'Atlantic' ups comms to mark its 150th birthday

WASHINGTON: Most magazines fail before they see their second birthday. But The Atlantic, the venerable journal of news, opinion, and literature, is in the midst of a publicity push surrounding its 150th anniversary.

WASHINGTON: Most magazines fail before they see their second birthday. But The Atlantic, the venerable journal of news, opinion, and literature, is in the midst of a publicity push surrounding its 150th anniversary.

The magazine's PR efforts are tied to two editorial productions related to the anniversary: a special issue of the magazine, and a new book, both based on the theme of the magazine's tagline, "The American Idea."

The magazine has just completed a five-city tour to promote the book entitled, The American Idea, an anthology of some of The Atlantic's greatest works.

The Atlantic is now working with Jonathan Marder of General Strategic Marketing to help organize and promote a New York party on November 8.

The New York celebration is the showpiece of the magazine's promotions, celebrating the anniversary with a host of VIPs, ranging from the musician Moby to former Sen. Bob Kerry. Longtime Atlantic contributor and political humorist P.J. O'Rourke will serve as the MC of the event.

But this party has an extra community relations twist; while the VIPs - including the magazine's writers, advertisers, and journalists - mingle on stage, the general public will be invited to fill the audience chairs for free.

"We thought, let's invite the general public, because we have a lot of readers who love us in New York," said Amy Thompson, The Atlantic's PR director. "So we're going to open up the doors as well for them to come in and, oddly enough, watch us have a party on the stage."

Guests will not simply be subjected to a night of watching mingling, however. O'Rourke will interview several VIPs during the program, and a live musical act will be featured.

Thompson said that the magazine expects about 250 VIPs and 400 audience members.

While the title was founded in Boston and is currently based in Washington, Thompson says that New York was chosen as the celebration venue because of its strategic value, and its proximity to many of the A-listers invited to the celebration.

"Everybody's there - the publishing industry, the magazine industry, the trade press," explained Thompson. "Logistically, it makes sense."

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