MEDIA PROFILE: A distinct look at corporate America is DiversityInc's bottom line

DiversityInc focuses on diversity's impact on business results, not feel-good stories. As such, the new title has no patience for hype, and only considers precise pitches backed by factual data.

DiversityInc focuses on diversity's impact on business results, not feel-good stories. As such, the new title has no patience for hype, and only considers precise pitches backed by factual data.

Though affirmative action remains a major issue of every aspect of American life, a new magazine, DiversityInc, takes anything but a touchy-feely approach to covering the always- changing complexion of corporate America. Instead, the new title is concerned with the business benefits of embracing diversity as a corporate mantra. But PR people be warned: Choose and research your pitches carefully because this editorial team prides itself on its extensive knowledge of diversity practices in corporate America and is dismissive of attempts to feed them false diversity hype. "I want to caution people to be very careful about what they send," says Luke Visconti, partner and cofounder of DiversityInc. "People should realize that we write about this every day and we know which companies are doing what. It's just draining on our resources to get such ill-prepared pitches from people who don't have their act together with diversity issues. Sometimes I hear such silly things from people about their diversity practices and it's only with great resistance that we don't publish the contradictory truth." Despite Visconti's stern admonition, there are pitching opportunities for this magazine, which focuses on business diversity initiatives as a fundamental competitive concept. Its mission is to explore diversity as a strategic business opportunity. As a result, the bi-monthly title moves beyond the feel-good nature of community diversity issues and concentrates on diversity as an ingrained, meaningful corporate program with progressive results that affect the bottom line. DiversityInc is a print extension of a website by the same name that was launched four years ago to quantify diversity as a business concept. While the print publication is targeting the same educated, affluent, and influential corporate audience as its precursor does, its stories are more comprehensive and analytical than the shorter, news-type web articles. The eight-person editorial team reflects the publication's demographic of 66% women and over 50% people of color. With a circulation of 100,000 and a median age of 42, the target audience is senior management and professionals in the most progressive companies who are implementing diversity practices. DiversityInc's editors do not accept contributed content and, while they do claim to consider most pitches they get, they are quick to note the rarity of successful PR pitches. With less than 1% of story ideas coming from pitches, PR people should be very precise in their approach and must be well-prepared with factual data to justify their claims. "Some people send us things and their worst nightmare would be if we published it," says Visconti. "People should be very careful what they play around with." Some pitches are deemed so ridiculous by the staff that publishes a monthly Baloney Meter, which chronicles the most fictitious and unjustified claims. While the editors would label the ineffective pitches as poorly prepared and self-congratulatory, one PR practitioner calls their attitude biased. Lonnie Sourry of Sourry Communications, who handles race relations for General Motors, was not only unsuccessful with his idea, but also felt that the magazine's editors were unresponsive. "The feeling that I got was that they are just not comfortable with PR," says Sourry. "I personally feel that it is an unsophisticated approach for them to take just because of their ingrained pre-disposition to PR people. There's a lot of news they're missing." The key to breaking down this barrier is to have valid case studies and numbers that reveal actions a client has taken to expand and implement diversity programs that double as good business strategies. The editors are only interested in business cases that reflect a true appreciation for diversity as an essential business practice. A recent PR success story - one that will be featured in the next issue - was an announcement that Antonio Perez, a Latino man, had been chosen as president and COO of Kodak. Some examples of story ideas that DiversityInc does welcome are leadership profiles of diverse people, personnel announcements for companies of diversity, event calendar information, and corporate diversity program implementations. The magazine is expanding its coverage of supplier diversity and is welcoming any content for this section, as long as they have concrete data and analysis to justify their claims. A media kit containing an editorial calendar and census data can be found at the website, and all materials should be e-mailed to VP and executive editor Barbara Frankel. DiversityInc welcomes pitches that go beyond the community awareness aspect of diversity and that embrace diversity as a necessary business strategy. The realization that a company's diversity strategy is a core competitive factor affecting its customers, suppliers, new and existing employees, and investors is fundamental. "Diversity is a critical advantage if it's managed well," says Frankel. "We implement it inside at DiversityInc and we watch it outside." ----- Contact list DiversityInc Address 317 George Street, Ste. 420, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Tel (732) 509-5200 Website E-mail Partner & cofounder Luke Visconti VP, Executive editor Barbara Frankel Deputy editor Kipp Cheng Deputy editor Linda Bean Art director Troy Santi Production director Sharon Peck

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