What topics do print editors want? We hear this question almost daily from PR firms and businesses small and large. And it’s a question we love to hear, because that means our clients are being proactive so they can position their story for the best print pickup possible.
While there isn’t a crystal clear answer to this question, there are a few things that help a mat release get noticed. If you want to score some placements in top 100 newspapers and get a clip report overflowing with results, consider some of these gold-standard topics and trends.
Editors tend to gravitate toward home improvement articles. Not only do these subjects change seasonally so there’s always something timely to print, it’s an easy way for them to create a special section for readers and advertisers. Think affordable home updates, remodeling advice, lawn and garden insight, and décor tips. The trend of downsizing is also a hot topic in the home improvement category right now.
Times are still rocky in the real estate world, and many publications want to give expert advice to their readers, even if they don’t have one on staff. Mat releases focused on real estate angles can receive a lot of attention. Put yourself in a reader’s mindset: From a seller’s perspective, it’s hard to sell a home in a buyers’ market – do you have insight to give? From a buyer’s perspective – how do you know which type of house to buy and should you consider short sales and foreclosures?
With unemployment rates still high, editors are looking for free editorial content that can make a difference in their readers’ lives. Tips for creating a killer resume as well as advice for nailing an interview are two topics that have potential to take advantage of this trend. Articles that focus on education and career changes, especially if they cite growth statistics, are also good and may pique an editor’s interest.
As more baby boomers enter retirement, more editors want specialized topics for this large segment of the population. Angles about healthy aging, financial planning, traveling, personal safety and retirement that are geared toward this key demographic can get a lot of accesses. You might also consider writing for a slightly older demographic with topics like senior home safety and caring for elderly family members.
No matter what topic you decide to write about, keep in mind that how-to, tips and expert insight are all styles that editors like to print. You might also brainstorm angles with a seasonal slant, but remember that print editors often work several weeks ahead. For example, our first holiday supplement launches Oct. 10 and we’re already writing plenty of holiday articles. If you have a holiday mat release, we’d love to get it started now!