Chris Kuhn is a freelance writer and editor who loves a good story and is convinced that everybody’s got a compelling one to share – you just have to know where to find it. She’s a regular contributor to several online and print publications including TampaBaySkirt.com, 83 DegreesMedia.com, Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine and Tampa Tribune special sections. When she’s not telling stories through feature articles or blogs, she enjoys working with business owners to help them carve out their own stories through marketing messages, web content, advertorials, press releases and more. Chris lives in Wesley Chapel with her husband Larry and personal assistant Dexter, a 13-year-old dachshund-Chihuahua. For more info about Chris or to read samples of her work, go to www.ckuhntampabay.com.
Beat/Section: Community writer through local profiles, event calendar coordination and blogging at www.TampaBaySkirt.com (former editor of the print publication skirt! Tampa Bay that appeared in the Bay area from 2008-2009)
How do you prefer to receive pitches (phone, email, regular mail) and what is the best time to pitch you?
By email only. When I say that I’ll keep that on file for possible use at another time, I really mean that. It’s not a line! It’s not unusual for me to go back to a suggested profile 6 months or even a year down the road when the right opportunity comes along to spotlight that person. However, if I do explain why a particular person or story isn’t in line with the kind of content we feature, I appreciate it when I’m not pitched a similarly out-of-sync story idea weeks or months later. I like when my feedback is heard, and I’ll be polite but honest when something just isn’t a fit.
What kind of pitches from sources grab your attention?
Show me in your pitch how this is going to benefit my readers in ways that go beyond eliminating wrinkles or improving their metabolism. I’m not looking to spotlight a product. I want to spotlight an innovative woman – a creative thinker, a diligent go-getter who defies odds, a hard worker who finally pursues her dreams or tackles one of her own fears or obstacles and then uses that opportunity to help or inspire others. Show me how and why she does that – don’t pitch me a product. Pitch me the relevance of her story.
How would you describe Skirt!?
Skirt! is about celebrating the intelligence, courage, creativity, determination, tenacity, humor, fabulousness that make up a She’s So skirt! woman. I also have a profile that is more Q&A than traditional profile but it’s particularly geared toward the woman with the really unusual or intriguing job and the woman who’s going to offer up some interesting responses to questions (some serious, some silly). I welcome suggestions for 24-7, too.
Should a person/business pitch a product for coverage in your magazine?
They can pitch it, but my focus isn’t going to be on the product primarily. That will be the secondary focus. It’s got to be about the woman behind it. For example, we had an innovative mom who created this awesome DVD series mixing math education and skill sharpening with physical fitness activities for kids. Sure, we mentioned the product and even included a link, but the story was about the mom – what led her to do it, how did she do it, why did she do it. For skirt!, we care about the story behind the product. So don’t pitch me a product, because I simply won’t respond. I want to know about the woman and motivation behind that idea.
Stay tuned for Part II of How To Pitch Writer/Editor Extraordinaire, Chris Kuhn!