Top Tips to Reach Long-lead Media

Magazines have been a resource for women for fashion, recipes, lifestyle, health and nutrition advice since the 1700s. Though the format of magazines has certainly changed over the years, they remain an important channel for brands and clients to reach the female demographic.  With increased space being dedicated to advertising within publications, securing editorial placement for clients can be challenging.  Therefore it’s important to plan carefully and do your homework when trying to connect with editors.  Here are some tips to help when planning your next deskside tour with long-lead media.

  • Plan Early – If you know when your client’s product or campaign is launching it’s important to build in time to reach long-lead editors well in advance. Many women’s magazines work on a lead time of 4-6 months when planning out issues and researching editorial topics. 
  • Research the Publication – Before reaching out to a publication it’s important to understand how the magazine works and who it reaches.  Read the last few issues to understand what the monthly sections of the magazine are and which ones can you envision your client being a part of. Do they typically feature products within the publication? Are they looking for topic experts? Do they have a monthly deals column where they do giveaways?  If any of the above applies, it’s important to tailor your pitch accordingly. 
  • Understand the Editor – Before meeting with editors, read their most recent columns to understand what topics they’ve recently covered, what their interests are and to get a sense of their editorial style. It’s also a good idea to start following the editor on Twitter to get to know them and have another channel to communicate with them moving forward. 
  • Group Appointments Together – Many of the large publishers have multiple magazines within the same building.  For example, the Hearst Building is home to Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman’s Day, Seventeen, and O the Oprah Magazine, among others. To avoid multiple trips to the same building it’s a good idea to group editorial visits with the same publisher within a dedicated timeframe. 
  • Prepare for Your Visit and Follow Up – Make sure the content you are reviewing with editors is interesting, timely and targeted for their readers.  Editors are constantly meeting with PR and brand representatives so it’s important to practice your pitch and convince them why the information you are sharing is important for their readers.  Develop a fact sheet or press release with important information, and provide leave-behinds on a flash drive with high-res images or product information. Product samples are also great to have on-hand during the meeting.  It’s also essential to remember that your work is not done when you walk out of the meeting! After the visit, follow up on any outstanding questions that were not answered within your meeting. Stay in touch to continue to build your relationship with the editor to help ensure you are considered for editorial inclusion in the future.

Hope you found these tips helpful and in the meantime – happy reading!

--Hilary Jenison, Director

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