SOTM Webinar Audience Questions Part Three: Magazines!
Our State of the Media Report just keeps on giving. Last week, our Media Research Team released the report and hosted an hour-long webinar. Now, magazine expert Rebecca Bredholt is answering a few of our audience’s leftover questions. You’ll learn the trends in trade and technical publications, how to become a ‘go-to’ industry expert and much more. Enjoy!
Q: What is the best way to pitch magazine editors for food product reviews? Email, phone, social media, or mail?
Food is really popular right now with many magazines, many of which are Tweeting about food. In addition to titles that focus solely on edible delights, you’ll also find brands like Good Housekeeping that feature food product reviews in a searchable listing on their website. I would start out looking by location; if the product is available locally, then pitch by season if it’s applicable. Most magazine editors still prefer to receive pitches by email, but with products you may want to mail a sample if the food is available to be reviewed by one of their editors. You could follow them on Twitter and save any relevant Tweets for when you email them about your product so they know you’ve been listening.
This was a really popular question during this year’s State of the Media webinar. We have the statistics and trends written up in an article on our inVocus blog.
Q: I’m in the Health Information Technology industry – how do we package these specialized stories for a mainstream media?
I’ve seen PR people use the phrase “hijack the news” and I think that’s what you should do too. It’s when you take a current hot news topic and add how your industry connects with that story. For example, when the media was talking about doctor’s offices converting all their medical records to digital, you use a headline that’s already been published by a major news source and explain in your pitch how your technology or your health technology experts have contributed to that situation. You can also search digg.com for science and technology articles that are trending up and contact that outlet to cover your news. The main thing to remember is to look at the day’s headlines, or the week’s headlines and see how you fit into that picture instead of looking at your industry’s news and trying to shoehorn that into something the mainstream media would cover.
Q: What is the best way to position yourself as an industry “go to” expert to have on file for a media organization. Send a bio? Intro call?
As HARO founder, Peter Shankman wrote in his book on PR, introduce yourself over phone or email by offering to help them with anything in your area, even if it’s not necessarily with one of your clients. Then, of course, you have to actually help them if they call on you.
Q: It seems like the line between PR person and journalist is almost indistinguishable these days. What still separates the two professions?
A paycheck? Seriously though, you’re not imagining things. Pro Publica noted how the PR industry is filling a vacuum left by shrinking newsrooms. The article mentions there were more PR people in the courtroom when the BP oil spill verdict came down than journalists, by a ratio of almost three to one. Add to that imbalance the fact that anybody can publish misinformation on an anonymous blog and suddenly everyone has their hands full. What social networks are doing to these two professions is vetting them for authenticity. People are increasingly relying on their friends for news and reliable information – sometimes that source is the media, sometimes it’s the company. And many times it’s Jon Stewart.
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