Andrew Sardone is NOW Magazine’s Fashion and Design Writer, covering the Toronto style beat, producing gift guides and enduring an annual two week stint as the alt weekly’s Toronto International Film Festival scene reporter since 2005. Andrew also contributes to Men’s FASHION and has written for FLARE, FASHION, the National Post and the Toronto Star.
How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
I really appreciate it when a publicist understands NOW’s values. Our fashion and design content shares the same politics, local-focus and eco-mindedness as the rest of the magazine. The standard “this is the hottest thing right now” pitch doesn’t always fly if the product, place or person is at odds with those ideals.
What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
An appreciation that style journalism and PR are collaborative. I remember many Ryerson journalism prof. rants about evil publicists, but I see PR contacts as co-workers who help make stories and shoots happen.
What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?
Taking ideas I’ve pitched to them and giving them to other publications. Or selling the same story to everyone. And then there’s addressing invites to me as Ms. Andrea Sardone. She doesn’t work here.
Your pet peeve?
I have nothing against being included in a bulk e-mail but don’t forget to BCC and don’t bother investing in that PR software that pretends an all e-mail is a personal note. We can tell it isn’t.
Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
The best PR professionals I know are publicists who build relationships over time and keep the lines of communication open even when they don’t have something to pitch.
Photo credit: Jenna Marie Wakani