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
"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
The magazine's media kit contains further explanation of the editorial
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
"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
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
"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
Address: 1633 Broadway, 41st floor, New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 767-6000
Fax: (212) 767-5450
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