When The Boston Globe got its start in the early 1870s, the aim of founder Charles Taylor was to ’dwell on the virtues of men and institutions rather than upon their faults and limitations.’
When The Boston Globe got its start in the early 1870s, the aim of
founder Charles Taylor was to ’dwell on the virtues of men and
institutions rather than upon their faults and limitations.’
A lot has changed since those days. The Globe of today has a more
critical eye and is a lot less friendly, according to some PR pros. But
perhaps that’s the key to the paper’s success. Last year, the Globe,
which is owned by The New York Times Co., was among four big-circulation
papers named ’Best in Business’ for overall excellence by the Society of
American Business Editors and Writers (the others were The Dallas
Morning News, Los Angeles Times and USA Today).
’Our goal is to be one of the best, if not the best, regional newspaper
sections,’ says senior assistant business editor Bennie DiNardo. ’We
want to be the authoritative source on business in New England, and
cover national and international issues that are of importance to our
A deserved reputation
This reputation is one reason pros clamor to place stories in the
For example, a positive story from cynical-yet-influential hi-tech
reporter Hiawatha Bray can go a long way in establishing credibility for
a company or product.
With 25 staff reporters, the Globe’s business section is led by longtime
Globe reporter - and now business editor - Peter Mancusi, who joined the
staff in 1979, left for several years to practice law and returned in
March 1998 as deputy business editor. As part of a major reshuffling of
12 editors, in February 1999, Mancusi and DiNardo (who has been with the
paper seven-and-a-half years, formerly as an assistant editor at its
magazine) stepped into their current positions.
The changes were meant to reinvigorate the paper at a time when it, like
most papers in the US, was suffering from declining circulation.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, in March 1999, the
Globe’s average weekly circulation fell 0.7%, or 3,357 copies, from the
same period in 1998, to 469,311. Sunday circulation fell 18,306 copies,
or 2.4%, to 730,420.
Today, the Globe is moving once again in the right direction. Its daily
circulation is currently 472,000, for a readership of 1.4 million
adults, with a Sunday circulation of 751,000, for a readership of 2.2
In addition to the staff changes, the Globe opened a news bureau in
Silicon Valley in December to cover technology companies, led by bureau
chief Alex Pham. The paper also upped its concentration on personal
finance and technology earlier this month with the addition of two
special sections, ’Money Matters’ and ’Technology and Innovation.’ These
moves have PR pros buzzing with excitement and are touted as long
overdue; one pro describes the Globe’s previous hi-tech coverage as
DiNardo says that at least half the business section now deals with
technology issues. With such expanded coverage, The Globe is attempting
to move away from company-specific news to broader issues and themes.
This may mean that pros will have an even tougher time pitching the
Weekly sections, such as technology on Monday, real estate on Saturday
and Sunday and personal finance on Sunday, are planned a week or two in
advance. For daily news, the best time to pitch is around nine or 10 in
the morning, as reporters are straggling into the office.
DiNardo advises against sending pitches to the general business e-mail
address, adding that the general fax is the better route. ’Try to save
e-mails for correspondence with folks that is not unsolicited,’ says
However, he says it’s best for pros to contact reporters before pitching
to determine how they like to receive information.
Upon request, the Globe’s PR department will provide a list of each
reporter, beat and direct phone number, selected e-mail addresses and
information on sending press releases and photos (call the PR department
at (617) 929-3288).
DiNardo says that good pitches rarely come from cold calls. ’Good
pitches come from people who have built a relationship with me, are
trustworthy and only bring something to my attention if they feel it’s
something I needed to know,’ says DiNardo, adding that pros should pitch
beat reporters, rather than contacting him.
This is an attitude that seems to be shared by most Globe reporters.
’I know they rely on relationships,’ says Michael Prichinello, senior
account executive at RLM Public Relations. ’If you know the reporter and
do your research, your success goes up a lot.’
The perfect pitch
When Prichinello pitched Internet convenience store Kozmo.com (see
Campaigns, p40) to retail/advertising reporter Chris Reidy, he
researched recent articles by Reidy, sent an e-mail relating his pitch
to an article Reidy had written on dot-coms connecting to customers and
suggested that the next trend was e-commerce outfits trying to better
the customer experience with instant gratification. Prichinello
suggested a lunch meeting and offered the print exclusive to Reidy, who
took him up on the offer and wrote a feature on the company.
Several pros complain that after they send a pitch, Globe reporters,
with some exceptions, do not provide feedback. One pro also says that
the staff of The Wall Street Journal’s New England edition is more
accessible and more blunt in assessing a pitch.
According to Mark O’Toole, account management supervisor at The Castle
Group, when the Globe made its personnel shifts, it conducted outreach
to the PR community by hosting an event in the Globe’s newsroom. ’When
you walked out of there, you probably thought it would be a brand new
Globe,’ says O’Toole. ’They said that they want to work with PR people,
and maybe their intentions were good, but that hasn’t necessarily
entailed getting back to people.’
The paper generally does not accept photos, with the exception of color
headshots of people interviewed, which should be sent via e-mail.
Regarding exclusives, DiNardo says that it generally raises the chance
for better play, but the paper never promises placement in return for an
While the paper does not like embargoes, DiNardo says it does honor
But if another paper breaks the embargo, all bets are off.
The Boston Globe
135 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
Globe business tel: (617) 929-3000
Globe business fax: (617) 929-3183
Globe business e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporter e-mails: email@example.com (some follow different format)
Business editor: Peter Mancusi
Senior assistant business editor: Bennie DiNardo
Senior assistant business editor/real estate: Ron Hutson
Assistant business editors: Cheryl Appel, Maria Shao
Assistant business editor (technology): Rob Weisman
Aviation: Matthew Brelis
Banking/insurance: Lynnley Browning, Kim Blanton
Computers/hi-tech: Hiawatha Bray
E-commerce: Stephanie Stoughton
Emerging business/biotech/telecom: Ron Rosenberg
Energy/telecommunications: Peter Howe
Financial services: Lynnley Browning
General business/economics: Kim Blanton
Healthcare: Liz Kowalczyk
Investigations/legal: Steve Wilmsen
Personal finance: Dolores Kong
Real estate (residential): Bruce Butterfield
Real estate (commercial): Dick Kindleberger
Retail/advertising: Chris Reidy
Sports business: Gregg Krupa
Technology: Ross Kerber
Venture capital: Beth Healy
Workplace/labor: Diane Lewis
Columnists: David Warsh, Steve Bailey
Personal finance columnists: Chuck Jaffee, Susan Trausch
’Boston Capital’ (Tues.-Fri.): Steve Syre, Charles Stein
Washington, DC: Aaron Zitner
Promotions column: Dave Gillis
Silicon Valley (hi-tech): Alex Pham.