Profile # 19 in Our Continuing Series on Marketing Journalists
Sales & Marketing Management
New York, NY 10003
-> Circulation as of 4/02:
65,000 paying subscribers. Annual subscription is $48.
-> Cohenís background:
Cohen decided to become a journalist after working as a summer intern at Successful Meeting magazine and the Poughkeepsie Journal during his junior and senior years at Vassar. "I found I really enjoyed the interviewing and writing process, as well as the idea of crafting my own work and seeing it in print," he recalls.
After Vassar in 1992 with a BA in English, he joined Successful Meeting magazine full-time as Contributing Editor. Then, in 1994, he moved to an Associate Editor at Sales & Marketing Management, which is owned by the same publishing company. Cohen is currently Editorial Director for that magazine, and after eight years is one of the top experts in this beat.
"Iíve been here for several years but enjoy this topic quite a bit," Cohen says. "I particularly like writing about business strategies and comparing how one company succeeds versus another. Itís kind of like keeping a scoreboard, to me."
-> Current editorial coverage:
The magazine's readers are "sales and marketing executives, from small to mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies in charge of various sized staff."
Cohen is constantly on the look out for "ways to tell them how to be more successful in their jobs and get more out of their marketing and sales staff, either through motivation or training."
Company profiles are also high on Cohenís list. "We look at what business strategies make a company a success; this is where we look deep into their sales and marketing models," Cohen says. "We also look at the culture of a company and how staff interacts. People and strategy are the main the topics here. At some point those two will interact and thatís what we like to talk about."
Cohen recently profiled Google. He admits he particularly admired Googleís work environment and "how they are one dot-com that is succeeding, but still has the dot-com culture. People coming to work in shorts, foosball tables; a really relaxed atmosphere."
Sales and Marketing Management also features case studies focusing on ad campaigns, sales strategies, or training programs. "We like to show our readers how they can apply these strategies to their own company," Cohen says. "These articles are always very how-to."
-> What Cohen looks for in a story pitch:
Cohen stressed story ideas generally come from his staff, and not from a pitch or press releases. If you want to pitch Cohen about a technology or a company to profile, give him "a solid example" of success.
"We get a lot of tech companies that want us to profile them, but we donít talk about products at all," Cohen says. "If you are going to talk product, tell me how someone used it and get me those contacts. If you donít tell me how it helps or has helped some company, donít bother."
"Everyone thinks they are unique, but only a few are truly unique and innovative."
Before pitching, take the time to understand the magazine and what it covers. Cohen suggests at the very least you visit their website to read the latest articles.
The magazineís editorial calendar is also on the site: http://www.salesandmarketing.com/salesandmarketing/about_us
If you do pitch Cohen, email is best. Cohen does not look at faxes and he also admits he is "not the best at returning calls, but you can try."
Sales and Marketing Management is a monthly. Cohen says they generally work three months in advance of print date listed on the editorial calendar (see link above).
The magazine is in production from approximately the 20th of the month to around 5th of the next month. Cohen says these are the bad times to contact editors. Any other time is best.
-> Submitting pre-written contributions:
Do not do it. Everything is staff written or assigned to freelancers.
-> Becoming a regular columnist:
The magazine had columnists at one time, but not now. Cohen felt they were "too theoretical" and he wants "articles to deal with practice." He may consider columns again in the future, but not in this calendar year.
-> Where you can meet Cohen:
Cohen attends some trade shows and conferences, but does not have a specific schedule. "I do hit American Marketing Association meetings, Business Partnering Association meetings, and a series of tech shows we display at, but not with regularity," Cohen says. If you want to see him in person, the best thing to do is set up a meeting and "try to have a good story idea" with you.
-> Best gifts for Cohen:
Cohen does not have a hard and fast policy about gifts. He says, "there is nothing that is going to sway me. But as a thank you for something I wrote I donít mind."
Cohenís favorite gift: a putter from a golf equipment company he wrote about. Worst gift: "personalized junk."
-> Cohenís favorite business publications:
Fortune, BusinessWeek, and the Wall Street Journal.