Survey reveals how best to connect with gay America

NEW YORK: Readers of gay and lesbian newspapers are early adopters of new technologies, travel more than other Americans, and are more concerned about health and fitness, according to a new study commissioned by the National Gay Newspaper Guild.

NEW YORK: Readers of gay and lesbian newspapers are early adopters of new technologies, travel more than other Americans, and are more concerned about health and fitness, according to a new study commissioned by the National Gay Newspaper Guild.

PR pros pitching stories to gay and lesbian publications should talk about "innovations of any kind" that their companies or clients are involved with in order to appeal to gay and lesbian readers, said Todd Evans, president and CEO of Rivendell Media, an ad sales firm that works with the guild on the survey.

Stories about nutritional supplements and travel also will connect well with gay and lesbian readers, he said.

Travel websites should be doing more to target the gay and lesbian market, given their interest in technology and travel, Evans said.

The willingness of gay and lesbian newspaper readers to use new technology has been a constant in the 21 years the survey's been done, Evans noted.

The survey of 3,801 readers of gay and lesbian papers found that more gays and lesbians have broadband web access at home (66%) than does the general population (57%). It also found that 25% of those surveyed have wireless access, compared with 17% of the general population.

Gays and lesbians are more likely to own a laptop than a desktop computer. They also are more likely to have added features on their cell phones, with 25% having camera phones, compared to 10% of the general population; 75% using text messaging, compared with 66%; and 39% using e-mail by phone, compared with 32%.

The survey has been conducted every four years since 1984. The guild this year hired Fleishman-Hillard to gain added attention for it.

Fleishman is doing national media relations and local efforts in the 12 cities where guild papers are published, Evans said. Harris Interactive conducted the survey from October 2004 through March 2005.

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