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What Entrepreneur's Editor-in-Chief Looks For When Assigning Stories It's not about you.

By Jason Feifer

This story appears in the December 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »


Recently, a CEO was venting to me about how he routinely pitches his business to reporters, but nobody writes about him. So I told him the five words that, harsh as they are, all entrepreneurs need to hear: Sometimes you're not the story.

But good news: You could be part of the story.

Every month I use this space to explain how I make editorial decisions. I do this because entrepreneurs frequently want press, but they don't often understand how journalists think -- so part of my job, as I see it, is to demystify the process. And this distinction, between being the story and being part of one, is critical. I get it: You want the big showcase, the feature, the photo shoot. And you should! But the truth is, we run very few of them. Only six stories in our December issue focus solely on a single company. The bar for a profile is incredibly high -- I'm looking for that perfect mix of timeliness, an interesting company, a founder with a compelling and relatable story and know-it-when-I-see-it intangibles -- so simply pitching yourself or your brand isn't the most direct way into this, or probably any, publication. I have to say no to pitches like this all day, every day.

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