Pitching to Magazines Elizabeth Quinn Flat 53 Charter House Canute Road Southampton SO14 3FZ Theresa Caney Hearst Magazines UK 33 Broadwick Street London W1S 9EP
Dear Miss. Caney, I am writing to pitch my feature â€˜The Rise of the Flexisexualâ€™ for use within Company online. The feature looks at the increase in young couples and individuals that are experimenting with their sex lives through swinging. I have incorporated first hand and expert interviews that explain more about the process and give readers an insight into the pros and cons of experimenting with their sex lives. I use relevant statistics relating to young peoples sexuality and the popularity of swinging websites to support my integral theme. A key indication of this lifestyle choice can be found online. The swingers website www.swingingheaven.co.uk claims to have 1,493,865 active accounts, while around 90,000 people visit the website www.fabswingers.co.uk on a daily basis. With regards to the flexisexual reference made in the article, research has shown that 2.7% of all 16-24 year olds in the UK identify as being bisexual. This is a high percentage of people interested in this lifestyle choice, and it would therefore prove to be popular and also create reader discussion. The first hand interviews conducted particularly suit the Company target reader. All interviewees are a suitable demographic to the target audience, allowing readers to relate it to themselves. Interviewing both a young couple and a single woman prevents any reader alienation, allowing for broader comparisons. The opinions of Maureen Williams, a sex therapist registered with the College of Sex and Relationship Therapists (COSRT), give an authoritative voice within the feature. This also ensures that there is an educated and credible opinion, rather than the readers relying solely on the interviewees personal experiences.
The online article fits well with your Sex & Advice section. Your ‘We Heart Tuesdays…’ features address similar topics to this proposed feature, including other relationship controversies such as public displays of affection and couples tattoos. This shows that this type of feature is something the Company reader responds to. Research into the topic of swinging shows it is something that many people are highly opinionated on, and so utilising a comments box at the end of the article would be an excellent way to get readers opinions involved. This would develop the article further and provoke continued discussions. Also, the use of Yes/No answer polls in the sidebars of the article would also be a good way to build some number-led statistics around the issue. For example, ‘Would you be interested in getting involved with swinging?’ or ‘Do you think swinging will harm a relationship?’ To enable the magazine to build upon this interaction and increase it further, a social media strategy would become a useful tool. Current methods used for communication within online content on Company include placing a comments box at the bottom of the article that links to the readers Facebook. This is an excellent way to interconnect these two methods of interaction – direct response to the article and creating links to social networking. The comments feature would also link to my personal Facebook page, allowing readers to interact with the author of the feature and creating the opportunity for them to ask questions or debate points. The online feature would have its own hash tag, such as #riseoftheflexisexual, and when readers tweet comments about the feature they would appear in a live tweet scroll running alongside the article. Promotion on the official Company twitter and Facebook pages would increase the traffic the online feature receives. Search engine optimisation would also prove to be a vital tool with regards to attracting traffic to the feature, and therefore attracting more traffic to the Company website as a whole. Search engine optimisation would be increased by identifying key words within the feature, such as ‘sex’, ‘couples’, ‘swinging’, ‘sexuality’, ‘relationships’, and increasing use of these words strategically throughout my introduction, headings, image captions and tags. As with all of the online content on Company, images would have an important role. Within the current Sex & Advice articles, the first image is usually an attention-grabbing photo with a sexual or intimate insinuation. This would also suit the subject matter of the feature perfectly, in keeping with the style of image Company readers respond to. The first image would be something to grab the readers’ attention and, along with the headline, allow them to ascertain exactly what the online feature is about. An artistic posed image of three people in underwear/in bed would fit, and create a cohesive first impression. Moving further into the article, an image of sex therapist Maureen Williams, interviewed within the feature, would accompany her quotes well, as well as images of the first-hand interviewees. This would give readers a visible image to accompany their opinions. I am particularly interested in writing articles that broach somewhat controversial topics whilst maintaining a fun and light-hearted tone. Creating interaction between myself and the reader through my writing is something I really enjoy, and I am always happy to interact with readers as much as possible. I am currently on the second year of a BA (Hons) Writing Fashion and Culture degree, which has helped me develop my writing skills for both print and online.
As a freelance journalist, I have previously written for a range of online and print publications including Out on Campus, Zeal Online and Veloce magazine. My work experience history includes a position working with the features department at Country Living magazine, and I currently intern at Lowie, a designer knitwear brand where I am the editorial assistant â€“ assisting with their PR, Marketing and Social Media presence as well as running their blog. I hope that through this pitch a relationship can be formed between Company magazine and I, and that this will be the first of many opportunities to work together. Yours sincerely, Elizabeth Quinn