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


Week 2 The Magazine Industry

Week 2 Jan. 30 An Overview of Magazines

Quiz 1

What is a magazine?

The Magazine Industry

Is the magazine industry dying?
CBS Interview with Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine

Anatomy of a Magazine

Magazine Terminology

Alliance for Audited Media Consolidated Media Reports


Case Study Assignment To Do List:

  • Make contact with someone from your magazine this week.
  • Try to set up an interview, tour or other in-person meeting with an editor or other professional from the magazine.
  • Review the publication’s website.
  • Monitor the publication’s presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and other social media channels.
  • Try to get current and past issues from a newsstand, a library, a friend who subscribes or someone at the magazine office willing to send you some back issues.
  • Make a list of interview questions.
  • Think about how you can get the most out of this assignment, particularly if you’re interested in interning, freelancing or working for this publication someday.

Remember, this assignment is due March 6, five weeks from today!

Magazine Pitch To Do List:

  • Start thinking about a magazine you’d like to work on this semester.
  • Consider a magazine you’d not only like to read, but one that there’s a need for. What niche isn’t being filled? What community isn’t being served?
  • Think beyond simply content; consider opportunities for creating events, developing audience, attracting advertisers, even selling other products. You’ll need to come up with a magazine that’s financially viable, one that has multiple streams of revenue.
  • Each student must do an individual pitch but you can start to think about who in the class you’d like to work with.

Your 12-minute elevator pitch is due Feb. 13, two weeks from today!

Guest speaker: Pooja Bhatia, Deputy Editor, OZY

Week 1 Introduction to The Contemporary Magazine

Week 1 1/3/2017

What this course is about

Syllabus review

How to get the most out of this class


Magazine Introductions

Small group discussion: What’s your favorite magazine? What role do magazines play in your life? How is your relationship with magazines different from other publications?

First Assignment: Magazine Case Study

Welcome to The Contemporary Magazine

https://smartblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Magazines-300x225.jpgWelcome to the website for JOUR 500 The Contemporary Magazine, a course in San Francisco State University’s Journalism Department taught by Associate Professor Rachele Kanigel.

In this course we’ll explore all aspects of magazine publishing, including the history of the industry; new developments, such as digital and tablet publishing; audience development; editorial content; design; production; distribution; business plan writing; and alternative revenue models. This semester, we’ll hear from a number of leaders and innovators in the magazine publishing field, including:

We’ll also take a field trip to Maker Media, publisher of Make: magazine and producer of Maker Faire.

This course goes beyond theory and study; the most important aspect will be the final group project. For much of the semester students will work in teams to create a launch plan and prototype for a new publication. You’ll also have opportunities to meet and network with magazine professionals on your own. Start thinking of a Bay Area magazine you’d like to delve into.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of magazine publishing and get a taste of what it’s like to be a media entrepreneur!