MEDIA PROFILE: Your client doesn't have to be a superstar ... butit doesn't hurt

All eyes are on Hollywood, so it makes sense that you'd want your

client in the spotlight. One of the first places publicists target is

Premiere magazine, but you'll need to do some research before your

client appears opposite J Lo. Craig McGuire reports.



Premiere magazine knows everyone loves a backstage pass, and its mission

is to show people what goes on behind the silver screen. The editors

live and breathe the business and art of filmmaking, so unless your

client is a Julia, a Tom, or an Arnold, good luck snagging a spot on the

magazine's monthly red carpet.



That doesn't mean it doesn't succumb to the occasional persistent

publicist.



"Publicists' pitches are most effective when they introduce new faces,

projects, and trends we're not familiar with now, but are right around

the corner," explains Jill Davison, director of corporate communications

at Premiere, published by Hachette Filipacchi.



Identifying the next Hollywood "It" person may be the front-of-the-book

focus for Premiere, but the core content is in-depth features, profiles,

and monthly columns. Take the November issue, which has four different

Harry Potter covers. Inside there's a Billy Bob Thornton interview, an

article on the "real-life heroes" behind Windtakers (a new John Woo

film), and an unusual story about scary movie theaters.



Other monthly departments provide behind-the-scenes movie information,

event coverage, video and DVD technology, and reviews and previews under

the banner Final Cut.



Not surprisingly, the magazine tailors much of its editorial calendar to

coincide with the release dates of films, which may be subject to

change, but are still pretty reliable.



Major events, such as the Oscars and the various film festivals around

the world, are keystones of certain issues. If you have something that's

unique, and can peg it to one of these events, editors may consider

it.



The magazine's media kit contains further explanation of the editorial

departments.



Remember, though, Premiere is a monthly, and not in a position to run

much news material. "We work three months or more in advance in terms of

editing the magazine," says Davison. "Many stories are lined up a year

early, so there's no point pitching something that's tied to a release

date a few days from now."



Last month, Premiere had a premiere of its own, with the appointment of

Peter Herbst as editor-in-chief, replacing outgoing editor Michael

Solomon.



"He's a 30-year-veteran (Family Life, People, Marie Claire, New York

Daily News, Rolling Stone, and others), highly experienced, and a very

knowledgeable, seasoned magazine editor," says Davison. "He'll bring

more Hollywood and more celebrity to the magazine."



"Premiere is extremely important to entertainment clients," says Dea

Eldorado, senior media specialist at Golin/Harris International. "It's

almost like a trade paper, as it's something everyone reads. They are a

little bit elitist, but they know the industry inside and out, so you

won't pull one over on them."



"The least effective pitches come from people who have not bothered to

read the magazine," says Davison. When Herbst's first edition appears in

December, it would be wise to take another look to see what's

changed.



Eldorado warns that if you're looking to plant a puff piece for your

client's product, this may not be the best outlet for you. "Premiere's

reviews of products tend to run from very fair to brutally honest to

negative, so you have to be prepared and targeted," she says. "When I

pitch Premiere, I usually have a specific editor in mind, and you can

figure out which one by reading the magazine." Eldorado recently pitched

Premiere for Nintendo's GameCube video game system.



"I was able to get the product to the appropriate editor, but the art

that I was offering in slide form was not what they needed," she

says.



"I had to come up with a jpeg with the right resolution. They have very

specific requirements, so you have to be on your toes, know the answers

to their questions, and be prepared for follow-ups from their fact

checkers and copy editors."



Premiere's circulation has grown over the past year. According to the

Audit Bureau of Circulations, Premiere's total paid circulation for the

first six months of 2001 was 607,819, up from 603, 998 for the previous

year.



CONTACT LIST

Premiere magazine

Address: 1633 Broadway, 41st floor, New York, NY 10019

Tel: (212) 767-6000

Fax: (212) 767-5450

Web: www.premiere.com

Editor-in-chief: Peter Herbst

Managing editor: Peter Kobel

Executive editor: Rachel Clarke

West Coast editor: Anne Thompson

Senior editors: Jill Bernstein; Glenn Kenny; Tom Roston; Fred Schruers



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