How to pitch thought leadership to the Verdict Group

In this guest blog, Berenice Baker, Senior Editor at the Verdict Group, gives some top tips on how to work with Verdict and its sister publications.

You may know our business innovation title Verdict, which covers the latest in business strategy and technology issues from AI and automation to cybersecurity. But did you know the Verdict Network boasts dozens of specialist B2B publications covering the energy, healthcare, finance, consumer, transport and military sectors? Business leaders depend on our journalism to make vital strategic decisions, and to ensure we capture the voice and sentiment of these industries, we rely on thought leadership. Our email inboxes are crammed with article and comment offers every day, so how can you improve your chances of getting a response?

Make it original and exclusive

Most importantly, have something unique to say; offer an original insight that only you and your organisation could provide. It is vital that it is exclusive – if the same text appears in another publication it will devalue the message and reduce the number of readers likely to read it. It must be of demonstrable benefit to the audience of the target publication and pass the “so what?” test. Avoid “war stories” – your idea should be something you would like to read in its entirety if you came across it.

Do your research

Make sure you know which specific magazine or website you’re targeting then find the name of the best individual to deal with rather than emailing a generic “contact us” bucket. This could be a journalist who has covered a similar topic or the publication’s editor. Cite articles you’ve read there so you can show how your opinion would support a similar piece. 

You mustn’t explicitly market your company’s goods and services; our remit is to deliver an unbiased opinion that is demonstrably separate from marketing. Similarly, don’t mention rival publications.

You don’t have overall control

Unless you’re from a secure organisation with specific rules, don’t expect journalists to allow you a final edit before going to press. You may ask to see direct quotes of yours we intend to use to ensure we got a complex issue correct. 

Be aware that depending on the nature of your submission, we may not publish it as-is but instead use it as a source or ask for an interview with you for an article on the wider topic.

Help us help you

Be available! Make sure a journalist can call or email you for a fast response within a few days of pitching your thought leadership piece. Have a high-resolution royalty-free photo of yourself and any technology you’re talking about readily available. 

Finally, we’re here to help. If you drop us a line first with some ideas then follow up with a call, we can talk you through whether we can use it then agree the word count, deadline and house style we’re expecting. Feel free to ask questions and do please keep the journalist updated. 

And once your article is published, do please share a link with your social media network – that way we all win!

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