Greg is one of my favorite OKC characters they forgot to mention in Boomtown and not just because he is on top of every art, food and booze story in the metro. I really do love his writing and, please don’t tell him I said this, he’s also a pretty decent fella. When he’s not filing the pages of 405 or writing for the CVB, he’s usually somewhere enjoying exotic foods, swilling fancy wines or teaching college classes— and very rarely all at once.
One thing that took me a long time to learn was that every reporter has a different way they like to be contacted. Part of being thoughtful in our PR outreach means we try to learn what works best for each of them, as much as possible. If you haven’t had the pleasure of working with Greg, here’s a little background so you know who you’re pitching and what works best to break through the noise with this ex-pastor. (Hint: It isn’t a phone call!)
ZEECK: What are your biggest PR pet peeves?
HORTON: Trying to spin non-stories into stories (e.g., I know your client thinks an 8th birthday or a fall menu are important, but they aren't news to most people, nor are they interesting as a rule.) Also, going with “official” versions of a story when good journalists know they're being lied to.
ZEECK: How can we pitch you so you don’t hit ‘delete’?
HORTON: Offer me exclusives when appropriate for coverage, especially if it makes sense for the audience. I don't mind short "hey, what about this?" sort of stuff, nor do I mind a text like "call me, I have something I think works for you." I don't want long pitches. If you've already written the story, why are you contacting me? I'll ask for photos if necessary; otherwise, they're clutter.
ZEECK: What’s your actual beat/Lead time?
HORTON: I do a lot of food and booze coverage, new restaurants, culture, arts, etc. Lead time for 405 print is 8-12 weeks. CVB is anywhere from an hour to a few months (if it's for the printed visitors guide). Lead time for Tulsa Voice is 7-10 days.
ZEECK: What don't we know about you?
HORTON: I teach college because I think young people are amazing, and I'm hopeful for them and us. And I just wrote a college textbook about World Religions!
ZEECK: How do we contact you?
HORTON: I'm widely available because I write and teach. My students hate email as much as I hate unsolicited phone calls.
Twitter: @expastor for news, @winerev for food and booze.
Instagram: expastor, and 405 mag.
Email: same as twitter, expastor@gmail for news and winerev@gmail for food and booze.
Facebook and FB Messenger are fine, too, as is Snapchat (winerev).
I'm also on LinkedIn, and I check it a couple times a week.