Pitch This

Pitch This: Sift, the Magazine from King Arthur Flour

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Since 2015, the flour company, King Arthur Flour which is based in Vermont, has been producing a magazine called Sift and selling it from the shelves of grocery stores, book stores and shopping clubs including Sams, Walmart, Giant Eagle, Meyers, Stop-n-Shop, and many others. The magazine is published in a velvet finish with thick pages - quite a luxury read - and features 75 recipes produced mainly by its food editor (who is also a chef), Susan Reid, and feature stories usually produced by its Managing Editor, Posie Brien.

Sift is only sold in stores and is not available for subscription. Specialty magazines like this are on the rise, and it’s triggering our impulse to collect.

Print Magazines Continue To Publish In Niche Genres

When traditional magazines from publishers like Conde Naste and Meredith are announcing the ceasing of print publications, what are new niche magazines like Sift thinking? Here’s what they know: the power of paper, branding, reach, and the reading experience.

Has the magazine been successful for King Arthur Flour? We interviewed Sift Magazine’s Food Editor, Susan Reid to find out: “King Arthur Flour has been around since George Washington was president, but has only recently (last 25 years) become a national brand. Sift is one of the ways we’re trying to build awareness in areas that may not know about us. Yes, we’d call it a success.”

Setting King Arthur apart is also their status as a Certified B Corporation. According to bcrporation.net: “Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”

People do pitch the magazine, but 80% of the pitches are off-base and not a fit. In order to pitch Sift, the idea needs to be about flour, King Arthur Flour, and fit within the high quality standards of a B Corporation.

Opportunities For Other Brands Being Featured In Sift Magazine

While the chance for being featured in Sift is small, the feature would carry that much more weight, since one respected brand is recommending another in their publication.

Susan gave us some insight into what they look to feature in the magazine. Before you pitch, remember why Sift was started: to educate bakers of all levels about flour - specifically King Arthur Flour.

There are other people and products outside of King Arthur Flour’s brand who make it into the pages of Sift, but qualifying is tight. People do pitch the magazine, but according to Susan, 80% of the pitches are off-base and not a fit. In order to pitch Sift, the idea needs to be about flour, King Arthur Flour, and fit within the high quality standards of a B Corporation.

And Now, Our Interview With Susan Reid, Food Editor of Sift:

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Q: I must admit - I never gave second thought to what flour I bought, and didn’t know how to tell the difference between any of them. Until I got Sift Magazine.

A: Flour is the backbone of any baking recipe, and it can vary much more than people are aware of. That’s one of the reasons we’ve redesigned our flour bags to feature each flour’s protein content, and launched the flour IQ campaign, because you are not alone!

Flour is very frequently taken for granted, and using a flour that isn’t consistent not only causes problems but creates confusion. Bakers who get sub-optimal results often don’t know that the flour could be an issue.

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Q: Does Sift feature products from other companies in the magazine?

A: It depends. Our focus is on companies we that meet our standards (we’re a registered B corporation) and baker’s needs. We work with American Pans, NordicWare, and lots of cool Vermont producers.

Q: How long do you work on each issue? What is your lead time for an Editorial Calendar?

A: The issues overlap; we just sent Spring 2019 to the printer [as of March 2019]; we are in the middle of booking/executing photography for Fall, and are finalizing content for Holiday and starting to test recipes for that. I’d say each issue, start to finish, is about 6 months. We are about 9 months ahead of our drop dates.

There are 3 issues per year: Spring, Fall, Holiday. The magazine always drops on the last Tuesday of the month they come out. March for Spring, August for Fall, October for Holiday.

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Q: How do you get your leads on people to feature, like artisan bakers or bakeries? Can people pitch you?

A: Many of the bakeries we feature are ones that use/buy a lot of our flour; our Bakery Foodservice division sells as much or more flour as we do in grocery stores.

We do look at pitches, but find that 80% of them haven’t taken the time to understand what our regular features are, what we’ve already published, or considered that our primary function is to encourage and inspire baking that uses our flour.

We keep an eye out for new book titles in the pipeline, and have worked with some authors to pick up some of their content and photography if they’ll also give us 2 exclusive recipes for the magazine.

Recommendations For Bakers + Cafes Pitching Sift

Pitch Sift if you use King Arthur Flour and have a story to tell. You might not need to know what season the magazine is working on at the moment, but you could check for Sift in Tin Shingle’s Editorial Calendar Collection to know if you want to put a Holiday or Spring angle on your pitch. Otherwise, this type of a pitch on a person or cafe will be seasonless, but you’ll want to be sure it includes the use of King Arthur Flour.

Featured in Sift’s 2018 Holiday issue are Jonathan Bethony and Jessica Azeez. Jonathan attended The Bread Lab at Washington State University, of which King Arthur Flour is a supporter with their substantial endowment to the Bread Lab to help it continue for years.

Featured in Sift’s 2018 Holiday issue are Jonathan Bethony and Jessica Azeez. Jonathan attended The Bread Lab at Washington State University, of which King Arthur Flour is a supporter with their substantial endowment to the Bread Lab to help it continue for years.

Gift Guides For Bakers

Most of the products recommended in Sift are from King Arthur Flour, but not all. Some books and products are from outside brands. To qualify for editorial consideration, King Arthur Flour is a Certified B Corporation, which means they need to meet high quality standards for being a good corporate citizen before recommending it. Include why your brand would fit this requirement in your pitch. The products will need to have to do with baking.

Authors and Experts

If you’re an author of an expert, you do have a chance that the editors may want to work with you. If you design recipes, Sift is going to want to use 2 of them, exclusively. Stay on point, and remember, your pitch will have to do with baking.

How To Pitch Sift - Who To Pitch?

Both Susan and Posie are in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library for your to find their social handles, portfolios and other relevant information for pitching them. Posie also writes for her blog at PosieHarwood.com, and has the most incredible food photos and recipes. She has also written for other major food magazines including Tasting Table, Food52, and Bon Appetit.

You would discover both of these editors in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library if you were looking for writers or editors who we have identified with Areas of Interests like Food, Recipes, Baking, Gift Guide, and others.

Join Tin Shingle today for access to our Media Contact Library to find gems like this publication and its editors. Tin Shingle has also added Sift’s publication cycle to our Editorial Calendar Collection, so that you can always know where the editors’ are in their headspace, should you want to pitch the magazine with a seasonal angle. For instance, it’s great to know that in March, the editors are already working on their Holiday recipes and recommendations. Tin Shingle’s Editorial Calendar collection will keep you in tune with timely insight like this.

Butter! Celebrated In Sift Magazine

I love butter.

My Instagram friends know this. So imagine my delight when I found this book just about butter and “why butter is the reigning champion in our kitchens.” By Dorie Greenspan!

Found while researching King Arthur Flour’s Sift Magazine for our small businesses, artists and maker members at Tin Shingle.

There are features of bakers, authors and products in this magazine. In addition to the oodles of recipe from chef and writer Susan Reid. What a combo - to be a chef and a writer. King Arthur has an entire catalogue of products - which I did not realize - and those are featured in the magazine, as well as treasures from others.

Maybe this could be you. Researching writers now to include them in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library.

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2019 Editorial Calendar for WSJ. The Magazine Now Available at Tin Shingle

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The Wall Street Journal Magazine’s editorial calendar has been added to Tin Shingle’s Editorial Calendar database, which makes discovering article ideas easier for you!

As the world’s leading luxury magazine covering art, entertainment, fashion, travel, design and more, there is ample opportunity for pitching your unique brand to the magazine of WSJ. Recent articles at the publication include:

Jazz Musician Kamasi Washington’s Favorite Things

Ghetto Gastro Opens Labyrinth 1.1, Their New HQ in the Bronx

The 16 Best Denim Looks for Him and Her

What’s On Deck for 2019 WSJ. Magazine Issues

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This year’s themes at WSJ. include a hotly anticipated Spring Fashion series, with one issue dedicated towards women’s fashion and another focused on men’s styles. What or who will you be wearing this season? Or will they be wearing you? They just might!

Their summer issue will focus on seasonal destinations, escapes and activities. Who can resist a relaxing getaway, a well deserved respite from the bitterness of winter. Also, an entire issue is being dedicated to the INNOVATORS of our time.

Be inspired and find your creative launchpad with the WSJ. editorial calendar, available in Tin Shingle’s PR Center with an All Access Pass of Membership (Level 4). Find every deadline, every theme and anything else you need to know to make your pitch a successful one.

Additionally, Tin Shingle’s community is available to you to bounce ideas off of. Everyone needs support when getting ideas out there. All Access Pass Members get free group-consulting sessions every other Wednesday during our Private Training TuneUp sessions.

Media Contact Added: Digiconomist

Figuring out Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is hard.

Alex de Vries is paving the way in reporting about Bitcoin and discovering important things to know about it, as we discovered in a recent article in Wired about the actual environmental impact of Bitcoin, despite Bitcoin’s digital state of not being physical. Turns out, Bitcoin has a pretty large polluting footprint!

After digging into one of the experts quoted in the Wired article, Alex de Vries, we are recommending his blog, Digiconomist, as a great one if you have something to discuss as it relates to cryptocurrency.

Alex even keeps an Obituaries of Ethereum, documenting the number of times it has died.

Tin Shingle Members will now find Alex and Digiconomist, in Tin Shingle’s list of Media Contacts, which is organized by area of interest. If you were looking for writers or bloggers who specialize in cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, accounting, and a few other topics, you will find Digiconomist in our database.

About Digiconomist

From the Digiconomist website:

Digiconomist is a platform that provides in-depth analysis, opinions and discussions with regard to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, run on a voluntary, best effort basis. The goal of Digiconomist is to cover any relevant financial, economic or regulatory cryptocurrency-related topic. The reason for this is that Digiconomist believes that anyone involved with cryptocurrencies should have some basic financial/economic knowledge, in order to understand and mitigate the risks that could otherwise result in serious losses. Digiconomist is built to assist with acquiring this knowledge. This is intended to contribute to raising the overall quality of the cryptocurrency environment.

About The Founder of Digiconomist, Alex de Vries

Digiconomist was created at the start of 2014 by Alex de Vries (born 1989) as a hobby project. With a background in financial economics, many years of experience in data and risk analysis at some of the leading institutions in banking and accounting, and a special interest for emerging technologies, the idea was to explore new perspectives in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and beyond. To date this remains at the heart of what Digiconomist stands for.

Pitch This: The WHAT :: Added To Tin Shingle's Media Resources

Photo Credit: Screenshot of  The WHAT  website.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of The WHAT website.

Just added to Tin Shingle’s Media Contacts Database, The WHAT. This e-newsletter has been on my radar for a while, as I’ve subscribed to it since 2016, according to my Gmail filter, and then it disappeared! I always enjoyed the emails, as they had deeply sincere recommendations. As you’ll see after you subscribe, there is no pay for play in their editorial. Thank gosh they reappeared again in my email.

Proof of The WHAT from inside my inbox…Get a feel for their content.

Proof of The WHAT from inside my inbox…Get a feel for their content.

Described as “A clever list for curious people. Lovingly created by two BFFs on a mission to spark intellect and whet appetites.” You can read all about what The WHAT is on their official About Us page. But don’t let their cozy BFF lingo fool you - these two are powerhouses!

The Benefit Of The WHAT - It’s A Newsletter

The co-founders - Gina Pell and Amy Parker - are entrepreneurs. And they love the Internet 1.0, which is when people connected, and newsletters were heavy (they still are…it’s just not talked about in digital marketing as much at moment…but I predict a shift back to newsletters…which I think is already underway). Remember DailyCandy? You probably had - or have - other favorite newsletters that you live by. The WHAT is like that. And they have a Summit.

Having been involved in several ventures, one of them their own successful website, Splendora, was a huge success and was purchased by Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, a former Google president and former Polyvore CEO. According to this article at SF Gate: Splendora was an online style and culture website that provided women with high style purchasing recommendations, as well as produced city guides, blogged, had its own social network, and even developed an iPhone app early on. But that was then…

Pitching The WHAT

Back to The WHAT, because that’s what matters now. We’re talking very special, personal, recommendations. This will be quite a pitch you make. Subscribe to their newsletter for sure, and read the emails you’ll receive. Get to know their style. What makes them happy? What makes them feel useful to their readers? What books do they value?

Their editorial style is very buddy buddy BFF. It will be easy to feel like you are their BFF, and spill your guts to them. So be sure that you are very clear in what you are telling them about. Make no assumptions that they will click on anything to learn more, and they don’t need to hear your life story. They need to know why your thing is a must-know-about and should be in their list of 5 special things they recommend on Wednesdays. Their recommendations are only about 2 sentances long. Be punchy, up beat, authentic, and go for it!

“I Can’t Help It! I’m Spilling My Guts To Them!”

I know. I do this too. How do you control yourself from writing too much in your email pitch? Don’t worry - Tin Shingle has a forum for that called The Pitch Whisperer. Yeah that’s right - we have a forum, and it’s so Internet 1.0. It’s a place where you can go to connect with other like-minded Tin Shingle Members and copy/paste your email pitch, and we’ll give you feedback. It’s group-editing. We do have a private FB group, but this is for people who 1. prefer to not be at FB all the time, 2. need longer form writing and 3. can easily find what they conversed about last year. The Pitch Whisperer forum is part of our Community package of membership, so it’s real entry level.

Contact Information

You can get their contact information and recommended way to contact here, but you can also get it from within Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Database if you are a All Access Member of Tin Shingle, where you can get other ideas like this one when searching for the best, most perfect fits of media outlets who may want to tell their readers about how you are making the world a better place. Like, what if you didn’t know about The WHAT in the first place? If you were searching in our database for “Women’s Interest” or “Books” or “Wellness” or a few other areas of interest, you’d discover it.