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How To Pitch For PR: People

Give readers something to talk about with a controversial or inspiring pitch

By Saptosa Foster - April 5, 2010
Circulation: 3.7 million
Frequency: Weekly
Special issues: "Half Their Size" (January), "100 Most Beautiful" (May), "Hottest Bachelors" (June), "Best & Worst Dressed" (September), "Sexiest Man Alive" (November), "25 Most Intriguing" (December), and multiple newsstand-only issues.

Background: An award-winning staple of American media, People began as a spinoff of the "People" section of Time magazine. When it debuted in 1974 as People Weekly (with actress Mia Farrow on the cover), managing editor Richard Stolley declared the magazine would focus on those "who are causing the news and who are caught up in it." Today, People is one of the world's most successful magazines, delivering a weekly mix of celebrity stories, exclusive photography and human-interest features to more than 43 million readers.

"For 35 years, People's mission has remained the same: To define celebrity, drive the cultural conversation, inspire action -- and keep our readers entertained and coming back for more," says executive editor Maggie Murphy. "Each week we offer readers a chance to delight in the pop culture landscape, but, along with that escapism, there are opportunities to be inspired by the generosity and grace of everyday Americans. It is a rare and truly special combination."

People is perhaps best known for its special issues -- "Best & Worst Dressed," "World's Most Beautiful," "Sexiest Man Alive" and more -- which have become a newsstand tradition. The mag's heavily-trafficked Web site,, boasts 8.6 million unique visitors and 653 million page views a month, while offering up-to-the-minute headlines, photos, and original content. In recent years, People has released several titles of its own, including People en Español in 1996, Teen People in 1998 (which folded in 2006) and People Stylewatch, a 2002 offshoot of the publication's fashion and beauty "Style Watch" column....

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