PR practitioners dream of getting stories placed in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other “big name” publications. But concentrating on the big media may cause you to overlook niche publications that can offer more focused exposure to your target audience.
So while you’re keeping an eye out for the story that will get you landed in USA Today, consider these outlets for your PR efforts:
Trade journals are publications focused on a profession or industry. These publications don’t have the high profile of consumer magazines, so fewer writers and PR people are competing for placement in their pages.
However, since these publications are read by members of specific professions and industries, your message reaches a very targeted audience ranging in number from the low thousands to the hundreds of thousands. Resources such as Gale’s directories or databases at your local library will help you identify the journals that best suit your purposes.
Alternatives are non-daily, free newspapers that cover cultural events, politics, current affairs, and lifestyles. Located in major metropolitan areas, these papers commonly have readerships in the hundreds of thousands. A handy resource for finding these publications is the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ directory, which shows you the papers’ websites, geographical locations and circulation.
In general, college newspapers are a good way to reach the 18-24 age group. In addition to students, the newspapers are read by staff, alumni, and members of the surrounding community. Readership ranges from the thousands to the tens of thousands. You can find a directory of these publications at the university and college section of world-newspaper.com.
These types of newspaper cover specific communities and can be free or subscription-based. Topics that tend to be covered include local news and events, local business news, real estate. Many have columns by local business experts who give their views on trends and provide “how-to” information for readers. Circulation ranges from the low thousands to tens of thousands. If you need help finding community newspapers, try the membership directory of the Local Media Association , a nonprofit, professional trade association specifically serving the suburban and community newspaper industry in America and Canada. Also, several states have community newspaper associations that can also be of service.
Despite the turmoil in airline travel, you still have a chance to reach hundreds of thousands, even millions, of readers. For example, the 2013 media kit of Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine for United Airlines, stated that its readership per issue was almost 3 million and the median household income was $137,700.
You may think that in-flight publications are only interested in stories related to travel and tourism, but depending on the publication, editors want stories on business, the arts, science and technology, food and wine, lifestyle and culture, health and fitness and more. You can find links to in-flight magazines for airlines based in the United States and other countries at itravel.com’s directory of magazines.
All these publications will have a very specific focus, so tailor your releases and materials accordingly. And who knows? Some journalists prefer covering stories that have already been in the media. So gaining exposure at the local level might attract the attention of larger media outlets. And you’ll be that much closer to that USA Today story.