Journo intel: Jessie Hewitson, money and biz ed at The i, on coffees equalling stories, visuals and data
The i, launched in 2010, is the youngest national newspaper. It has digital and print editions, with the business and money section at the heart of the publication. The Definition media relations team recently heard from Jessie Hewitson, the money and business editor, on how best to pitch and what stories she and her team are looking for.
When it comes to pitches, email is best. Journalists are also happy to meet up for a coffee, but make sure to come prepared – Jessie’s team are expected to return from a meeting with a story.
If pitching for their weekend paper, they want the news to be more cheerful if possible!
Pitching early morning will catch Jessie’s eye (ideally before 9am), but it can be any time.
The i recommends pitching as early as possible because Jessie attends a daily editorial meeting at 10am, in which she discusses the headlines her team will write. However, because the magazine is digital-first, lead times are more fluid. Just don’t pitch after 4pm.
Jessie says that The i aims to deliver insight into what the stories mean and how they affect their readers instead of just providing breaking news. So, they want fresh angles they can develop rather than ones that have already been widely reported. It’s vital that PRs read the day’s news and help move the story forward in a compelling way that their readers will enjoy.
What makes a good pitch?
The team consider an excellent pitch to include as much detail as possible, with a catchy headline, good visuals and relevant data. Jessie wants pitches to address an issue, say why the issue is important, what might solve the issue and the facts and figures around it. A case study is also super important. For example, a popular move for the team is to humanise a finance story with a case study showing how people are being impacted. And, of course, offering exclusivity is always a good way of getting coverage.
What are the hot topics?
The hot topics at the moment are small businesses, pensions, property, and consumer behaviour. But overall, Jessie loves real-life, human stories that happen to be about money and business because that’s what readers engage with the most. She also wants to give her readers real, practical help and a good understanding of the situations they live in.
That’s all from Jessie for now, but you can follow her on Twitter at @jessiehewitson.
Be sure to get in touch with us if you’re looking for a B2B PR team who knows exactly what journalists want!
Written by: Jasmin Martin, media relations executive at Definition.