Knowing how valuable it is to get in O, consider your competition and understand that, like The Oprah Winfrey Show, the standards at the magazine are some of the toughest in the industry. O prides itself in being a publication that values beauty, courage, attention to the finer points of relationships, and people doing amazing things in the world. To get in, here are 3 tips to get into O Magazine.
1. It’s got to be beautiful.
If your product packaging and product itself isn’t an eye-stopper, it’s most likely not going in O. One publicist who has gotten a number of her clients in O told me that she had a client whose product was fabulous, but the packaging didn’t show well so she had no plans to pitch it. Jeanine Boiko of J9 Public Relations, who got her client Bonjour Fleurette in the magazine three times for three different products, has a rule of thumb. “For a product to work in O, ask yourself this: if you walked past your product on the shelf somewhere, would it catch your eye and make you stop? It must have unique, attractive packaging that will photograph well.” Jeanine’s advice, especially to new business owners, is to not play it cheap with packaging. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the draw of your packaging.”
2. It’s got to be meaningful.
If you’re looking to write something for O, Executive Articles Editor Dawn Raffel says the magazine teaches people how live their best life: “It’s about realizing your own greatest potential and also about making a contribution to others.” Whether you want to write about yourself, be written about, or write about someone else, ask yourself two questions: Are you/they making a difference in a big way? Are you/they making a difference in a way that is important to Oprah?
Genevieve Piturro, founder of the Pajama Project, gets a “yes” on both counts. Her charity gives new pjs to abused and poor kids, many whose mothers are in prison. Some of these children never owned any pjs, and certainly not new ones. “They lose their minds when they get pjs. You’d think we were giving them chocolates!” says Jennefer Witter of The Boreland Group who was the publicist responsible for Piturro’s placement in the magazine. Pitturo scores big on two points: She tapped into one of Oprah’s key areas of importance: abused children. And she created a remarkable endeavor that caught a lot of people’s interest given the emotional pull of her story. When you think about children going to sleep at night in a fresh pair of pjs instead of tattered, dirty clothes, it conjures an image of safety and home. Made me want to donate….
3. It’s got to be well-written.
O’s readers expect the content to dig deep into emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being on many levels. O delivers on this expectation by seeking out top authors and freelancers from the best national magazines and newspapers in the country from the New York Times to Wired to write on topics as diverse as women slavery to how men really feel about breast implants to the death of a beloved dog. You can either be interviewed by these experienced writers or write an essay or feature on a topic that touches the heart of the O reader.
To get into O, The Oprah Magazine may take you 1-2 years. But I’ve haven’t met one soul who said it wasn’t worth it. Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” So if getting in O is one of your dreams, keep advancing toward it with all the steadiness of a tulip reaching, reaching toward the sun.
Here are some of the results of people who got into O, The Oprah Magazine. I wish you similar success.
==> “The O feature got us into over 100 retail outlets,” says Denise Loren of http://www.bowwowtv.com, whose company makes DVDs for dogs, which increased her business by 75%. With no money spent on advertising, they made $100,000 in retail/wholesale dollars last year. “The impact for the company once we were in O was that it legitimized us. And that’s important for a one-product company.”
==> Genevieve Piturro who founded the pajama project, a charity to give new pjs to poor kids, went from 5 chapters to 30 and growing. She got 9000 new pjs donated and a donation of $5000.
==> Stephen Shapiro, author of Goal-Free Living: “How to Have the Life You Want NOW!,” says that his article helped springboard him into Entrepreneur, Investors Business Daily, and Family Circle. His speaker bookings increased dramatically, he got listed as one of Tom Peters’ “cool friends” and is in process of shooting a pilot for a TV show.
==> Author of “Yes Lives in the Land of No,” BJ Gallagher says, “I’d been trying to get the attention of this high- powered agent forever. Just last month the top-notch agent signed me to an exclusive contract representing my next book. Did my O article make her more inclined to say ‘yes’ to my book proposal? Undoubtedly.”
==> The volume of Dr. Volgman’s cardiology program at Rush University Medical Association expanded substantially. “O put the program on the map,” says publicist Chris Rush.
NOTE: Getting a solid spot in O Magazine could be a huge windfall for you. It could even mean that you get in the running to be chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. The Favorite Thing team scours the magazine to choose the products to be tested in the competitive selection process. While Oprah’s show off Network TV in it’s current incarnation, the magazine isn’t. There are way more chances to get into the magazine than on the show and it gives you the potential to reach an audience that is devoted, loyal, and that BUYS the things that Oprah says she loves.