Writing and getting your material published by a trade magazine is a little different than writing for a consumer magazine or a newspaper. However, the same basic rules apply. Industry magazine writers and editors are also extremely busy and receive many pitches every day. In order to stand out from the crowd, here are some steps to keep in mind.
- Know your industry and its magazine– If your story pitch is for a specific industry, know their trade magazines. From farming to interior design to banking, there are a huge number of publications out there (The Progressive Farmer, Interior Design, and American Banker to name just three.) Know which ones you want to submit to and do your research about what has already been written on your topic.
- Know the editors and writers– While you are reading through these magazines, keep informed about which department you should send your story. Research the editors and writers and have their contact information. Moreover know their editorial standards and style of writing, frame your story in this context.
- Attend Conventions and Tradeshows – It’s a safe bet that the editors and reporters that cover your industry will attend the same industry events that you do. The next time you set up your booth at a trade show, seek out the reporters that cover your industry. The next time you have industry news, you’ll already have a warm introduction before you even send your pitch.
- Product Pitch or Story Pitch– If you are in the industry and your company has a new product that you feel ought to be covered, write about it. Put it in the context of a story. Why did your company develop it, how will it change the industry, who will need this product? These are all questions that you can answer while also getting word out about the new innovation.
- Follow the rules– Many trade magazines have serious rules to follow when it comes to submissions, either via a form, mailing a packet of information, or by contacting an editor. Most trade magazines also want photographs, which will not be returned to you. Don’t waste your time or theirs by submitting a story incorrectly or with missing information. Dozens of other stories arrive “pitch perfect” and an editor won’t call you back asking for more unless your story is truly sensational.
After you have done your research about the industry, its magazines, and their staff, now is the time to write a really great story pitch. Some things to keep in mind as you do this are:
- Lead with Vital Information– This means the headline. Again, most editors and reporters have to sort through hundreds of emails so capture their attention from the get go with a precise, interesting headline. So that means no jargon or fluff.
- Consider The Lead- After the great headline, next up is the lead paragraph. This is where the 5W content will go (who, what, when, where, and why.) If you are writing about a new product, put what it is, who designed it, and why they designed it at the beginning.
- Other Information- Following the 5W content, write the rest of the story. For a new product, who will it benefit? Include a quote from a company executive or another industry professional about the importance of this product. Be sure to include the quoted person’s name and title in case the writer needs clarification.
- End with a Boilerplate and Contact Information- Write a very short company description for the press release and include a way for the writer or editor to get in touch with you. Put in your name, title, company, email and phone number for any questions that may come up.
Once you have done your research and crafted a prime story pitch, remember to follow the rules for submission. Don’t quit if they don’t publish your material the first time. Remember to keep submitting and submit far and wide to all the various magazines.
Have you had good luck getting in trade magazines? Tell us about it.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download How to Get Your Company Covered on Top Blogs here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/blogs.html