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Nov 21, 2008

PR Interview: How to Pitch to ‘Fortune Small Business’: 6 Strategies

SUMMARY: You work for a small business with under 100 employees and less than $100 million in annual revenue. Getting your story into 'Fortune Small Business' could increase your company’s profile and boost your overall success. Find out how to pitch to FSB’s Senior Editor.
Contact Information

Adriana Gardella
Senior Editor
Fortune Small Business


Gardella moved to Fortune Small Business a year ago after working as a contributing editor at Success Magazine. Before Success, Gardella was Managing Editor at Justice, a startup magazine that covered legal affairs. She began her career as a prosecutor in Chicago. She has written for Newsweek,, and Ladies Home Journal.


Fortune Small Business has a 999,500 rate base – the largest among small business focused publications. The magazine’s total audience, including its Web readership, totals 2.46 million.

Readers include owners, partners, and top management at small businesses. About 50% are top managers. They have a median household income of $134,202. 69% of the audience is male; 59% are college graduates.

Editorial Coverage

The magazine covers best practices for small businesses, told from the perspective of a small-business owner or top manager.

How to Pitch: 6 Strategies

Here are six simple strategies from Gardella to help get your company into Fortune Small Business.

Strategy #1. Pitch a best practice that has worked for your company

Discover the kind of best practices that FSB writes about by reading the past six issues. Be willing to share statistics, such as number of employees and revenue.

Strategy #2. If you don’t work for a small business, don’t pitch

FSB covers companies with one to 100 employees that have $1 million to $100 million in annual revenue. Don’t pitch them if your company doesn’t fit within those parameters.

Strategy #3. Keep lead time in mind

The staff works on an issue three months in advance. They are working on the February issue this month, for example, since it closes in December. Keep their publishing schedule in mind when pitching timely topics.

Strategy #4. Don’t pitch an expert

Pitching an expert is the number-one mistake PR professionals make when contacting the magazine, says Gardella. Don’t offer the wisdom of a consultant because it hints at selling something.

Strategy #5. Pitch to the sections

The story you pitch might not be compelling enough for a feature in the magazine, but it might work for one of the sections. Put the name of the section you’re pitching to in the subject line, Gardella says.

Sections to pitch:

-‘Off Hours’ is a section for inspiring stories from small nonprofits and small businesses catering to the travel and tourism industry.

-‘Owner’s Manual’ is a section the magazine could use more pitches for. It is intended for small business owners and managers to discuss past mistakes and their resolutions. One small business owner featured in the section invented a kitchen utensil she sold to Walmart. She thought Walmart was the only client she needed to be successful, but she was wrong. The woman learned that she must take an active role in her company, says Gardella.

-‘Makeover’ is a section dedicated to small businesses that need help. Small businesses can pitch the problem they are dealing with. FSB finds three experts to give suggestions for fixing what’s wrong. The magazine gets plenty of pitches for this section, says Gardella.

Strategy #6. Don’t call -- ever

Gardella says she never takes unsolicited calls from PR professionals.

See Also:

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