Office Hours: I’m the author of Broadsheet – Fortune’s daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. I’m Emma Hinchliffe. AMA!Featured

Hello Elphas!

My name is Emma Hinchliffe and I’m an editor at Fortune magazine and the author of the Broadsheet – Fortune’s daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women.

I’m also co-chair of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit and the Fortune/U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership.

Before Fortune, I worked as a business reporter for Mashable, covering women in tech, and a reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

I am passionate about giving visibility to gender issues across business, politics, and culture. At Fortune and the Broadsheet, that often means covering powerful female CEOs and their leadership. At the same time, we aim to shine a light on issues that affect women of all backgrounds and professional levels, like pay equity, sexual harassment, and lesser-discussed topics like breastfeeding and menopause support at work.

Ask me anything about journalism, mentorship, pitching Fortune and the Broadsheet, DEI across online media, magazines and newspapers, or anything else!

And if you're interested in the Broadsheet, you can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Thanks so much for joining us @emmah!Elphas – please ask @emmah your questions before Friday, April 1st. @emmah may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Hi Emma! Thank you for taking time to share your insights and experiences. ❤️ Just signed up for your newsletter!I've met some amazing women in product who started their careers in journalism, so it's amazing to see the breadth of possibilities with the field!I recently finished reading Stephen King's "On Writing," so I'm curious to learn about your journey with writing. 1. What did you do or practice to become a better writer earlier on in your career? How does that continual learning look in comparison for you today? 2. What does your writing ritual look like between drafting, revising, etc.?I'm coming up two years into my professional career and realizing how important mentoring is throughout our careers. 3. How did you personally go about finding mentors? 4. What are some unforgettable lessons you learned from your past or present mentors? Finally, I find pitching myself and/or my ideas to be so nerve-racking, so I'd appreciate your insights on this front, too. 5. What helped you overcome the anxiety, fear of not succeeding, etc. while preparing for and during your pitch to Fortune for The Broadsheet? Appreciate your time!
Thank you for the thoughtful questions and for subscribing to the Broadsheet! I hope you enjoy the newsletter! 1. I started my career in newspapers, which helped with not being so precious about my writing and with practicing every single day. The deadlines arrived daily, so I had to get something out the door whether I was happy with it or not. While not everyone interested in writing is going to work for a newspaper, I think the idea of daily practice and letting go of something even if it's not perfect can apply to all kinds of writing. 2. I have some great editors at Fortune, so for longer pieces I'm usually able to file a draft, get feedback, and have some conversations about where to take the draft before the next revise. I think that having someone to talk about your writing with can be a big help as you revise, in any context. 3/4. I've been lucky to work with some great writers and editors throughout my career so far, so I've tried to learn from them when I can! It can be hard to find a mentor from scratch but taking advantage of opportunities when they arise, staying in touch, and trying to contribute to your interactions with a mentor in some way so it's not a one-sided relationship are all great ways to nurture those connections. 5. The Broadsheet predates me at Fortune, so I didn't have to pitch it, but pitching--whether an idea, a story, or something else--is always nerve-wracking. I find that feeling as prepared as I can and talking through my pitch with someone beforehand always helps me.
Really digging the newsletter so far; always inspiring to be exposed to ladies kicking butt! Those daily deadlines remind me of the saying "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good" and value of iterating and collecting feedback in short, frequent cadences. I, too, find it super valuable to get feedback on drafts of Product 1-Pagers, project plans, etc. sooner rather than later from my colleagues who will be consuming the information. Same thing with important presentations, talks, etc. Love that approach with taking organic situations that arise and transforming them into small mentorship moments. I'm also grateful for the incredible folks I've met thus far, and I'm happy that I'm able to give back to them. Even if we don't necessarily interact on a day-to-day basis, I love coming across an article, newsletter, or other resource that I think could bring them value and sharing it with them. ❤️
I've struggled getting responses from journalists when I send pitch emails. I've read many tips about how to write pitches, but haven't had very much success at all. Do you have any surprising or out of the box suggestions to try that you don't often see mentioned online? What works best when people pitch you who aren't well known? I appreciate your thoughts.
You may have heard all of these, but: Building personal relationships with journalists really helps. Try to take advantage of opportunities to meet in person when you can, if that's ever on the table. Try to personalize pitches--journalists can really tell when something is sent out en masse. Try to understand what a journalist's goals and priorities are: do they report traffic-driving stories? In-depth stories that live behind a paywall? Scoops and exclusives? Think about where your news sits within those types of journalism. And try making connections with early-career journalists or writers at smaller publications—they might be more open to the pitch, and you can make a connection that will follow them as they advance in their careers. I know I always try to respond to folks who worked with me in the first couple years of my career, even if a story they're pitching isn't a fit for Fortune today. As for pitching people who aren't well-known, context always helps. While "Uber of X..." doesn't really tell us that much, real stats, $ figures, and background info are always appreciated.
Do you ever see yourself jumping to the other side and starting a company of your own?
This isn't something on my vision board right now, but you never know!
Hi, @emmah! Talk about a dream job — I'm excited to start reading some of your work in the newsletter. I am a Canadian journalist with experience writing about business, careers and gender issues. Currently, I write a bi-weekly column about careers for a national publication. One of my big goals is to pitch Fortune! I've done my own research, but it's still been tricky to understand who to pitch, and how to create a pitch that gets noticed at Fortune, specifically. Any and all advice would be SO appreciated! Thank you for sharing your time and insights :)
Thanks for reading! I understand the confusion, we have a lot of editors! If you have a specific story idea feel free to email me and I can try to direct you.
I appreciate that so much, Emma! I think I can see it's firstname.lastname@fortune... so I'll shoot you an email when the timing is right!
Hi @emmah - thank you for shining a light on women leaders and being a resource for us. I'm a bootstrapped, first time (middle age) startup founder with a revenue generating business -, TaskRabbit for startup leaders who need on-demand senior execs to solve challenges. Previously, I was an Associate Partner at Monitor Group (now MonitorDeloitte) but off-ramped to take care of my sick baby (she's healthy now!) Would love to be a resource for journalists covering the Future of Work, Female Founders, etc. I've followed a few on Twitter and LinkedIn, making positive comments and have sent cold emails offering to share what I've learned about the fractional labor market and a few other topics to no avail. I don't have the PR budget to pay-for-play as a contributing writer. How do I get on a journalist's radar? Thanks so much for your advice!
You have a great story! Try to tell that story yourself via your social, blog posts, contributed op-eds etc (not pay for play ones!). I know that when I get offers of a source on a big-picture topic like future of work, it's not something that really grabs my attention except in the very rare circumstances it aligns with something I'm already working on. I'd say try to share the specifics of your story when and where you can, so that when journalists are thinking about those big-picture topics your story and expertise comes to mind.
Hi Emma! Thank you so much for your advice. Got it! Continue to tell the story and build in public. I love your advice to share specifics of the story so that when the need arises, they have a story / person / company I've brought to life for them versus a list of topics I can talk to. You are the best! Appreciate it.
Thanks for inviting questions about pitching Fortune and the Broadsheet. I wrote a first book about women in tech, and I have a followup workbook coming out this Spring co-written with a diverse set of contributors. It can be hard to tell the best way to pitch and target news articles (e.g. which contributor, how to target well). I've had some success, but I'm still working on it. Any tips or advice as I target some direct pitches? I'll try to reach out directly as well, but I figure I'd ask here in case anyone else is curious too!
It's so great to have someone like you on the forum. As a female founder-CEO, i often struggle with getting comfortable with putting myself in the limelight. What's your advice to women on putting themselves front and center, creating opportunities to be in the limelight etc.
I totally get that feeling—it's not my first instinct to seek out the spotlight either! Just try to remember that men are SO much more likely to pitch themselves, seek out press attention, position themselves as experts, etc. We need your voice! Journalists are often on deadlines and need a source quickly; the person who picks up the phone fastest or offers their viewpoint the loudest often gets quoted, and that doesn't lead to the best journalism. If you're being thoughtful about what you're offering to the public, that's a sign that you'd be a great source on relevant topics—and journalists will want to hear from you.
Makes sense, i didn't think of it from the journalist's standpoint of reaching out to the easiest source.
Hi Emma, what an amazing space to write about and think about. I'm wondering in your years of covering powerful females in business, have there been common themes about why they succeeded? What have been valuable lessons you've learned from these women? Thank you!
I think women at the top of their respective fields and industries are often hard workers with a point of view and a knack for breaking through the noise. Interviewing these leaders has certainly taught me to aim high and project confidence in my own work!
Hi Emma! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am the CEO of Alcea Technologies, a Canadian software company that has created a versatile and configurable platform for organizations to manage risk. All risks from Operational to Enterprise to Supply Chain and Cyber Security. I have found it incredibly difficult to get the word out there. I have a Sales Development Rep who works tirelessly but there are so many barriers and so much social media noise, it is very difficult to get an organization's attention. Once we actually do get that demo, we are experts at closing. My question is regarding lead generation, how can a female founded and led software company leverage the gender gap issue and break through the noise to attract new customers?