How to build your brand awareness — with help from an editor

Pitch stories that ring with interesting facts, quotes and sources.


The movies often make editors sound oh, so cool — and sometimes a little intimidating. From “The Devil Wears Prada” to “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” editors of books, magazines and news media are usually depicted as larger than life.

Even my teenage daughter is proud to tell her friends that her mom is an editor.

But what does an editor do?

Editors are in charge of the content for various media platforms, and they decide what stories will be printed, broadcasted or posted online. Media outlets include newspapers, magazines, television and radio, and websites. Editors wear many hats — especially at smaller organizations.

They decide which stories to publish based on how relevant they are to the mission of their organizations, as well as appealing to their target audience. They research story ideas, assign them to writers and make sure the content meets editorial standards, including style and copy editing. They also decide how to visually tell the story using photos, graphics and illustrations.

Editors are really gatekeepers who sift through a mountain of press releases looking for unique perspectives and sources. They must be creative thinkers who have the ability to decide what is most important to their readers in a certain coverage area.

So, how do you get an editor to read your press release or answer your email? A little timing, luck and tenacity go a long way.

Send a press release!

So how do you write a press release for the news media? First, think about what’s most important; then add key details to make an editor’s job easy. Include a high-resolution photo with caption information.

Here are some key points:

  • Write a headline that has key words. For example: Your company name, a verb and object.
  • Your intro should be the most important information, including what cities/towns/counties it affects. Think of it as your resume’s summary.
  • Put key details in bullet points, including who, what, where, why and when.
  • Offer a quote from management about why this information is important to the company. Make sure to name the person, along with title.
  • Include a link to your company’s website or the press release already posted on your website.
  • Finally, round it out with an “about us” paragraph. It might feature how long the company has been in business, how many locations and where, number of employees and other pertinent information.

Editors are like hiring managers. They receive a lot of press releases, so your subject line is important. Make sure it tells the editor this email is relevant to their readership. Then, send it!

Don’t give up!

Editors don’t mind a follow up email, especially if you’ve done your homework.

Do a little research about the media outlet’s readership. Most have an “about us page” or a media kit that will tell you about their coverage areas, content and demographics. Tell them how your company meets these criteria.

Finally, keep in mind that most media outlets are for-profit businesses. They need your financial support to hire more people to write stories, take pictures, design and print pages, and post stories to websites and social media. Editors love their jobs but also need to make a living — just like you! So, consider advertising to support your local media.

Become part of the process

Journalists love to tell great stories. But they also need people in the communities they serve to help them find ideas.

Here in Northwest Indiana, media outlets turn to thought leaders and experts to comment on the important issues of the day. But editors and writers also need sources who are willing to share their specific experiences on topics like economic development, growth, quality of place and a commitment to community.

It’s our job to tell the Region’s story, so join the conversation by contacting the editor!

Heather Pfundstein has been the Publisher and Executive Editor of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine since fall 2023. She has more than 30 years of experience as an editor in some form. She began her career editing and designing newspapers in Northwest Indiana. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and is an alumna of the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Heather Pfundstein, Northwest Indiana Business Magazine