Week 3 The Art of the Elevator Pitch/San Francisco Magazine

Feb. 6

This week we’ll look at what a magazine needs to survive and how to present a good elevator pitch. At 5 p.m. we’ll meet San Francisco Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jon Steinberg. Here’s the agenda for today’s class:

Quiz on Chapters 3 and 4

The three-legged stool: Advertising, Circulation/Audience, Editorial.

Steps for identifying a good subject for a magazine:

  1. Find a niche that’s not already filled.
  2. Consider the audience — be specific.
  3. Think about products and services that go along with this topic/audience. It’s hard to have a successful magazine without advertising.
  4. Consider multiple streams of revenue in addition to advertising.
  5. Get the word out to your audience.
  6. Build a relationship with readers — provide not just what they want but what they need.

Case study: Misadventures

  • About
  • Named one of the hottest magazine launches of 2016
  • Advertisers/sponsors: outdoor gear for women, trips, snacks, outdoors stores like REI; lot of opportunities for sponsorship
  • Community
  • No other magazine like it
  • Staff is passionate about the topic; readers are too

Multiple streams of revenue:

Example: The New Yorker

Example: Vice

  • 1994: started as Voice of Montreal
  • 1996: drops the O and changes name to Vice; launches Viceland website
  • Late 1990s: moves to NYC
  • 2002: Vice UK
  • 2006: documentary, TV, feature films
  • 2013: HBO show, Vice News
  • Shane Smith interview
  • Magazine
  • City Guides
  • Vice Video

We’ll also talk about what a magazine needs to survive and how to craft and pitch an idea in preparation for your magazine elevator pitches next week:

  • Defined audience
  • A need/needs that are not being met
  • Products/services to sell to this audience
  • Unique selling proposition — how is your magazine different from others out there
  • Editorial content

Make your Pitch Perfect: The Elevator Pitch

6 Tips for Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

Sample Pitches:

The Emerald Magazine

Outlier Magazine

Kazoo magazine


About rkanigel

I'm an associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University, where I teach Introduction to Online Journalism, Reporting, Newswriting and other courses and advise Golden Gate [X]press, the student newspaper. I was a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years and I've written for many magazines and websites, including TIME, U.S. News & World Report, Prevention, Health, Reader's Digest, lime.com and CNN.com.

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