Elizabeth Llorente is the Politics Editor for Fox News Latino. As a George Polk Award recipient and New Jersey Journalist of the Year, Llorente has written for the Bergen Record and has had her worked featured on ABC-TV’s Nightline for “A Tale of Two Cultures,” her series on ethnic relations in a small New Jersey town.
Llorente has dedicated herself to raising the standards of race and ethnicity reporting and to teaching future journalists. As a University of Missouri School of Journalism alumnus, Llorente was featured as a keynote commencement speaker and founded New Jersey’s annual Ethics in Journalism forum. She has won top honors from the New Jersey Press Association, New York’s Deadline Club and the New York Society of the Silurians.
What advice would you give PR people when pitching you stories?
Journalists juggle numerous stories on tight deadlines each day, there is a lot competing for our attention. The more information, and less vagueness, a pitch has, the better the likelihood that it will get serious consideration.
Make your pitch seem timely – tie it a current news event or trend, or to a holiday, for instance. Provide facts, preferably statistics or other data, to persuade the editor or reporter that there is a need, or an audience, for this story. Recently, for example, someone pitched a story about a particular psychologist who is counseling clients through Skype. The person pitching wants to promote her client, but wisely put her client in the context of a growing trend in which more counselors are using technology to work with clients who cannot visit them personally. She provided statistics showing how many more people are using Skype and other technology.
Direct your pitch to a particular reporter and editor, blind submissions are easy to ignore. Also, familiarize yourself with the media outlet you’re pitching to.
How do you like to be pitched and what do you think of people pitching you via Twitter or Facebook?
I get more interested in pitches that have good research, that don’t make it sound like they want me to do publicity for their product or client, but emphasize the information value this can bring to readers or viewers. If you give me statistics and examples to back up why what you’re pitching is so important or interesting, it makes it easier for me to sell the story to my editor. Pitches via Twitter and Facebook are fine, but be careful because many journalists with such accounts don’t regularly check them.
What is your biggest pet peeve when being pitched?
When someone clearly doesn’t know my media outlet, or its target audience and approach.
What stories are you currently working on that you are seeking products, experts, or content for?
Our site focuses on Latinos, and everything related to the community.
Can we share your information on the blog?
Do you prefer being pitched in English or in Spanish?
I prefer being pitched in English.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Coffee with a bit too much sugar.
Is there a canción that INSTANTLY makes you want to get up and dance?
Yes, Celia Cruz’s “La Negra Tiene Tumbao.” It’s also a terrific adrenaline-booster when you’re doing cardio.
What is your favorite Hispanic dish?
Lechon asado, congris (also known as arroz con moro, which is a rice/black bean mixture), and platanitos.