Getting Published in ENR: How to Approach it

In part one of this article, I outlined how you can craft a story the people at ENR will see as print-worthy.

But don’t start writing your press release yet. If you send a press release to ENR, from what I understand, it probably won’t be read. Whether or not they read a press release depends on several factors like subject line, who it’s from, their schedule that day, their mood, etc. I can guarantee that ENR is simply bombarded with press releases every single day. I don’t think they have the time or energy to distinguish between your great press release and a crappy one. So, there are many factors working against your press release being read. And no matter what, they won’t simply print your press release as is.

I think a better approach is making a human connection. The people at ENR are just that, people. They are under no obligation to care about you or your firm. As one PR professional said to me, the editor of ENR does not have to take your phone call.

So, what do you do? You can hire someone they know and trust. That person might explain to you that ENR is not the holy grail you think it is and suggest other avenues for publicity. But if they truly are trusted, they have the juice needed to get your legitimate story in. Please note that those currently writing for ENR, on a freelance or any other basis, cannot work for your firm.

Another avenue is to make a human connection yourself. Before you make the human connection, you have to meet them. ENR staff members attend many conferences and events. Some are on Twitter. You may be able to connect with some through LinkedIn. But odds are, one of your contacts knows somebody at ENR. I got an introduction through one of my contacts. Just as I did, ask your contact to provide you with an introduction.

The key to the human connection is caring about and helping others. I can’t preach it enough. Ask not what your new ENR contacts can do for you, ask what you can do for them. It sounds completely counterintuitive, but it works. Whatever you can do to help them be successful, do. If you have a great picture of a project they are covering, send it along. Let them use it for free. If you catch wind of great news, that doesn’t benefit you, send it along. Do whatever you can to help them as much as possible.

Right now you probably don’t have any legitimate news that benefits you or your firm. But someday you will. And when that day occurs, you want to be a person whose calls get answered and whose emails get opened. If you are truly thinking with their best interest at heart and have a good idea of what sells, you will be able to see the story. Rather than a press release, you can simply call or send an email with your legitimate story idea for ENR.

Here are some other notes.

I believe there to be a hierarchy in their minds, especially when it comes to job titles. I don’t think ENR is excited to learn about your senior engineer. But they may entertain something about your president. They want to hear from presidents and CEOs in our industry. You may even have trouble getting them to publish an announcement about someone lower than Vice President.

If your president or CEO has a strong and legitimate opinion about a particular industry hot topic, ENR may entertain an 700 word opinion piece from him or her. But, if it sucks, they won’t publish it.

In the end, getting published in ENR is neither the holy grail of publicity or the impossible feet you think it is. You just need to go about it the right way.


  1. […] Part Two: How To Approach Getting In ENR […]

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