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
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
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
"'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
"I was very succinct in offering a few teasers about specific
provisions, and the reporter got back to me immediately, and was very
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."
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: email@example.com Web: www.netbusiness.netscape.com
Editorial Director: Brian Dumaine; Executive editor: Joshua Hyatt;
Senior editors: David Lidsky, Lori Ioannou.