If you’ve been following the Launch Grow Joy blog for a while, you know that my main mission is to empower you with all the tools you need when pitching your products to magazines. Thousands of you have signed up for my free PR trainings and have used my media outreach tools to get your products featured.
However, one question that I still get a lot is “There are SO MANY different editors and writers at a magazine. Who should I reach out to when pitching my products? How do I know who to contact?”
Take a look at the masthead of Oprah Magazine. Would you know WHO to pitch from the list below?
If you’re not sure, you’re not alone!
Before I share with you WHO to reach out to when pitching magazines, let’s take a look at the different departments at a magazine.
Magazine departments and what they do
Each department at a magazine is responsible for different areas of the magazine, whether it’s production, content, circulation and more. Familiarizing yourself with what each department does is critical in knowing who you should reach out to with your pitch.
Here’s a list of departments:
EDITORIAL/ARTICLES – this department is responsible for creating all the written content for the magazine, including products they feature
COPY/RESEARCH – in charge of editing, researching and proofreading all written content before the magazine goes to print
DESIGN/ART – responsible for art, photography & layout of the magazine
PRODUCTION – in charge of putting the print issue together and getting it to the printer
MARKETING – responsible for partnerships & campaigns that drive subscriber growth
CIRCULATION – deals directly with subscribers and provides customer service
ADVERTISING – in charge of selling advertising and paid sponsorships for the magazine
ADMINISTRATION – assistants in charge of supporting the top administrators (Editor in Chief, Vice President, President, etc.)
Now that you are familiar with what each department does, let’s take a look at who does what for each department.
Magazine job titles and what they do
EDITOR IN CHIEF – oversees operations, heads all departments
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR – vision, cohesiveness, manages editors
EXECUTIVE EDITOR – approves all copy, oversees hiring
MANAGING DIRECTOR – oversees production
EDITOR AT LARGE –contributing editor or full time, works on special projects
COPY EDITOR – spellchecking & grammar
COPY CHIEF – heads Copy Department
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT – entry-level, admin support, may write
ASSISTANT EDITOR – editing and writing, next step up after Editorial Assistant
ASSOCIATE EDITOR – more writing & editing, next step after Assistant Editor
SENIOR EDITOR – next step up after Associate Editor
MARKET EDITOR – out at markets looking for trends
RESEARCH EDITOR – verifies facts before going to print (fact-checking)
SPECIAL FEATURES EDITOR – special projects
STAFF WRITER – writes copy
When it comes to pitching at larger magazines, you’ll also find:
FASHION DEPARTMENT – Senior Fashion Editor, Fashion Editor, Associate Fashion Editor, Assistant Fashion Editor
BEAUTY DEPARTMENT – Senior Beauty Editor, Beauty Editor, Associate Beauty Editor, Assistant Beauty Editor
FOOD DEPARTMENT – Senior Food Editor, Food Editor, Associate Food Editor, Assistant Food Editor
HEALTH, LIFESTYLE, HOME, STYLE, ETC. – Senior Health Editor, Associate Lifestyle Editor, Assistant Home Editor, Style Editor, etc.
Are you feeling overwhelmed yet when it comes to knowing who to contact at each magazine? If so, read on.
Who to contact when pitching magazines
When pitching larger magazines, you want to start with the assistant/senior/associate section editor for the section in which you want your products featured. For example, if you have a decorative pillow that you’d like to pitch, you should reach out to the Associate Home Editor, the Senior Home Editor OR the Assistant Home Editor first. If you don’t hear back after your initial pitch and follow up email, you can reach out to one of the other section editors – for example, if you contacted the Associate Home Editor with no response, try the Senior Home Editor and then Assistant Home Editor. If you still don’t hear back, you can finally reach out to Home Editor.
The strategy is to “work your way up the ladder” and start with someone who is “less senior” – the assumption is that they might be less busy than a Senior editor or Editor and they often times are the first to come in contact with the products featured in the magazine.
One exception to this rule is for smaller, local or regional publications that have only a few editors on staff.
In this case, you might want to start directly with the Senior Editor or Associate Editor and, in some cases, even the Editor-in-Chief.
Who to NEVER contact at a magazine
Now that you know who you should contact, there are also a few people who you should NEVER contact when you pitch your products.
- Managing Editor
- Executive Editor
- Deputy Editor
- Editorial Director
- Vice President
- Anyone who works in a non-editorial department (advertising, art, photo, production, etc.).
While they have a lot of responsibility at the magazine, they are almost always never in charge of selecting products for their upcoming issues.
Now that you know who to contact, you’re invited to sign up for my free PR training: 5 Steps to Getting Free Publicity & Exposure in Major Magazines (Even If You’ve Never Pitched an Editor Before)
Have you reached out to magazine editors in the past? If so, I’d love to know about your experience. Leave a comment below and let me know!