When you’re creating a media plan for yourself or a client, don’t overlook all those second- and third-level publications–from free weekly shoppers to alternative newspapers–that might be hungry for your story idea or article.
When I was in Studio City, California in February to speak to the Book Publicists of Southern California, I picked up a stack of publications that I found at the local library and in the lobby of my hotel. Here are examples of terrific media hits by smart Publicity Hounds who targeted narrowly:
–NetClearly, a bi-monthly tabloid out of Oakland, California, offers reviews of hundreds of websites that sell everything from foreign-language books to services that will help discriminating men buy an imported suit.
–The Tolucan Times and Canyon Crier, a tabloid that publishes local news from 18 Los Angeles-area communities, included an article about the city of Glendale’s community access channel, written by columnist Charles Cooper.
–A bi-monthly newspaper called The Pet Press (for the People Who Love Animals and the Animals Who Need to be Loved) included a feature story about Bark!, a musical at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. The next issue included a letter to the editor from the composer, resulting in not just one publicity hit, but two in the same publication.
–The Daisy Chain, a 16-page newsletter, features small articles about local classes and workshops for parents and their children. The editors devote several pages in the back to calendars of events, listed by community. On the back cover, a local dentist bought an ad that looks like a column. She writes about do’s and don’ts for parents who want to teach their children about good dental care during February, Children’s Dental Health Month.
–Not Born Yesterday, a 24-page tabloid devoted to issues of interest to the elderly, included a full-page article about Gloria Pall, a retired real estate agent, self-published author and former host of a weekly series of romantic movies on an L.A. TV station in 1954. She was known as Voluptua, and she wore a tight-fitting lame evening gown, and reclined near a satin couch and gold telephone trimmed in mink. Voluptua proved too racy for fifties audiences, however, and the show was canceled after only 7 weeks. The article was about–get this–the 50th anniversary of the cancellation.
That’s just a small sampling of what I discovered. You can find these kinds of publications in your own community. Look in local bookstores, coffee shops, doctor’s offices, supermarkets, and at the local library. Because these publications are small, they are often starving for good content.
Targeting small publications is one of dozens of tips I offer on "Get Free Publicity in Print," a recording of a teleseminar in which radio veteran George McKenzie interviewed me about my best advice for Publicity Hounds. It’s my very favorite interview.