We were deep into a new client project and getting nowhere. Pitches went out, phone calls were made and no one was interested. The client had a great product with fascinating technology and some heavy-hitting customers, including multiple branches of the US Government. What the product did wasn’t anything special but the way that it did it was revolutionary. Unfortunately the technology behind the product was extremely complicated, difficult to explain and hard to understand without an advanced degree and a dictionary. Getting an overworked tech journalist to understand the significance in less than 30 seconds was nearly impossible.
So what did we do? We decided to start pitching the science press and immediately had much more success. Science journalists are different than the tech writers we usually work with, so here’s an overview of what those differences are and why these journalists might be the perfect fit for some of your clients.
- You can pitch the cool technology: Science writers will still want to know why your story is important, but they put more weight on the technology or science behind the product than some tech writers.
- They’re smart: I don’t mean that other journalists are dumb, but science writers often have advanced degrees in their fields of study and can understand advanced concepts more quickly. If your pitch relies on the writer having a background in physics, biology or chemistry then you’re more likely to find that understanding with a science writer.
- Prestige: Most science publications (or other magazines large enough to have a science section) lend a certain level of distinction to the companies that they cover and their readers tend to be more affluent and higher educated. If that’s your target audience, the science press is a great way to reach it.
- More time: Members of the science press are usually in less of a hurry than the tech press, so they can afford to take more time with each article. If you need a longer, more in-depth piece, a science journalist will be better able to deliver it.
Places to try: National Geographic, ScienceDaily, New Scientist, Smithsonian, Popular Science/Mechanics, Scientific American, and science writers at places like The New York Times, Forbes, the Washington Post, WIRED, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and many more.