Pitching Personal Finance Media

The Publicity Club of New York (PCNY) meeting last Thursday, 9/27, offered valuable insight into how to pitch consumer and personal Ellen Stark, Assistant Managing Editor, MONEY, at Publicity Club of New York (PCNY)finance media. In this post we will address personal finance media exclusively.

Ironically, for most of my career I have been pitching personal finance media for mutual funds, investment managers, asset consultants, stock pickers, financial planners and the like. I say ironically because my personal finances are a shambles. You’d think I’d learn about zero coupon bonds and annuities by now. Anyway, this may seem like the boring end of the media relations spectrum, and admittedly personal finance can be dry, but like any media they value creativity, valuable insight and professionalism.

It was good to see Ellen Stark, Assistant Managing Editor, MONEY (top right), and Mary Beth Franklin, Senior Editor, KIPLINGER’s PERSONAL FINANCE (below left) as guests at PCNY. As they pointed out, there are many similarities between the two magazines, like long lead times and mostly “soft” news. Both say that surveys are generally self-serving and are not covered, except as small items (don’t expect a feature on your survey). Some highlights:

KIPLINGER’S, circ 835K

Mary Beth Franklin, Senior Editor, Money Magazine at Publicity Club of New York event* Emphasize the “personal” in finance; tell the story through a person, couple or family

* Remember the three month lead time; pitch year-end holiday stories in August or September

* Give your pitch focus (a hook); they like sophisticated, cutting edge strategists

Franklin says she has “wonderful relationships with some PR people” because “they deliver what I want and they know what I need.”

CONTACT: mbfranklin@kiplinger.com, direct: 202-887-6545, main: 202-887-6400, 1729 H Street NW, Washington DC, 20006

MONEY, circ 2M

* Two thirds of the readers are male, affluent, own homes

* Pitching lower on the masthead, to staff reporters, may yield better results

* Pitch the idea, not the person; they do not cover companies

Stark assists in overseeing Personal Interest, a six to seven page section on consumer issues including insurance, credit cards, travel, and consumer electronics.

CONTACT: ellen_stark@moneymail.com , direct: 212-522-3171, main: 212-522-1212, 1271 Ave. of Americas, 17th fl, New York, NY 10020

Founded in 1940, PCNY is the country’s oldest ongoing organization for the public relations professional. The monthly PCNY “Meet the Media” lunches attract a “who’s who” of editorial decision-makers at the leading print, broadcast and online news organizations.  

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