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Dec 07, 2007

PR Interview: How to Achieve Success With Catalog Success

SUMMARY: Each month, Catalog Success magazine’s stories, features and columnists offer actionable solutions, case studies and practical how-to advice and information for multichannel merchants. The magazine recently broadened their feature topics and columnists to offer even more useful guidance, especially with an online focus. Find out how the Editor in Chief of this monthly prefers to get pitched.
Contact Information
Paul Miller
Editor in Chief
Catalog Success
1500 Spring Garden St., Suite 1200
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(914) 669-8391

Miller has spent 21 years as an editor and reporter in the catalog and direct marketing industry. He joined Catalog Success in March 2006 after working as a consultant and freelance writer for a variety of catalogers and suppliers, including Catalog Success and Internet Retailer. He also worked for Penton Media’s Catalog Age, now known as Multichannel Merchant, from 1986 to 2004.

Circulation and Readership
Readers are multichannel merchants and catalogers looking to grow their businesses:
o The magazine’s BPA-audited circulation is 20,834 readers
o 87% of subscribers are top decision makers
o Each issue has an extended reach of 45,835 readers
o Subscribers spend an average of 56 minutes with each issue
o 94% take action after reading an article in the magazine
Source: June 2007, BPA statement

Editorial Coverage
The monthly magazine provides how-to information, case studies and instruction on “creative, lists, production, prepress, marketing, management strategies, technology, ecommerce, customer relationship management, database marketing, fulfillment and printing.” Miller emphasizes that their stories not only reveal the tactics, but also how readers can implement them.

Every issue contains the following sections:
o Industry Eye: Catalogers’ Updates, People on the Move, Datebook
o Creative Cut: criticism and tips
o Case Study/Cataloger Spotlight: rotating departments focusing on best solutions
o Lists & Media
o Profiles of Success
o Regular columns: Strategy, The Catalog Doctor, B-to-B Cataloging, E-commerce Insights and Copywriting
o Rotating columns: E-mail Applied, Inventory Management, Understanding Postal, Tax and Legislative Affairs

The magazine also has special features throughout the year, including an annual ranking of catalogers; a look at fulfillment and operations; eommerce and catalog technology; their top 50 tips of the year; and a buyers’ resource guide.

Web-only features include:
- Exclusive Expert Columns -- weekly blogs of catalog experts who offer advice on topics such as marketing, lists and fulfillment.
- Reader Poll -- industry professionals place anonymous votes on relevant topics
- Multichannel News -- tracker that lists the latest market happenings
- Job Connection -- listings of available industry positions

Next year, plans to launch interactive special interest communities that will include forums, expert answers, news links and commentary.

Catalog Success has two newsletters:
- The Corner View: a biweekly highlighting Miller’s industry-related ideas (6,000 subscribers). Subscribe here:

- Idea Factory: a weekly offering expert strategies (15,000 subscribers). Subscribe here:

8 Pitching Tips
Here are Miller’s top tips for pitching stories to him and the magazine’s editors:

Tip #1. Suggest material that would translate well to case studies -- i.e., a campaign that was successful and data to prove it.

Tip #2. Make concise targeted pitches that feature products and services for catalogers.

Tip #3. It’s a smart move to check out their editorial calendar -- -- and offer some sources who would fit their scheduled topics. (Remember you’re dealing with a monthly, so plan at least four months ahead of the story.)

Tip #4. Emails should not be overly advertorial. Use a newsy style, not a promotional tone, in your press releases.

Tip #5. If you are referring clients, first make them aware that their names are being shared with a magazine. “If a vendor is making a pitch, I’m only interested if the vendor can offer up a catalog client who’d be willing to reveal complete financial details of its experience using the vendor’s product or service,” Miller says.

Tip #6. Get to the point if you call an editor. Don’t waste their time with idle chit-chat.

Tip #7. Don’t hound the editors; they’ll let you know if they’re interested. Miller doesn’t respond to every query, but when he does, it's usually right away.

Tip #8. Be familiar with the magazine. You’ll get “a very quick hang-up or click on the delete button” if you are a stranger to Catalog Success.

Contribute to Catalog Success
Contact Miller before you send a bylined article. And remember: The magazine is looking for proven success stories -- not your two cents worth or what’s hot right now.

Press Kits
If you send a press kit, make sure it’s not just boiler plate. Include a concise, targeted press release, business card and company background.

Meet Miller and Other Editors
Miller attends conferences on the catalog, direct and ecommerce areas. He takes pride in being visible, but he never makes booth appointments. Catch him when you can.

See Also:

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