By Steve Beale, News Editor and Inside Health Media Editor, Bulldog Reporter
If you’re seeking journalists to pitch your ideas to and relying strictly on the beat system to find them, you’re limiting your range. All too often, an influencer’s other areas of interest are disregarded, to the detriment of public relations.
I once interviewed the editor of a new medical publication. It was a high-value subscription publication with an experienced editorial crew, and I was curious as to whether it was following a beat system. “There aren’t defined or assigned areas,” he explained, “as much as there are natural historical biases.”
This is not uncommon, even at outlets that do follow beat systems. Reporters often develop specific areas of interest within their beats, or sometimes find themselves writing about topics that have nothing to do with their main job. A classic example was Travis Poling, a former healthcare business reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, who also wrote a column about beer.