How to Get Free Publicity in In-flight Magazines

If you’re targeting an educated, more affluent audience with your message, and your topic is a good fit, in-flight magazines can be one of your best publicity tools.

A quick look at the statistics should convince you:

–Many of these magazines have high circulations.

–Many readers are Frequent Flyers, among the most educated and affluent consumers

–60 percent are men; 40 percent women

–74 percent are in the 25-54 age bracket

–86 percent are college-educated

–56 percent hold management positions

–57 percent have incomes of more than $75,000 a year

Here’s what I learned recently about while updating contact information for the in-flight magazines:

–Contact information for most of the 22 magazines in my database had changed in the last two years.

–In general, circulation at most in-flight magazines has dropped from 2002 to 2004.

–Several of the magazines have changed editors.

–One magazine has been renamed and reformatted.

–The editors’ biggest pet peeve is that too many PR people pitch without knowing anything about the publication. Tom Chapman, editor of “Spirit of Aloha” magazine published by Aloha Air, says he’s overwhelmed with PR requests and materials, “99 percent of which is misdirected and I can’t possibly use.”

–I found six magazines, most of which serve airlines in the United Kingdom and Europe, and I’ve added them to my database. Several of them aren’t even in the major media resource directories.

–Editors are still hungry for business news, food trends, interesting events, tourist attractions and celebrities in cities the airlines serve. So make sure your special event is listed in the events calendar if it’s in a city served by one of these airlines.

–Many editors are still inundated with boring travelogues along the lines of “how I spent my summer vacation.” Don’t even bother sending this stuff.

If you can pitch an idea that’s a perfect fit with a magazine’s content, an in-flight magazine can result in thousands of dollars in free publicity.

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