Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: 15 Tips to Make Your Mat Release Content the Best of All

Ornate mirror on a green wallEditors are inundated with content daily, but that doesn't mean it's all worthy of their attention. So, how do you ensure your mat release or feature project is the object of their editorial desire (OED)?

Luckily for you, this year alone, our media team has been on the road meeting with over 60 publishing partners across the country to determine their content needs. When we're not meeting face-to-face with editors, we're having honest-to-goodness, old school phone calls with them – over 100 per month to be exact – to not only build relationships but also to ask questions and listen to their needs.

Editors are happy to answer our questions and give us very specific examples of what they're looking for, and on the flip side, they're also not shy about telling us what they don't want. We get some pretty consistent feedback, so we pulled together some tips to help you create content that is desirable to editors.

Here are our Top 15 suggestions for enhancing editorial pull:

  1. Plan ahead. Some of our best placements have 60-90 day deadlines. The early bird here really does get the fattest worms!
  2. Be unique. Think beyond common sense advice or information.
  3. Catchy Headlines. If it catches the editor's eye, they know it will engage their audience.
  4. Solve a problem/inform. Less fluff = More interest.
  5. Celebrity endorsements. Readers love them and therefore so do editors.
  6. High quality HD photography. If your photos include people, make them as culturally diverse as possible – or offer alternative photos featuring Latino, African-American, Asian (et al) subjects.
  7. Cast a wide net. Don't limit yourself geographically or demographically. Craft your message to be relevant to the widest possible audience because not everyone gets snow in the winter.
  8. Include statistical info from credible sources. Pepper your message with back-up stats from 3rd party sources.
  9. Take advantage of trends. Aligning your brand with hot topics is a big win.
  10. One size does NOT fit all. Bite size content is a consistent request. Consider crafting tips that can be published in whole OR broken into minis that will run as a series over several days.Smaller chunks = Bigger nameplate placements.
  11. Consider tailoring your message to meet ongoing content gaps. Can you authentically tie your brand to things like automotive, career, seniors, families, home buying/selling, etc.? If not, consider sponsoring a series of articles that meet these gaps. You'll have editors jumping for joy.
  12. Pursue a target demographic with strategically themed content. Consider targeting cultural or demographic groups by selecting culture or demo-specific themes with mass appeal, i.e. Hanukkah, Kwanza, Quinceañera or Changing Careers Late in Life.
  13. Consider infographics. Make sure they are designed in a resolution that will look as good in print as it does on your computer screen.
  14. Deadlines. Did we mention the real need to plan ahead? We have many publishers of beautiful/glossy/4-color/large circulation magazines that would LOVE to print your message....but only if you can get it to them in time. Making content available 60-90 days in advance is hands-down the best way to get the visibility you desire and become the OED.

The next Media post will offer specific story ideas we have received from the trenches.

Have you tried any of these tips? How did it help increase your pull with editors?

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