Your essential guide to marketing regional publications

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Regional or local publications have become more prevalent, due to the decreasing cost of entry into the magazine business as well as the multiple options of free distribution available. In a marketplace flooded by these publications, circulators need to market smartly to make their products and offers stand out. Marketing regional publications successfully takes a unique approach, different from marketing to more broad-based titles.

To stand out against your competition, first, get personal. Utilize local personalization in your marketing efforts. Make sure to highlight that you're targeting specific residents with offers like “Preferred Chicago resident voucher” or “Special offer for Baltimore residents.” Promoting your local special issues also makes your publication special in the eyes of consumers. They find value in special issues that help them in their daily lives, such as “Best Long Island South Shore doctors,” or “Best shopping in Los Angeles.”

Premiums are also a great way to stand out, but make sure you offer premiums that are editorially based and location-specific, like “Philadelphia's restaurant guide,” or “New York walking and subway guide.”

If localization isn't quite enough, you can go deeper by getting historic. Tie local history into your offer to add a fun, local flair, like “May be New York's best deal since the Yankees got the Bambino,” or “Bigger than the Space Needle.” You can also make your messages more personal by getting neighborhood-specific in talking about the editorial content of the publication. Use local street names in your offer, like “Find the best boutiques on Newberry Street and the best restaurants in Beacon Hill, Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.”

Finally, remember to get promotional. Heavily promote gift subscriptions — it is a great source of revenue for a publisher and a great gift to both give and receive.

To successfully market regional publications, relevant location specific messaging must be used. It engages the prospect and makes them feel a part of the special insights the publication has to offer.


Peter Stein is director of business development at Canterbury Graphics Strategic Market. You may contact Peter at 203-529-4840 or

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