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    Coffee with a Journalist: Emily Rella, Entrepreneur

    Emily Rella is a senior news writer at Entrepreneur, writing about feature stories, business, tech, and lifestyle.

    During the episode, Emily shares two examples of pitches that captured her attention, the most effective ways to build and foster a working relationship, how to position exclusives and embargoes, and more.

     Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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

    CWJ View Transcription CTA


    Subject Lines That Work

    [00:02:46] BB: Is there an email that you want to do a little shout out for or be like, oh, this is one I opened because how great the subject line tell us.

    [00:03:03] ER: Totally. So for me when I'm looking at a subject line, it's kind of like when I'm writing a headline, that's how I look at it. It's basically the same thing. It's like you have maybe 3 seconds to capture the person's attention and the most important parts of what's going to be within that email have to be in that subject line, but also in an engaging way.

    "So what I always say is if someone's pitching an interview instead of saying maybe the name of a CEO or business owner that no one's ever heard of, if I just see interview within that name and I don't recognize it, I'm not going to open it. But, if it says meet the entrepreneur who funded X, Y and Z, millions of dollars saving children from X, Y and Z roller, something like that."

    So this, I just got one and it says "Interview Opp: Orange Theory Fitness' Ellen Latham", which is great. So now I know right away, okay, this is for an interview, Orange Theory Fitness's, Ellen Latham. So I know who it is and I know the company, and I'm familiar with the company name, thinks Mother's Day should be two days. And you kind of read that and you're like, what?

    So I'm like, all right, I'm going to click into that and read about it. It gives you the company name. Say this would have just said Interview with Ellen. I might not recognize it, but I know what Orange Theory is. Now I know her name associated with it. And now I know this interesting hook is thinks Mother's Day should be two days. So it's like, it makes me want to click in and read. And I think, again, it's a very interesting way. Instead of saying, would you like to interview our right. So now I know why it's worth my time.


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    Relationship Building 101

    [00:06:06] BB: Emily, if someone does not have a relationship with you, how would they go about building one?

    [00:06:20] ER: So a lot of times I'm private on all social media except for Twitter. And so a lot of times what will happen to me, and it always makes me laugh, is someone will send me an email or in the subject line. It'll be like a joke about something I tweeted about or I posted on Twitter or let's say, I'd love to introduce myself. Just want to let you know I saw your tweet about X, Y and Z and I was laughing. I also love that show. Whatever. Something to show, like a commonality. And I think in any other industry, you'd be like, what? That's so invasive. But in this industry, that's kind of how you have to do it, because everything is so open and public-facing.

    That's like how we make relationships with people in journalism. So that's always funny to me, like something relatable. But I think a lot of times people will pitch, like going for coffee, going to grab a drink. And for me, I love to do that. I've made so many connections with publicists but it'll be sometimes it's like, let me know if you're free anytime in the next three weeks and we can grab like, drinks, dinner or coffee. And it's like, that's so overwhelming to me because there's no specificity with it.

    So a lot of times what I appreciate is if someone will be like, "wanted to introduce myself. I work with X, Y and Z companies at my agency. I would love to get dinner with you next Thursday in this area of the city. If you're available, we can talk about that, but just get to know each other and meet up. That is so much like an informal, formal meeting, getting FaceTime with publicists and stuff. It's really good to put a face to a name for me because then it makes it much more easier to work with moving forward.


    Rapid Fire Pitching Preferences

    [00:16:29] BB: Video or phone interview?

    • [00:16:33] ER: Video.

    [00:16:35] BB: Bullet points or paragraphs?

    • [00:16:38] ER: Bullet points.

    [00:16:39] BB: Short or long pitches?

    • [00:16:42] ER: Can I say medium? Like short paragraphs, but I'd rather have one or two sentence paragraphs, but maybe like four or five paragraphs in the email rather than one long essay-looking thing that I probably won't read.

    [00:16:43] BB: Pitches in the morning or at night?

    • [00:16:46] ER: I'm weird in that regard but at night? I look at my inbox. I'm usually off around like, five, maybe later, but even randomly through the night, especially if it's during the week, I might just pop on my email and just check to make sure I didn't miss anything. And a lot of the pictures I get that I actually sit and open and read, I usually get later in the day because I feel like a lot of people are in that ten to 11:00 a.m. Time spot and they're just all coming at once. But if you get it at night, I'm someone who will check on my email, so I'll always see it.

    [00:17:12] BB: Email or Twitter DM?

    • [00:17:15] ER: Twitter DM.

    [00:17:15] BB: One follow up or multiple?

    • [00:17:19] ER: Usually one, unless it's something that really would warrant multiple, but usually by the time there's multiple, there's probably already been a conversation.

    [00:17:12] BB: Direct or creative subject lines?

    • [00:17:15] ER: Creative. Creative.

    [00:17:21] BB: Press release or media kit?

    • [00:17:22] ER: Media kits. That makes it so much easier.




    For more great 1:1 conversations with journalists from top-tier outlets, subscribe to the Coffee with a Journalist podcast to get the latest episode drops. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for other updates on our newest PR tips, tools, and best practices.

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