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zdgroff comments on How Two EAs Got Published in the New York Times - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: zdgroff 30 October 2017 06:57:12PM 3 points [-]

Thanks for writing this up! I learned some things here even having managed press previously for Direct Action Everywhere.

One thing I'd note that might help with some bruised emails (and let me know if you disagree) is that this business is highly random. Getting an op-ed published depends entirely on the judgments of a small number of people.

Also, one comment:

Pitch the same piece to multiple outlets at once

This is definitely standard press advice, but I'm actually curious if this is wise. Given that (I think) it's more often than not the case that the chance of getting published is quite low, if a piece is time-sensitive, doesn't this dramatically lower your chances of getting published (many places don't notify of rejections), while if you submit to multiple, the most that happens is you burn someone who might not have been a good contact anyway? I've been wondering if the common wisdom is wrong here.

Comment author: Khorton 30 October 2017 09:34:34PM *  2 points [-]

If you really want to publicize something time-sensitive, perhaps you could pitch to multiple publications with query letters personalized to each? You could end up writing 2+ articles or op-eds on the same topic (open letter about factory farming) but with different angles and tones (focus on famous people who are concerned vs focus on animal rights vs focus on risks to humans).

I've seen this option suggested online eg here: https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/multiple-query-letters-magazines/

[Edited for clarity.]

Comment author: scottweathers 30 October 2017 07:38:50PM *  1 point [-]

Totally agree, it's very random. I would warn folks who pitch against trying to read the tea leaves of why any individual editor didn't respond to your email, because you're probably wrong. It's also tough on your sanity!

If the piece is time-sensitive, I can see the value of the strategy you're suggesting, but it carries a fair amount of risk if you're trying to pitch op-eds in multiple places. If you're placing regular news articles, as opposed to op-eds, that strategy would probably be OK (so long as you say that you've pitched other journalists if they ask).