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Mar 23, 2007

PR Interview: How to Get IndustryWeek to Write About You

SUMMARY: Want to learn how to reach key decision makers in the manufacturing industry? Check out our exclusive interview with Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief of IndustryWeek. Their Web site was named to BtoB magazine’s 2006 Media Power 50 list.
Contact information
Dave Blanchard
The Penton Media Building
1300 E. 9th St.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Blanchard's background
After a brief career in teaching, Blanchard joined trade publishing more than 20 years ago. In 1999, he started at Penton Media Inc., where he edited publications, including Supply Chain Technology News, Logistics Today and IndustryWeek. Blanchard assumed his current position in June 2006. In addition to his editorial duties, he writes the Just in Time column for IndustryWeek and The Chain Reactions blog, at

Throughout his career, Blanchard has launched multiple print and online newsletters and received several writing and editing awards. The American Society of Business Publication Editors named him one of the nation’s top columnists for two consecutive years. His first book, ‘Supply Chain Management Best Practices,’ was published in 2006.

- Total qualified: 181,951 readers (for the six-month period ended June 2006)
- Average non-qualified: 4,922 readers
- Web site: 100,000 unique monthly visitors: 92% senior management and department managers, 37% large manufacturers ($1 billion+)

IndustryWeek’s audience includes executives, associations, industry experts, analysts, academics, vendors, editors and marketers. People who read the publication are mostly “senior management at US-based [99.7%] manufacturing companies,” Blanchard says.

Current editorial coverage
As the principal resource for manufacturing operations information, IndustryWeek's print and online offerings include trends, news, analysis, research and dialogue related to enhancing and sustaining production enterprises. The publication focuses on six “topical conversation guideposts.” A specific editor who is an expert in the field guides each department.

Six operational functions:
#1. Factory automation (using it to increase profitability and curb costs)
#2. Facilities (making the most of investments in people, technology, machinery)
#3. Product development (inventing products to shorten time-to-market)
#4. Purchasing (implementing strategies to cut costs)
#5. Supply chain and logistics (globally manufacturing products quicker, cheaper)
#6. Information technology (using software to monitor supply chain processes, create models, test solutions and implement changes)

Content categories:
#1. Leadership and strategy (e.g., workforce, networking)
#2. Operations (e.g., product development, best practices)
#3. Economics and public policy (e.g., trade, politics)
#4. Technology and Innovation (e.g., automation, production equipment)
#5. Rankings (e.g., IW 50 Best Manufacturing Companies)

The site
All IndustryWeek content is available in digital format. E-products include:
- regular webcasts
- 2 daily newsletters (Headlines and Quick Manufacturing News)
- 4 weekly (Inside Track, Manufacturing Buzz, Leadership Insights From The IW 50, Value Chain)
-1 biweekly (RFID Strategy)
- 2 bimonthly (Continuous Improvement, IT)
-2 monthly (In the Boardroom, IW Manufacturing Business Challenge)

Examples of industries they cover:
- High Tech (30%)
- Automotive (30%)
- Industrial Machinery and Equipment (38%)
- Consumer packaged goods (22%)

How to pitch IndustryWeek
Blanchard emphasizes that having some familiarity with IndustryWeek is essential. “The best story pitches are those that target specific items on our editorial calendar and offer us spokespeople ready and willing to talk to a reporter about the given topic.”

Don’t put your eggs into different baskets, though; Blanchard will know. “Pitches that are obviously sent to numerous magazines and editors at the same time will not be considered.” Since they “get hundreds of pitches every month,” you will receive your response probably within a week.

Make sure you email your information two to three months ahead of the publication date. On,, you can sign up for quarterly editorial updates designed for marketers and PR professionals to find out what stories are currently "in the works" for next quarter and whom to contact.

Contributing to IndustryWeek
They aren’t hiring any new columnists and generally don’t accept prewritten contributions. However, if readers wish to share their thoughts, they could take advantage of the site’s “very active forum.”

What not to do
Blanchard’s pet peeves: “Sending the same pitch to every editor on the staff and to other magazines at the same time. Or calling by phone to inquire if we received an email.”

Printed press kits are not worthy of tree sacrifice. Don’t bother sending these blasts from the past. In fact, “we rarely see printed press kits any more.”

Where to meet Blanchard and the other editors
You can catch him and his team at “most of the major manufacturing industry events.” Also, try the publication’s annual Best Plants Conference, which draws hundreds of managers and 50 industry experts.
See Also:

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