Picking favorites: unique media outlets worth pitching
With more than 82,200 outlets to choose from in the Vocus Media Database, it’s only natural to have favorites. But Vocus users aren’t the only ones who have preferred publications and programs – team members from Vocus Media Research Group also favor certain media outlets. inVocus spoke with managing editors and media researchers who shared some of their picks.
Dave Coates, managing editor of newspaper content, suggested pitching publications that report on the wackiest news events. “I have always been a big fan of the offbeat news sections of newspapers and their websites,” he said. “Many of the offbeat sections gather their news from the wires, making the local wire office the most likely candidate to pitch with an offbeat story. However, the Columbus Dispatch occasionally finds and writes its own offbeat stories.” USA Today and the Boston Herald also run unusual and interesting stories. “If a PR professional has a funny story or anecdote that has nothing to do with what they are promoting, he/she might want to pitch it to the offbeat section just to help develop an in at the news outlet,” Coates said. “If you help the media, they will have more time for you when you are trying to promote something.”
Senior media researchers Katrina Wolfe and Kim Cooper both admire alternative newspapers. “The Portland Mercury represents the epitome of what an ‘alternative newsweekly’ should be,” Wolfe said. “The writing is fresh and smart and it covers offbeat subject matter in a witty and entertaining way. The paper also manages to stay away from coming off as overly self important or snarky like other alternative publications. It truly seems to understand its audience.” Cooper said she has always been a fan of the Village Voice, the first alternative newsweekly in the United States. “Really, alternative news is more my style over traditional news,” she said. “I prefer the stories and articles that are a bit out there and not so standard.”
For Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor of magazine content, Advertising Age is one of the best. “I like them because they cover industry news that I follow and they do it quickly with online updates,” she said of the advertising and marketing trade publication. “I also love their charts/graphs of trade data and the fact that many of their reporters are on Twitter.”
Senior media researcher Mary Seidel also mentioned a trade magazine as one of her favorites. “Azure is just one example out of many exciting design magazines publishing in Canada,” she said. “It blends architecture and décor, highlighting the latest innovations and products going into residential and civil projects, with an international scope. It’s for designers, but offers inviting products and concepts to consumers as well as pros.”
As for on-air programming, Kyle Johnson, managing editor of radio content, recommended “Weekend Edition” on NPR. “For one, people don’t automatically think to pitch public radio but they should because of its reach and large news staff,” he said. “Secondly, NPR does more longer-form pieces and reports than traditional news radio, and weekend shows usually have a need for more material. Finally, this particular program is very keen on social media, and even did a study last year about how social media can complement radio listening.”
Jeff Peterson, senior media researcher, suggested something a little more far out. “Definitely one of the more interesting shows on radio has to be the nationally syndicated talk show, ‘Coast to Coast AM,’” he said. “It airs seven days a week late at night – or early in the morning depending which coast you’re on – and mainly focuses on topics such as the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and UFOs. Don’t be afraid to pitch it though, as they also feature guests with more conventional subjects to talk about. Have I mentioned it’s one of the most popular shows on the radio right now with nearly 4.5 million listeners a night? Not bad!”
Managing editor of television content Julie Holley prefers programs that give her the news fast, such as “American Morning” on CNN. “I like watching because it offers a quick round-up of news as I am rushing around in the morning. Some of the major networks offer long-form pieces during that time that I cannot get committed to,” she said. “The show is definitely pitchable, especially later in the morning – early morning news is often carried over from the night before.”
For Spanish-language programming, Raul Marin, media researcher, noted “Sabado Gigante” on Univision. “It’s a variety show with so many different forms of entertainment. They are very adamant in getting the audience to participate as well, so it’s just very fun to watch.”
Do you have a favorite media outlet? Share it below or let us know on Twitter via the handle @invocus.
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