“Can you craft a compelling, well-written pitch for both a fashion magazine as well as a business publication?”, Crosby Noricks, PR Couture.
When Crosby Noricks from PR Couture suggested this question for this series of posts, I remembered one of the first pitches I ever did in my life.
It didn’t go well because I didn’t narrow my pitch to the publication I was sending it to. This lead to a “thank you, but no, thank you” that nearly made me cry. It took me a while to gain some trust from that editor again, but the lesson I learnt that day was the most valuable in my PR career: knowing the type of media you want your client to be in is key to be pitched.
So let’s start by defining the general differences between Crosby’s proposals: fashion magazines and business publications
Main contents: Fashion, trends, new collections.
Audience: General public or specific groups with interests in common (fashion)
Appearance: Glossy paper, colourful layout, powerful front-covers.
Examples: Vogue, InStyle, Glamour.
Main contents: Innovation, industry trends, new products, editorial content that is of interest in a determinate business.
Audience: Professionals within a specific industry, that can be customers but also potential investors.
Appearance: Executive portraits, industry setting.
Advertising: Glossy paper or newsprint.
Examples: WWD, Stores, VM+SP.
Get to know each media as if you were its Editor-in-chief! This way you will avoid pitching a magazine about gay travel & leisure when trying to promote a womenswear brand. Before even trying to spam media with your client’s stories, go to the closest kiosko and buy all the magazines you are interested in (and possibly, do this for months). Read them and reread them checking out the masthead, the table of contents, which brands advertise there, how each editor or contributor writes, … Oh, do you often travel abroad? Visit the airport newsstand and check out international magazines too!
Be aware that even if we are only moving between different Fashion Magazines our pitches can’t look the same! What makes you buy Vogue instead of Glamour? Who reads Vogue? What is your client’s target? Ahá! That’s the point! The same way, you wouldn’t even mention an innovative technique of embroidery in a Visual Merchandising magazine, would you? Or maybe you would, but if you are a Brava Fashion PR you’d probably give the story a twist in order to make it fit with the subject of the magazine!
Narrowing your pitch to every single publication will lead you to success. The same story can be observed from many different perspectives and you can make advantage of them to create different angles that express your message. Imagine you are Stella McCartney’s PR Girl and you are trying to promote the launch of a brand new eco-friendly bag. So OK, your story is THE BAG. But think about this: what would you tell InStyle? And WWD? And a business magazine which focuses on sustainable fashion? How would you transform the pitch for each one of them?
Remember: we pitch because we want to convince the journalist to write about our story! So be fascinating, be unique, be clear… and good luck.