MEDIA PROFILE: FSB helps small business find its place in the bigpicture - Most financial publications cater to major companies. Byadapting the strengths of magazines like Fortune and Forbes...

 

While Forbes and Business Week make "Big Money" companies their

target, there are fewer publications catering to small business owners.

Fortune Small Business (FSB), the younger sibling of business and

finance title Fortune, is one of the few magazines that has major reach

into that valuable sector.



For someone pitching a new product or trend, it can be a good way to

ensure that your story achieves maximum reach. "FSB was my first hit as

a publicist last year," explains Susan Lindner, account supervisor at PR

agency NYPR. "Most publicists don't know that it has a qualified

circulation of one million and is sent to holders of the American

Express Small Business card."



Originally, FSB was entitled Your Company, but three years ago

Time-Warner purchased and overhauled the title, effusing it with a

Fortune-style spin and bringing in journalists from the flagship

title.



FSB's core audience is small business owners, entrepreneurs, and those

who own fast-growing businesses. The magazine works two months in

advance, and has an editorial staff of 35. FSB's main competition is

Inc., another magazine geared toward growing businesses. Most of FSB's

staff is under 40, and some of the journalists are Forbes, Fortune, and

Business Week alumni.



"We like to think of ourselves as a business partner for these

entrepreneurs, providing strategies and management information, as well

as news about the latest technology," says Brian Dumaine, editorial

director of FSB.



Much of FSB's revenue comes from the exclusive distribution deal it has

with American Express. It is also distributed at Barnes & Noble stores

and in business centers around the country. According to marketing

materials, the readership of the magazine is 79% male and 21% female.

The average reader is 46 years old, while 67% of FSB readers have a

college degree.



There are a few simple guidelines when pitching to the magazine. "We

don't cover news of small business hires, etc.," says Dumaine. "We're

more interested in trend ideas, management, and new technology, as well

as government initiatives and how they affect small business."



A typical issue of the magazine includes a CEO round-table discussion

about current business-related events, a company profile, and a tech

section (Business America) that includes a state profile as well as case

studies, interviews, and book excerpts.



"All pitches should be relatively educative or advice-driven," says

Lindner.



"'How-to' pitches from credible business people work very well (i.e.,

how to get venture capital funding in a tough market). But note that

stories on new technology, office equipment, and products are rare, but

sometimes make it through." One surefire way to annoy the editors,

however, is to phone them with a pitch. Dumaine says that that best way

to contact them about a story is through e-mail or fax.



"I pitched them a source from ING Aetna Financial Services to describe

how retirement provisions in the Bush tax-cut package would benefit

small businesses," says John Feld, an account executive at Weber

Shandwick.



"I was very succinct in offering a few teasers about specific

provisions, and the reporter got back to me immediately, and was very

cordial."



Jeff Jackson, account executive at Porter Novelli Convergence Group,

gives this advice: "Send a backgrounder, release, and brief pitch in

e-mail. Don't expect to hear back unless they are really interested.

That is pretty much media relations 101, but it has worked consistently

when I was able to come up with the right mix of information."



CONTACT LIST



Fortune Small Business



Address: FSB magazine, Time Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York,

NY 10020-1393, Tel: (212) 522-7452, Fax: (212) 522-8717,

E-mail: fsb_mail@timeinc.com Web: www.netbusiness.netscape.com

Editorial Director: Brian Dumaine; Executive editor: Joshua Hyatt;

Senior editors: David Lidsky, Lori Ioannou.



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