By the look of my magazine subscriptions, you might assume my age demographic is anywhere from 21-65. From Sunset to Good Housekeeping, Rolling Stone, Oprah Magazine, Cosmo, Parents and Bon Appétit -- I got ‘em. You may be wondering how I am paying for all of these subscriptions. I’m actually paying nothing for most of them thanks to this article 16 Free Magazine Subscriptions With No Strings Attached.
So now that the cost of a magazine subscription is not a barrier to entry, why should PR professionals read a ton of magazines? Even ones that are outside of your age demographic.
Magazine Pitching Requires a Ton of Planning
If you have ever looked at a magazine editorial calendar, you know several months of prior planning go into a single issue. For example, if you want to pitch a holiday idea to a magazine you need to send it out anywhere from July to September. A magazine ed cal will usually have a theme for each issue which is where you can plan ahead to see if your client can fit into that category.
For example, Oprah Magazine’s theme for February is Natural Beauty. If you represent a natural makeup brand, you can begin to craft a story three months in advance and potentially score your client some prime real estate and coverage.
Do your Research and Look for Ways to Incorporate Your Client
Increasingly, magazines are charging for anything that smells like earned media. That is why it is useful to get to know the magazines where you can see your client being placed. The more familiar you are with a magazine and its contributors, the better you can craft a story pitch that will not end up in a trash bin. Receiving the magazine in the mail every month serves as a reminder to stay up-to-date on trends and to look for creative ways to incorporate your client.
Get Inspired with Design
If design is part of your PR role, then flipping through magazines is an excellent way to get inspired. Take note of the typography, color schemes and different design elements. Rip out pages of things you like and stick them on a bulletin board or in a binder. Just as reading will make you a better writer, intentionally looking at printed materials will make you a better designer.
Securing media coverage in a a print magazine offers your client insane return on investment for your PR services. Even a tiny mention is worth thousands of dollars worth of publicity.