The actionable insights that help you champion press release
Ever wondered what makes a good pitch for The Sunday Times Magazine? Wonder no more! Read the insider tips to stay in the know and grab journalists’ attention with your stories and pitches.
Three Top Tips
Try to establish relationships with journalists so that you can speak to them directly about who best to pitch to.
Investigate your own stories and don’t leave any questions unanswered. This will simplify the commissioning process.
Make sure that the product or person you are promoting is within the first four words of your subject line.
The Times and The Sunday Times reach around 17.2 million people across print and digital per year. Between August 2021 and July 2022, The Sunday Times Magazine had 6.8 million readers, 400,000 of which were subscribers. While The Sunday Times’ draws in the older generations, the magazine’s audience is broad and appeals to the younger demographic – with recent trends showing that it has attracted a growing number of younger female readers. The publication’s social media channels reach out to a large chunk of its overall audience to direct them to the website.
They aim to commission stories for the magazine that will be of interest to the older readership while simultaneously drawing in younger crowds.
- Krissi Murison, Editor – oversees commissioning
- Matt Rudd, Deputy Editor – weekly column on modern life, he is always on the lookout for funny things about his topic
- James Palmer, Associate Editor – Works on the production of the magazine
- Phoebe Luckhurst, Senior Commissioning Editor – planning of features
- Hannah Swerling, Acting Senior Commissioning Editor – covers ‘Relative Values’ and ‘A Life in the Day’
- Russ O’Connell, Picture Editor – Photography Books
- Audrey Ward, Features Editor -Non-fiction book extracts
- Adam Kay – Health column
- Ben Spencer, Science Editor – Technology, climate change
- Will Lyons – Wine
- Nick Rufford, Driving Editor – Car reviews, technology
- Tony Turnbull, Food Editor and Hannah Evans, Deputy Food Editor – Food-related content
What to Pitch
- The focus of the magazine is more on people than products.
- Everything in the magazine goes online
- High-quality images that help understand the story are an advantage for the digital issue
- The cover always features a recognisable face with an interesting story to tell. Both an interview and a shoot will be organised
- Exclusives, the magazine needs complete exclusivity
- ‘Relative Values’ is an interview with two people who are related in some way and have an interesting story to tell. They could be sisters or husband and wife, for example
- ‘A Life in the Day’ is about one person’s daily routine. It tends to feature celebrities, but it could be anyone who is newsworthy
- Occasional business travel stories
- Diversity is very important, but the merit of the story is key
- When pitching tech stories, it is important to know the people behind them and what it means to the readers’ lives
When to Pitch
- Monday and Tuesday mornings are the best time to pitch
- Pitch before the Tuesday 11 am conference – this way your story will be fresh in the team’s mind
- Avoid Wednesdays and Thursdays – the team are extremely busy getting the magazine ready to go to press on a Friday
- Planning normally happens months in advance, however, there is always potential for content to change
- The magazine is finalised 10 days before it is published with the paper on a Sunday
How to Pitch
- The best way to contact the team is by email
- Email must be short and quick to read
- Put the person or product you’re promoting in the first four words of the subject line
- Personalise your pitches
- Know which section of the magazine you are pitching to and show that you understand why your story works for that slot.
- It is not always necessary to include images in your initial pitch. If you think that it will help to sell your story, then it might be worth it