PROFILE #15 in Our Continuing Series on Marketing Journalists
777 Bay St
http://www.marketingmag.caCirculation as of 2/02:
Weekly Magazine: 15,000 paid subscribers with an estimated pass-along rate of six readers per copy, equaling a readership of about 90,000. 60% client-side, 25% agencies, 15% media.
“According to government stats the Canadian ad industry consists of approximately 150,000 so it’s safe to say we are well read by the majority of the ad industry here,” says Sutter.
Daily Email Newsletter: 700+ paid subscribers
Web site: 800,000 monthly page views.Sutter’s background:
Sutter, who is one of the most influential marketing/advertising journalists in Canada, has been on staff at Marketing Magazine since graduating from the University of Western Ontario’s J school 16 years ago. He spent nearly seven years as a staff writer, and left for a six-month stint at the Financial Times of Canada, only to return to a Managing Editor post. He has been Marketing Magazine’s Editor since 1996.
“I thought the Financial Times opportunity was good at the time, but that didn’t work out and I am very glad to be a part of this publication,” says Sutter. “It has been a weekly for 75 years and an institution in the Canadian ad industry for even longer,” says Sutter.Current editorial coverage:
Marketing Magazine primarily covers the Canadian ad industry with a focus on the client/marketer side of the business as well as agency and vendor news. This is not to say Sutter ignores the rest of the world. On the contrary, since the publication has offices and writers in the U.S., U.K. France, Australia and even Japan.
According to Sutter ad industry news “needs to affect our ‘town,’” referring of course to his country.
“There are all of these publications out there (in the US and UK) that agencies and vendors up here will read, but we tend to focus quite strongly on Canada, meaning it has to have a Canadian angle.” Sutter explains. “If you are a US vendor or advertiser, we’d want to know what you are going to bring to the Canadian market."What Sutter looks for in a story pitch:
If your pitch does not have a Canadian angle, you may as well forget it. This does not mean American pitches will not succeed, it just means you have to show how your story is directly relevant to the Canadian marketplace.
“I am persistently pitched by companies that have no idea of our coverage, it really amazes me," says Sutter. “If you do tell me about your product or service, fine, but can you give me an example of Canadian companies that are using it, and is successful,” Sutter continues. “Let those clients can tell the story too. We will also write about agency news, but again it has to be relevant.”
He will not print your release just because you think it is news. Sutter says, "We are not a PR organ. We like to cover real news and will do some product related stories, but again it has to have an angle to it. We can’t just write about the product for the sake of writing about it.”
Unlike most journalists, Sutter does not have a preferred contact method; he takes faxes, emails and even calls. Be warned, whatever you decided to do, “it has to be pointed.” If you call him, do not just ask if he got a release. If you send a release, in a fax or email, make sure he does not have to read four or five paragraphs into it to get to the news. If you email him, tell him why it is important in the first two sentences.
He typically handles all pitches and will decide whether to send it on to the appropriate writer, but sometimes even the writer uses his/her own discretion.Deadlines:
The Web site is updated daily at Noon and the email newsletter is sent shortly thereafter. In addition, Sutter says for particularly hot news breaking after deadline he can get it on the site fairly quickly, but it has to be worth it.
The weekly magazine goes to press at noon every Wednesday and “hits the streets” around mid-day on Thursday. If you want to make it into the next issue, Sutter prefers to receive all news and pitches on that Monday or Tuesday at the latest. “We’ll also work with embargoes and if it is important enough, we will get to it.”
Also, since the publication has a daily and a weekly, they can repurpose some news for the weekly that may not work as well in the daily newsletter. For instance, a simple but important announcement can turn into more of a feature and make a better story for the weekly print magazine. Submitting pre-written contributions:
Feel free to send pre-written contributions, but Sutter prefers that they are written by someone in the know (i.e. a true expert in the area) and not “being shopped around by PR” or even written by PR. And of course, do not forget about that all-important Canadian angle.Becoming a regular columnist:
Marketing Magazine already has a number of columnists. If you wish to become one and Sutter feels what you have to offer is relevant to his readers, Sutter will usually give you a couple of tries to see how it goes.
That said, due to the shrinking ad market (and subsequent issue size), if you do wish to become a regular columnist, Sutter offers this advice:
Don’t be so self promotional.
You have to be a good writer.
Know what’s in it for the reader.Where you can meet Sutter:
Sutter and staff can be found at various Canadian marketing events, but they will also attend the One Show, CLIO awards, the 4As (every other year the Canadian Marketing Association will have a joint meeting with the 4As) and, believe it or not, the Cannes Film Festival.
“The Canadian industry tends to put a lot of importance on Cannes so we go when we are able. This year I got a good rate,” Sutter says.Best gifts for Sutter:
Although Sutter feels uncomfortable receiving gifts, he will accept product samples of new consumer packaged goods that he has to write about.
“We were really pleased when Krispy Kreme doughnuts first came to Canada and started a marketing campaign here. They delivered a few boxes of doughnuts to our office,” Sutter recalls. “The staff wasn’t too happy though when they were cold since apparently they are supposed to be eaten warm.”Sutter’s favorite business publications:
NY Times, the Marketplace section of WSJ, Business Week, Forbes, Canadian Globe and Mail, The National Post, The New Yorker (when Toronto native Malcolm Gladwell writes about marketing), and of course his own publication.