When I was a magazine editor and publisher, I used to receive a huge number of unsolicited submissions and requests to be featured in the magazines I owned EVERY SINGLE DAY. Their main question: “How do I get featured in a magazine?” Clearly people understood the benefits of being featured, but few of them approached getting this PR in the right way. Here are a few pointers to consider before submitting to a magazine.
- Make sure you know WHO to contact. Editorial / Advertising / Giveaways / Reviews are all likely to be handled by different members of a team. If you contact the wrong department, you have a 50% chance of your email getting skipped over/filed indefinitely and a 50% chance of it being forwarded to the appropriate person. In my opinion, those odds are too risky so if in doubt, pick up the phone to call and ask “who should I email about ….”
- Timing is everything. It’s ore than likely that editorial features will be planned out months in advance (we used to work about 9 months out) so don’t pop in with a brilliant Christmas related idea in October and expect to be successful.
- Make it easy. I loved it when people sent me something that had been professionally presented, well thought out, and contained everything I needed to make a decision. If you are writing a piece that you want published, send a detailed draft, tell me if you can provide high resolution images to accompany it, let me know how long it will take you to write the final and let me know if you expect to be paid for it. Giving me all this information up front is far more likely to make me want to work with you.
- Research the actual sections of the magazine. If our review section is called “Things We Love” (because it is), then say you have a perfect product to be featured on our Things We Love page, not our review section. Make me feel like you know a bit about my magazine and its contents before reaching out.
- Be clear on what you are expecting. If you would like to be paid, then ask. If you are looking for a free advert in exchange for a written piece, then say this. If you are just looking for promotional opportunities then tell me this. Don’t make me guess how we should collaborate or compensate you or you may not hear back.
- If you want to send a product in for review, then send great high resolution pictures of it BEFORE you send it in.
- Be friendly. I loved it when people emailed me, addressed me by my name, and made an effort to talk about the magazine. I was much more likely to contact these people than the ones who lacked friendliness or personality.
- Sending in a pre-written feature is unlikely to be successful. Magazines have their own style guide, words they use and do not use and are extremely likely to ask you to rewrite. Instead, send samples of your work and tell them that you are happy to use their style guide when submitting the finished piece.
- Follow up. But in a good way. Magazines receive so many unsolicited contacts that a phone call a week or so after they’ve received it is always a good idea. But don’t be too aggressive. Phoning daily for an update is a sure way to get in the bad books.
Now what are you waiting for? Get the contact person for the magazine you’re looking to be featured in and reach out to let them know how you want to collaborate with them. Good luck