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Landing Your Clients a Glossy Placement

By Alexandra Brown

We spot them out of the corner of our eyes standing in line at the grocery store. We’re enticed by their words and before we know it, we’re drawn into their crisp, shiny pages. Thumbing through the pages, we get the inside scoop on everything from the latest trends to career advice to the hottest gadgets. All of this and more come from one of our constant friends and confidants: magazines.

Our clients love magazines. They’re one of the world’s most trusted sources and best ways to reach consumers but on the PR end it can be a love–hate relationship.

Earlier this week, the Publicity Club of Chicago Luncheon gave PR pros a chance to get exclusive tips on securing placements from the sources themselves. The panelists included Bloomberg News Reporter Bryan Gruley, Today’s Chicago Woman President and Publisher Sherren Leigh and Chicago Magazine Deputy Editor Jennifer Tanaka. Below are their top four tips for catching their eye and snagging a glossy spread.

Read up. Before brainstorming story angles or drafting a pitch, take a dive into the pages of the magazine you’re trying to get a placement in. “Understand the different sections and boxes,” said Gruley, “Then if you get interest, know your subject.”

Think unique, unexpected and exclusive. The media landscape is cutthroat and editors want information they won’t see splashed across the cover of a major competitor, a sentiment echoed by all three of the panelists.

Keep it short and sweet. It’s the editor’s job to see the big picture and craft a well-thought story, so ditch the flowery language and eloquent tale of your client’s humble beginnings and stick to the facts. “If we’re interested, we’ll ask for more,” said Tanaka.

Turn to writers. As the digital age fuels a 24-hour news cycle, editors’ time is limited. They tend to turn to their writers and readers for ideas, rather than publicists and Tanaka suggests reaching out to writers directly. They are constantly hungry for new ideas and can delve deep into your subject, giving you an “in” at the magazine.

So fellow PR pros, armed with some words of wisdom from the magazine gurus themselves, go out there and make magazine magic happen!

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