Increase your chances of getting noticed with our top tips on who to contact to get your brand some media loving!
With our crazy schedules and overflowing to-do lists, we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that other people are just as busy as we are. When it comes to the media, journalists are greeted every morning with an inbox filled to the brim with pitches, offers and event invites. New emails come through quicker than they can read the old ones, their phones are ringing with people wondering if they saw the email they sent 12 minutes ago (um, no!) AND they still have to find time to research, write and submit their work to deadline. Unsurprisingly, they can get a little disgruntled with mass emails and random pitches, irrelevant content that has been sent by people who simply didn’t know (or care) what media they should be contacting about their story.
Want your brand’s new swimsuit to be featured in an upcoming issue of ELLE magazine? Don’t send an email to Justine Cullen, think about where in the mag your swimsuit will fit (hint: it won’t be interiors or entertainment!) and spend some time finding the person who can get it there. Not only does this majorly increase your chances of getting that pitch read and securing that all important media coverage, but your contacts will love you for it!
Read on to find out our breakdown of media titles and job descriptions, our guide on just what media you should contact to get your story read.
Who does what?
The first step to knowing what media to contact with your story is to have a thorough understanding of who does what, when they do it and what they’ll need to get it done. While no two roles are exactly the same, there are similarities and essential duties which are useful to keep in mind when collating your contact list. We’ve kept our list to magazine-specific positions, but the same rules apply if you’re contacting media across digital, television or radio platforms.
The editor-in-chief is the highest editorial position in any magazine or newspaper. They oversee the running of the publication and have the final say on what gets published. While they often started their career as journalists and writers, by the time they reach the top job they actually do very little writing. Unless you have a big-budget proposal or an existing relationship with an editor-in-chief, they’re probably not the best person to be sending your pitches to.
As the right-hand man (or woman!) to the editor-in-chief, the managing editor takes care of the day-to-day running of the publication. Usually more hands-on than the editor-in-chief, the managing editor will sometimes write features, edit articles and will pitch and assign story ideas to department areas. Like the editor-in-chief however, we wouldn’t advise adding managing editors to your media list – unless you’re dealing with a small publication!
The job of a fashion/beauty/features/lifestyle (you get the drift!) editor is a many varied thing. Attending events, mood boarding for shoots and rifling through free samples all come under the department editor’s jurisdiction. For larger magazines, the department editor will oversee a team of writers and interns and will be more likely to assign articles than write them themselves. For mid to smaller publications however, department editors can often be found writing features and pitching story ideas. Depending on the magazine you want to target, the fashion editor could be the perfect person to send that pitch to, otherwise keep a lookout for junior editors and assistants.
Often working under the fashion editor, the market editor is responsible for products in the market. This often involves staying abreast of current trends and new styles, with a thorough understanding of everything from high fashion to high street labels. The market editor could be a great person to reach out to with new collections and runway invites, especially if you’re a low to mid-range brand looking for coverage in higher-end publications.
With a serious eye for aesthetic and graphic design skills to boot, art directors are responsible for overseeing the design and aesthetic compilation of their magazine. Masters of cool layouts and beautiful collages, they are often found sourcing new images and exciting products to feature in their pages. A good person to contact if you’ve got a new collection that’s about to drop, but keep in mind they’ll be looking for deep etch images so they can incorporate them into existing templates and new backgrounds.
Where do I find them?
Now you’ve got a general idea on who to target and job titles to look out for, the next question is how to find them? Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for this one – every targeted media list requires some amount of time, effort and consideration. In saying that however, here are our top 3 resources to finding those media contacts…
1. Flaunter: Forever dedicated to making your life easier, level 2 and 3 Flaunter users get access to our media lists and reporting features! The best way to consolidate contacts past and future, our reporting feature will list the names and publications who have downloaded from you previously as well as up to date names and positions of all the active media users on our site. Easy as pie!
2. LinkedIn: While there’s nothing like a barrage of LinkedIn invitations to drive you off the edge, this social media platform is actually quite useful for sourcing those elusive contact emails. If you’ve got the full names of the people you’re after, a quick LinkedIn search could turn up valuable information and contact details. Email address hidden? Websites such as Viola Norbert and Email Hunter have Chrome extensions that search for email addresses off LinkedIn profiles. Not just for last-ditch stalking efforts, LinkedIn can also be a great place to build contact lists from the ground up. Simply search by company and find links to all the employees with active profiles!
3. Magazine Mastheads: Go straight to the source and find a comprehensive list of everyone from editors to interns on the mastheads of magazines. Often found at the front of the mag (and usually replicated online), the masthead makes note of everyone who worked on that issue. While the masthead covers off everyone, keep in mind that most magazines have a long lead time, so the masthead you’re reading might be slightly outdated!
You can also check out our list of recommended PR tools to find free software to help you find media contacts and build up your little black book!
Double-checking your list and when to hit send
Now you’ve done the hard yards curating your list and considering your message, just one more thing separates you and that send button. While you may have separated your Art Directors from your Managing Editors, keep in mind that not all directors and editors were created equal – at least not for your brand! As tempting as it may be to email every fashion editor you can humanly track down, try to stick to those who are most likely to be interested in your brand. For instance, if you’re a street-style brand with a target market of uni students and young professionals, you’re probably going to have more luck courting Cosmopolitan or NYLON than you will with Vogue and Harpers. Always keep your intended buyer in mind, and think carefully about who is best placed to connect you with them. We’ve sorted some of our favourite magazines into different categories for your convenience:
Luxury fashion publications: Vogue, Harpers Baazar, L’Officiel
Luxury interior publications: Vogue Living, Elle Decoration, Belle, Habitus Living
Mid-range fashion publications: Elle, InStyle, Grazia, Cosmopolitan
Mid-range interior publications: Real Living, Inside Out, Home Beautiful
Niche publications: Russh, NYLON, Frankie, Peppermint, Fete
Loving these tips? Increase your chances of landing that dream media coverage by getting the low down on what media want in that initial email, story ideas based on what we know media love to write about, and even more advice on building that little black book of media contacts!