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 3:45 p.m. we’ll meet Diablo Magazine Editor-in-Chief Kat Rowlands.

Here’s the agenda for today’s class:

Kat Rowlands

Quiz on Chapters 1 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.

Multiple streams of revenue:

Example: The New Yorker

Example: Vice

  • 1994: starts 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

How to Give a Flawless Elevator Pitch

Sample Pitches:

The Emerald Magazine

Outlier Magazine

Kazoo magazine

For next week: Prepare a 1- to 2-minute elevator pitch for the magazine you’d like to work on this semester. Describe your target audience, the need you plan to fill, how it’s different from competitors and how you will make money.


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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