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    Coffee with a Journalist: Moises Mendez II, TIME Magazine

    Moises Mendez II is a reporter for TIME, based in Brooklyn, New York. As a culture reporter, Moises covers the internet, music, movies, TV, books, and podcasts.

    During the episode, Moises talks about why he's looking for exclusive pitches about creators, the types of pitches you should avoid sending him, his advice for sources about prolonging a professional relationship, and more. Let's hear from Moises now.

    Follow him on LinkedIn.


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

    CWJ View Transcription CTA


    Insight On Pitching Topics

    [0:07:29] MM: Yep, exactly. I am Gen Z, and I'm very much that person. Like I know what I need.

    [0:07:33] BB: I knew it.

    [0:07:35] MM: Because I mean, I can tell you the types of pitches that I don't enjoy.

    [0:07:39] BB: Okay, please. Let's, let's please.

    [0:07:41] MM: There's two that come directly into my mind. 

    [0:07:44] BB: Oh, boy. Number one.

    [0:07:45] MM: I get so much – so many pitches about like sleeping data, or data about, I don't know, just some random thing that I do not cover. I don't do health, I don't do climate, I don't do a lot of different types of things. And I don't need, I don't need that in my life. The other that I really don't enjoy is, invites to things that are happening that day, or like tomorrow. I'm like, "What? How am I supposed to go to this thing that you just invited me to tomorrow that I don't –" You know, it's just – if you want me to be somewhere or cover something, I need ample time to figure that out. And yes, I think a lot of publicists are doing their best, and I respect them. And we have a symbiotic relationship. 

    [0:08:40] BB: What a beautiful way of saying that.

    [0:08:42] MM: I'm trying to be very nice, because I do love my publicists' friends, and they're really doing great stuff.

    [0:08:47] BB: Yes, they're trying.

    [0:08:49] MM: Where I would just like a little bit more leeway and lead time on something.

    [0:08:55] BB: Yes. Okay. So don't send those two pitches that Moises is not going to like. Okay. Do you on the opposite have preferred pitches that you're like, "Oh, yes"?

    [0:09:07] MM: Let me think. I think I would say like, maybe a pitch on a creator who doesn't usually do interviews, maybe some sort of exclusivity. I think it's funny when I get a random pitch about something that has nothing to do with what I write about. Which is very clearly entertainment and –

    [0:09:27] BB: Culture. Yes.

    [0:09:29] MM: Yes. You would think that I would be getting pitches related to that, but I'm not getting that. It was my inbox, so I need to just pull the drain out on that, and just get them all out. So yes, I think those are the types that I'm really excited about or like, something that nobody else has, or like, I like building relationships with the PR reps that I work with. Some of them are just like really fun to hang out with, but also like having that relationship, they'll think of me for something that they can give me an exclusive on, or be the first person to know about. I think also, my job kind of helps with that, like being at Time magazine. I think giving us some sort of exclusive is kind of nice. I think we kind – we do those well so it’d be nice. I want more of those.

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    Relationship Building

    [0:10:57] MM: Yes. I think like I'm easy to talk to you, and I think I'm just thinking of one that I recently made when I was interviewing someone last week. We were just talking about who else they rep, and what other things we could do together, and just talking about the possibilities of how to prolong this professional relationship that we have. That would be the best way to continue this friendship or relationship, just to keep it working for the both of us. I think that's the main part of having that relationship is like, we need to have something that works for us both.

    [0:11:36] BB: Of course, it's back and forth. But further, since you're in New York, do you want to be asked to coffee? Do you want to get an event invite for something four weeks in advance, for example? Do you want any type of relationship like that in person? Or is it, you know, as I talked to some people on here, they're like, "You know what, send me good pitches. That's how it goes."

    [0:11:56] MM: I mean, I am particularly new to this media lens.

    [0:12:02] BB: I know, isn't that fun? 

    [0:12:04] MM: It is fun. I would love any sort of invites or ask to coffee or whatever with –

    [0:12:13] BB: Oh, listen to this, everybody. Send him invites.

    [0:12:17] MM: Listen, if it's fun, I'll go. I've been asked to a lot of things where I'm like, thank you so much, but no, I don't want to go.

    [0:12:27] BB: Why? Because it's lame? Because it's boring or what? Why?

    [0:12:31] MM: It's just not something that I need to do in this moment, and it doesn't serve me. So I'm like, okay, and sometimes I'm just busy, but also like, I do like forging connections with different people from all across the entertainment sphere. So, you want to invite me to a concert, I'll go. Those are the things I like to do, and like, get to know people.


    Rapid Fire Pitching Preferences

    [0:15:28] BB: Okay. Video or phone interview? 

    [0:15:31] MM: Video.

    [0:15:32] BB: Bullet points or paragraphs?

    [0:15:35] MM: Bullet points.

    [0:15:37] BB: Short or long pitches?

    [0:15:39] MM: Short.

    [0:15:40] BB: How short?

    [0:15:41] MM: Enough.

    [0:15:43] BB: Perfect. Perfect. Images attached or Dropbox zip file?

    [0:15:49] MM: Dropbox.

    [0:15:50] BB: Email or Twitter DM or previously known as Twitter now X.

    [0:15:55] MM: Definitely email. Do not send me any pitches on DMs, please.

    [0:16:01] BB: Okay. One follow up or multiple?

    [0:16:06] MM: One. That's all. I can't do more than one, please. 

    [0:16:09] BB: Boundaries. 

    [0:16:12] MM: If I'm being completely honest, if there's more than one follow up, I just will not respond.

    [0:16:16] BB: There you go. Direct or creative subject lines?

    [0:16:21] MM: Direct. I don't need flowery stuff.

    [0:16:23] BB: Yes. Press releases or media kit?

    [0:16:26] MM: Press release.

    [0:16:28] BB: What time, if any do you usually read pitches? Or is it all the time?

    [0:16:34] MM: Anytime, because I read them as long as they interest me.

    [0:16:38] BB: Is there a source you prefer? Like you want to hear from, I don't know, music analysts or – this is usually for like people who are like, "Yes, I want to hear from academia from this portal or whatever."

    [0:16:51] MM: I mean, primary sources are always preferable, but I'm always interested in speaking to academics, as long as I'm the one that's looking for them.

    [0:17:01] BB: Yes, exactly. A mean way of saying, please don't send me some random academic, because I'm not going to interview them, unless I am looking for them.



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