Is there a particular magazine in which you see yourself or your product but have no idea how to get in it? The first thing you have to do is make sure that magazine really is right for you or your business. Know the magazine’s demographic and that you fit into it and also the style of the magazine. Your goal is to be where your customers are, not necessarily where YOU want to be.
Finding the magazine demographic can easily be done on Google by searching the publication name and the word “demographics”. If it looks like you see a fit, either buy a copy of the magazine or go to your local library and read the entire magazine, but read it as if you had written it.
Try to gain the perspective of the magazine and what they are trying to portray to their readers. Ask yourself:
- What do they have in the magazine?
- To whom are they writing?
- What is the feel of the magazine?
- Do you see your product/story/business in that publication?
- Is there a particular segment that you think you could fit into?
If you can answer these questions and they pertain to you or your business, then it’s time to formulate your story idea.
The same holds true for a newspaper but it’s really into what section you fit? Metro/Local? Lifestyle? Travel? Business?
Now that you’ve decided on the publication(s) and the section(s), it’s time to write a great story idea. The key to getting publicity is having a great story to tell. Nobody likes a boring story. Make your story exciting or interesting. Share something you would want to know about.
A popular method of submitting to a magazine or newspaper is to provide a list of ideas or tips. You will notice this frequently, especially in magazines.
An interior designer might submit: 5 Tips for Decorating a Dorm Room for Under $50
A realtor might submit: The Top 3 “Bang-for-your-Buck” Upgrades to Sell Your House
A relationship expert might submit: 7 Ways to “X” your Ex!
Take your expertise and turn it into a list with a really great headline/hook.
Another popular story idea is one that is alarming. For example, a story idea I submitted with great success was: “WARNING: Kids Might WANT to Break their Foot to Wear This.”
Can you cause controversy with your topic? That is another great way to get coverage. I have a friend who gets quite a bit of coverage with his story idea of: “Nicotine is not an addiction and I can prove it by asking you one simple question.” You’re hooked, right? You want to know what the question is.
What’s your story? Do you have something compelling you can share? Why did you start your business? What’s the human element you can share about your story that would engage readers?
As for formatting your story idea, make it concise, on target, and easy to read, with a visual if possible. If there are statistics to back your story, use them! Always make sure you show the editor why they should cover this story. How does it benefit their audience? Remember, it’s not about you, but what you can provide to the editor’s readers.
If you need any resources to get you going with this, check out what we offer at www.PRforAnyone.com/Shop. Creative PR Strategies and Art of the Hook can help you jump to the head of the line when pitching your magazine story idea.