It’s a sad day in Publicity Land when editors have to beg people for articles they can print in their newspapers and magazines.
When I spoke to a group of micro entrepreneurs last week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the editor and publisher of a new business magazine in Milwaukee called Magazine SOHO, was in the audience. Her name is Cd Vann. I gave her 30 seconds to invite the group of more than 120 business owners to submit how-to articles and shorter lists of tips for the magazine (circ. 3,000) that she publishes for owners of small office/home office businesses.
When we had breakfast together yesterday morning, I asked her if she was inundated with content. I almost choked on my eggs when she told me how many people had responded to her offer.
None. Nada. Zip. Zero.
“You’re kidding,” I said.
Then she opened one of the magazines she had brought with her and pointed to a big chunk of white space on Page 7 of an issue from last year.
“This is what I’m sometimes stuck with,” she said. “This would have been the perfect spot for a list of seven tips. If people only realized how easy it is to get into this magazine.”
Maybe they don’t know how to write how-to articles. Or they don’t have the time. Still, that’s no excuse
So I promised her I’d call on my Hounds for help.
Here’s the deal. She needs content for the May/June “moving away from home” issue, designed to help SOHOs know when it’s time to move their businesses outside of their homes. She wants how-to articles of 350 to 625 words from commercial real estate agents on how to find space, tips from interior designers and office furniture stores on how to design an office on a budget, and advice from people who have bought used office equipment.
The May/June issue will deal with the business of golf. Perhaps you’re a golf instructor who knows how to conduct business on the golf course. Or maybe you’re a sales trainer and golfer who knows how to get the order without asking for it on Hole 14. Or an etiquette expert who can discuss do’s and don’ts.
An upcoming issue will focus on diversity in the workplace. Cd, who is African-American, says she doesn’t want tips only from or about African-Americans and Latinos. “Diversity encompasses the entire range–American Indian, Eastern Indian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Chinese…” What diversity issues do SOHOs need to know about?