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
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
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
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.