Media Insight – www.Boston.com

www.Boston.com

P.O. Box 2378

Boston, Mass. 02107-2378

Editor's Note: From where we're sitting, Boston.com, which launched in October 1995, ranks in the top five of very difficult online operations to strike up a relationship with. Its content director opted not to speak with us and passed our queries on to the newspaper's PR department several times. We'd venture a guess that there is no way these folks have gatekeeper envy. Nonetheless, Boston.com courts the public (with features like Resume Connection) and partners in a big way. It nets about 20 million page views a week.

SECTIONS EDITORS DAYS TO CONTACT/ DAYS TO AVOID METHODS COMMENTS
General News
Eighty percent of what's featured is repurposed from the Boston Globe. About 20 percent of its news and info. - such as contests, interactive features and chats - is crafted for the online venue with some sort of timely hook. Some offerings last week included: Your Taxes, an area devoted to tax advice and tips; a virtual "The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum" tour from the new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts; highlights about National Women's History Month; and its potpourri of auto, real estate, careers and technology-related slots.
Director of Online Content

Scott Cohen Phone: 617/929-7746 E-mail: pr@boston.com
Given that this is a 24-hour operation managed by five content specialists, there are no good or bad days or times. Unless it's a breaking story, factor in a 48-hour lead time. Yes, we're just confirming your assumption: e-mail your pitches and keep them short, no more than several graphs unless the idea won't fly without the addition of ancillary info. or art that speaks volumes. (These folks have been so jarred by the mass-distributed press release that's sent without any forethought that they guard their private e-mail addresses.) An e-mail in-box was set up just for pitches and if yours isn't unique, that's where it will probably remain. These online content pros don't want you to call them, leave them voicemails or show up on their doorsteps. They want ideas in writing and they aren't too fond of faxes and snail mail. We were never able to actually speak with Cohen, although we left several messages. Expect barriers a-plenty on the editorial side - but you'll also discover a responsive PR team tasked with being the middleman.

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