This blog is all about do-it-yourself publicity, and there is no doubt about it. I am a huge advocate for sharing stories that are worthy of being told with a bias toward earning free editorial consideration.
I got a call a few weeks ago from Michele McGehee, publisher of Sound Sound Woman Magazine, offering a point of view that is worthy of your consideration — especially if you are a small business owner seeking free publicity in the South Sound region.
Sound Sound Woman magazine is a niche publication that is distributed in the South Sound, including Thurston, Lewis, Pierce and Mason counties. The magazine's website reports that 15,000 people read the magazine each month. The mission of the magazine is to inform, empower, and connect.
McGehee tells me that she receives 200 story pitches each month from worthy businesses that have relevant and interesting stories to tell. The magazine on any given month may offer 48 or more pages of quality editorial, calendar listings, and features — in addition to paid advertisements from area businesses.
McGehee says that there is no possible way that a niche publication such as this can cover all the great stories that can be told. When the rubber meets the road, those local companies that support the magazine with their advertising dollars certainly have a story placement advantage.
Publications that are free to the public or offered on a modest subscription fee basis like South Sound Woman magazine need the support of advertisers to survive and thrive. It takes money to pay photographers, freelance writers, and cover the costs of mailing and distribution. It's just that simple.
Media habits continue to evolve. People are relying more and more on the internet for news and information. Daily newspapers continue to struggle in their efforts to retain paid subscribers. Editorial teams are shrinking. That means that there are fewer business reporters and fewer media placement opportunities to assign to small business stories. The reason why is that most of the “real estate” is designated to cover bigger businesses that are creating a mightier marketplace impact.
Small business owners who want their stories told in their own backyards and beyond need to consider how niche publications like South Sound Woman magazine can factor into their buzz building plans. That may require investing in a paid advertising campaign within the magazine, and it's definitely something to consider.
After all, those who do business in the local marketplace need to buy local and support those companies that support them. It's the law of reciprocity. It's a fact of life.
As much as we would all like to earn attention within the pages of the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, or the leading daily newspaper in our community, sometimes, we don't have the right story angle or hook to command that attention. That is why niche newspapers and magazines can play a role — especially for small business owners.
Am I a huge proponent of free publicity? You bet. McGehee offers an equally valid perspective that is worthy of your consideration.
Care to weigh in on this topic? I'd love to hear from you.