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Background: Although Popular Mechanics devotes many of its pages to covering the latest innovations in science and technology, the magazine itself is far from novel. Popular Mechanics has been around since 1902 and, according to deputy editor Jerry Beilinson, not a whole lot has changed in the last 109 years. "It's always been a magazine about science and technology," says Beilinson. "We cover the gamut of the leading edge of science and technology, right down to how technology works in your own life and how to make the most of it."
Surprisingly, all readers of Popular Mechanics are not molecular physicists or IT geeks who flip through the mag while taking a break from solving the world's latest tech conundrum. Beilinson considers Popular Mechanics a general interest publication and, though readership is predominately male, the magazine is geared to anyone who is a "can-do person who's interested in looking beneath the surface to understand how the world works."
"We can cover almost anything, but from our unique perspective," Beilinson adds. "So you'll see national security stories; you'll also see how to fix a leaky faucet, and you'll also see stories on the next mission to Mars. It's a really broad subject matter with a coherent world view."
Needless to say, editors rely on PR professionals to keep them up-to-date on the latest trends in the lightning-quick changes in the world of science and tech. Still, it's important that publicists take the time to read the magazine and be realistic about whether their product or service is a good fit. Says Beilinson, "We get a lot of totally irrelevant pitches, and we get a certain number of highly appropriate ones. We obviously like getting the appropriate ones and dislike the ones that feel like spam."...