THINKPIECE: Pitch to every major media, by all means, but don’t forget the value of specialty publications

Some time ago I was selecting a mailing list for an outgoing news release when one of our event coordinators glanced at some names. Not trying to mask her surprise, she asked, ’Why are you mailing to those places?’ It’s the story of ’those places’ that follows.

Some time ago I was selecting a mailing list for an outgoing news release when one of our event coordinators glanced at some names. Not trying to mask her surprise, she asked, ’Why are you mailing to those places?’ It’s the story of ’those places’ that follows.

Some time ago I was selecting a mailing list for an outgoing news

release when one of our event coordinators glanced at some names. Not

trying to mask her surprise, she asked, ’Why are you mailing to those

places?’ It’s the story of ’those places’ that follows.



My task is to promote the work done by our agency on behalf of our

clients and, in doing so, I am a great believer in targeting my mailings

closely.



There are times when I send out hundreds of releases and others when I

send as few as two or three. This mailing concerned the involvement of

one of our clients in a large charity event held in the area. In

addition to all of my ’usual suspects’ in the trades and media, I sent

the release to about 30 specialty publications serving specialized

audiences, like The Ukrainian News and The Michigan Catholic.



When I look at my list I find some remarkable things, which few people

seem to notice. The first is that, between them, they represent about a

million in circulation: that’s a lot of readers. And the publications

are well read. Subscribers are apt to leave them on the coffee table

until the next issue comes out. As a result, the pass-on rate is

astronomical.



What’s more, they are usually read cover to cover.



The mission of these publications is community news. I know that I’m

going to put my message in front of hundreds of thousands of potential

customers for my client’s products. It’s not bad exposure for the cost

of a few stamps.



Perhaps the most important thing to consider, however, is the changing

face of the business community. The individual questioning my wisdom in

doing the mailing asked, ’So what if some little old Polish lady happens

to run across your item ... what difference will it make?’ It’s a fair

question, but one that should no longer have a place in our

thinking.



I remember when top managers attended the same schools, wore the same

suits and went to the same church, but I realized long ago those

generalities no longer apply. Today’s top executives are apt to have

been born in Tel Aviv, educated in London, and worked in Sao Paolo.



That weekly specialty newspaper may well be on the coffee table of the

CEO or marketing manager of the firm at the top of your ’hot prospect’

list. He or she may well be the named subscriber - the one you want to

have view the work you’re doing for others. Being there gives you an

excellent chance to reach your target.



As you consider how to reach your target audience, by all means go for

every major media outlet you can hit. Getting your client on Letterman

or The Today Show is still a major coup. At the same time, remember the

value and opportunity of specialty publications.



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