Editor's Note: It's no surprise that a (positive) placement in the Post will earn a PR practitioner some kudos, but this newspaper is known for having an almost impenetrable newsroom, and its staffers enjoy a reputation for being somewhat elitist in the way they handle outsiders. Proceed with caution --and lots of confidence! Sections Editors Days to Contact/Days to Avoid Methods Comments Business Because of the newspaper's headquarters in the nation's capital, business news is flavored with politics. Assistant Managing Editor: David Ignatius Phone: 202/334-7325; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org This editor won't get any high marks for his phone manners so it's not wise for PR practitioners to call this business journalist on any day since he discourages contact from PR execs. Editor wants press kits or releases sent through standard mail; or news releases faxed to the business desk: 202/334-6876. Make sure your news is worth the department's consideration or else you may end up irking staffers and nix any future story possibilities/relationships. Editor advises never to call and see if a release was received -- this just, in his words, causes "ill will." High-tech/Computers Provides analysis of computer hardware and software as well as technology trends and new applications. Editor: John Burgess Phone: 202/334-6366 E-mail: email@example.com Pitches are best received in the mornings --never in the latter part of the day when the paper's being put to bed. Editor says PR pitches should be made through e-mail route or by placing a call. This high-tech media guru says he receives 100 press releases a day --and rarely opens one. Suffice it to say, you have a better chance with a brief e-mail or an informational phone call. Style The Washington Post has a reputation for the way it handles the news that goes into its Style section --sometimes it's tongue-in-cheek; other times just plain cheeky. Style Assignment Editor; David DeNicolo; Fashion Editor; Robin Givhan; Arts Editorial Assistant; Michael O'Sullivan; Features (Non-Arts) Reporter: Robin Groom. Department Phone: 202/334-7535. These editors' deadlines vary but it's always a good move to catch them at the beginning of their day versus at the end when they're likely to be putting together stories or editing copy. The preferred method is the old method -- picking up the phone and communicating a topic to a beat reporter. It's likely it will be difficult to reach a person, but editors say leave a message about the story topic and you'll be called if there's an interest. These editors/reporters are swamped with releases that come through e-mail or land on their desks with the morning mail. If you're sending a fax, call and see if they're interested in receiving it.
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