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Jun 22, 2007
Interview

PR Interview: How to Get Some Ink in Inc.

SUMMARY: Want to know how to pitch the #1 magazine for American entrepreneurs? We interviewed an editor at Inc. for insight into what they look for in story suggestions. Plus, the *only* way their editors and reporters will even accept pitches.
Contact information
Athena Schindelheim
Assistant Editor
Inc.
7 World Trade Center
New York, NY 10007-2195
212-389-5300

Background
Schindelheim received her bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s in publishing from New York University. She worked as Coordinating Editor at LexisNexis and as Executive Assistant at HarperCollins. In 2005, she joined Inc. She also contributes to Fresh Inc., the magazine’s blog.

Circulation & readership
- Print: circulation: 665,000; reach: 1.04 million
- Online: 574,000 monthly unique visitors, 5.5 million monthly page views

Inc. ranks #1 for top management and business purchase decision makers. The median age of their mostly male (69%) readers is 42.1 years, and the median income is $63,676. More than half of the readers are college graduates, and almost just as many decide on business purchases. 27% are top managers.

Editorial coverage
Besides providing management, financial, sales, marketing and technology guidance, the magazine covers the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Each month, they write service articles and profiles of entrepreneurs. Once a year, the magazine publishes Inc. 500, a special issue featuring the fastest-growing private businesses in the United States.

Sections:
o Global Entrepreneur - guides those who wish to do business abroad
o Street Smarts - offers an insider's perspective
o What's Next - tells about the latest advances in technology
o Inc. Life - inspires with stories about work-life balance
o How I Did It - motivates with first-person accounts of achievement
o Case Study - looks at options available to a business in crisis or at a crossroads
o Ask Inc. - gives readers a chance to pose questions to experts
o The Office - addresses workplace issues

Web site
Inc.com offers the latest entrepreneurial news and the resources readers can take advantage of to get ahead. Besides including the content of the print magazine, the site features specialist columns, video, podcasts and Web exclusives. They incorporate Top Cities for Doing Business, Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs and Street Smarts.

An archive of past issues is available for free on the site, and they have a search-by-topic feature.

Other features:
o Resource Centers - combine online columns with tools and guides on 14 topics, such as Start-ups, Technology, Sales and Women in Business
o How-To Guides - present specific instructions on entrepreneurial challenges, such as coming up with start-up funds and setting up a home office
o Tools section - consists of more than 100 free resources, which include sample policies, worksheets and checklists

Inc. also publishes free daily, weekly and monthly newsletters. Online columns present entrepreneurship-related content written by more than 40 experts.

How to pitch Inc.’s editors
Schindelheim emphasizes the importance of understanding the nature of the magazine before hitting the “send” button. 99% of the pitches they receive are irrelevant to their readers. To avoid mishaps of this sort, she advises you to actually spend a few minutes reading the print or online versions of the publication. It’s vital that you know which sections cover what so you will understand where your story might fit.

However, unlike other publications that prefer you to contact the person responsible for your general topic, Inc. wants you to email the specific email address they reserve for this purpose: pitches@inc.com

One of Schindelheim’s biggest pet peeves is when she gets calls from people who want to know whether Inc. received their pitch. She suggests that you don’t follow up; instead, wait for her to respond. Schindelheim reiterates that impatience annoys everyone. "I will remember to contact them.”

Two more tips:
#1. Don’t peddle your products or services. Inc. is more interested in the ways you provide your goods than in what it is that you offer.
#2. Propose original exclusives. The magazine writes about exclusive content with unique business strategy. They’re always looking for deeper journalism with alternative angles.

How to contribute to Inc.
You can contribute to the Fresh Inc., the magazine’s blog, by either suggesting a topic for discussion or by leaving a comment at http://blog.inc.com/suggest.html

Press kits
We wouldn’t send any press kits to the publication that honors “green” companies with an awards ceremony.

Meet Schindelheim
Schindelheim will occasionally meet with journalists for lunch, but “it’s up to my discretion and it’s very rare.”

See Also:

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