It is helpful to remember that publicizing your company is not our primary objective at Black Enterprise, although that is a major incentive for you to want to have your company featured in the magazine. Our mission is to showcase companies that can serves as examples and inspiration to other entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners who are trying to confront and negotiate the realities of doing business. The more we know about your business, the more are able to determine what lessons from your experiences can be imparted to our clients—the Black Enterprise audience.
There’s a type of pitch well known around the offices of Black Enterprise; we jokingly call it the “black-man-with-a-suit-and-a-job” pitch. The entrepreneur in question will invariably be a reasonably successful person—a nice person who wants to ‘give back’ to the community—and will approach us as if this is a rare and amazing thing. We have to explain to him that reasonably successful black people who want to help their community are, fortunately, a very common thing.
The difference between this and a potentially successful pitch can be subtle. If you can convince us that you have been inventive or particularly strategic about plotting your path to success or responding to a major setback, you could be a great subject for a story. What appeals to our editors is what about a particular individual’s story will help our readers. The story is never the person; it’s the examples and the lessons.
Other posts in this series: