Matching product to outlet key in hair care

When it comes to hair, if you've got it - or want to keep it - you're likely interested in the latest products and styles, so coverage of all things hair-related tends to be robust and fairly consistent.

When it comes to hair, if you've got it - or want to keep it - you're likely interested in the latest products and styles, so coverage of all things hair-related tends to be robust and fairly consistent.

"I've been doing this for eight years, and I've no seen no change in the media's interest in hair stories," says Lauren Swartz, consumer practice VP with M Booth & Associates, whose clients include Alberto VO5.

This is especially true not only in the beauty and fashion magazines, but also in the celebrity weeklies, which rotate coverage on who's expecting and who's dating whom with plenty of commentary on the hairstyles of young Hollywood.

"Hairstyles are also a big part of celebrity blog coverage," Swartz adds. "So we'll have the stylist working with our clients call the editors and tell them how Lindsay Lohan got that style."

There's also a growing media interest in the science behind hair care products. "Increasingly, it's all about the clinicals," says Lauren Branche, beauty director at Pierce Mattie Communications. "Lucky even has a popular page, Secret Ingredient, where it lists all that's in a product."

But with so many hair care products out there and new ones arriving weekly, it really comes down to making sure your client's product matches an outlet's demographic - and not just in terms of age.

"When you're reaching out to Family Circle, you're reaching 4 million readers, but you can't pitch the $55 conditioner," Branche explains. "You have to say right up front this is $4.99 and available at Walgreens."

RL Public Relations SVP Melissa Karp Smith has worked with clients targeting Hispanic audiences and stresses that magazines like Latina also need a different pitch.

"Hispanic women enjoy using more natural products, and so we've worked with the National Honey Board and 'Got Milk?' on using products like milk and honey for your hair," she adds.

Men's lifestyle outlets also regularly cover hair care, but their focus tends to be on finding the easiest ways to get a look you want - and, of course, concerns over hair loss and restoration.

"Men's magazines tend to want the results story, but we can get that into outlets aimed at men in their 20 and 30s on up," says Colleen Mathis, account executive at KMR Communications. "[Client] Bosley [Medical] has come up with eyebrow transplants, which has enabled us to broaden our demographics, including feel-good stories on a 13-year cancer survivor who just had eyebrow transplants."

Pitching... hair care

TV morning shows regularly have segments with beauty magazine editors, and working with those editors can be a great way to move your hair care story from print to broadcast

Hair care is a year-round story, but seasonal opportunities exist, including wedding, prom, and holiday pitches

Editors are looking for the science to back up hair product claims, but a good celebrity or celebrity stylist pitch will always get you in the door

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