, editors are very sensitive to grammatical mistakes and will often reject material that needs time-consuming editing.
  • Attach appropriate photos to illustrate the press release or article, and include captions. If you are sending multiple photos or larger files, use YouSendIt . This will ensure that the editor receives your images in a convenient and secure method.

With most magazines being short-staffed these days, most editors appreciate good material – ready for publication with little or no editing. Making sure your material is written and sent properly is a step in the right direction to possible publication.