Media relations pros’ best friend.

We temporarily interrupt the regular social media-tilted programming on this blog to discuss old-fashioned media relations.

I would like to introduce you to a media relations pros' best friend:  The Bookstore.

Most specifically, the magazine stands.

You remember magazines don't you.   Our old friend Sarah Marchetti (@sarahmarchetti) of Ogilvy's digital practice in D.C. chided me this week on Twitter by tweeting, "What are magazines? Are they like paper versions of blogs?

Okay maybe I'm showing my age, but we all still have clients or bosses that would give us a kiss on the lips for a major mention or quote in a national magazine.  And while you can use online media databases all day and night (apologies to my friends at Cision, Vocus, My MediaInfo and others), nothing, I MEAN NOTHING, replaces spending a few hours leafing through the racks and seeing who is writing or editing what for which section.

Some of you might say, "well I can find that out by reading the online edition."

It's really not the same and we all know it.

So I challenge all the media relations pros out there the next time they get a new assignment or a big client to break away from their computers and ride, run, do not walk to the closest Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. and spend a few hours leafing through those bound stacks of paper.  Get your finger prints on them.  Bring a pad and paper and write down names and articles.

My bet is you may be surprised at what you find and that all of those names may not show up in your database.

My second bet is that your media relations efforts will be more successful.

I'd love to hear back from those who try this.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Jon Newman

In 2002 Jon cofounded The Hodges Partnership and has helped to grow it into one of the country’s largest public relations firms (based on O’Dwyer’s annual rankings). Jon has taught communications as an adjunct professor at VCU, speaks regularly at conferences and meetings and blogs and tweets about public relations and marketing issues.

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