Magazine news from Nashville

Magazine news from Nashville: (A reminder: I’m traveling this week and am blogging lightly.) Thanks to the heads up from David Fox of for alerting me to the press release issued today by Nashville-based American Profile Magazine (Oh, wait. They say they are Franklin-based and the press released comes from New York about a Bentonville, Ark-based employee. So, you figure it out). As it is a press release and the linked-to URL will die in a few days, I’ll just post it here.

NEW YORK, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ — “American Profile” has tapped a veteran packaged goods executive in Bentonville, AK, to build marketing and media programs with the magazine specifically geared to advancing suppliers’ sales in Wal-Mart stores. The move is the first of its kind by a major magazine, and follows a course that has become standard for leading consumer products companies.

As director of retail programs for “American Profile,” Priest will work with
Wal-Mart and its suppliers to create brand advertising and direct marketing
programs with measurable impact in the chain’s stores. In addition to the
magazine, which is delivered to 5.7 million households via hometown
newspapers every week, Priest will use Clip ‘n Save, the company’s coupon
program for rural neighborhoods, to design programs that fit the Wal-Mart
promotional schedule.

He knows the territory well. Priest has worked on-site at Wal-Mart as a
senior-level manufacturer sales executive for 13 years, as Wal-Mart national
account manager for Pactiv, the makers of Hefty trash bags, and Wal-Mart
national sales manager for Colgate-Palmolive.

“My new job is about solving the marketing problems I’ve encountered for 13
years,” said Priest. “In particular, Wal-Mart gets new products at the front
end of the distribution cycle, weeks before national advertising breaks.
Pulling people into those stores immediately takes on the feeling of a
crisis for manufacturers, as the up-or-out deadline gets shorter. Now I can
put together media and promotional programs that make an impact on sales in specific stores at specific times.”

For “American Profile,” Priest’s hire is part of a long-term strategy to
become the marketing and media channel for hometown America. The magazine is positioning itself as the gateway to the Wal-Mart world, as readers account for one in six shopping trips to the retailing giant. Since its founding in 2000, “American Profile” has become the fastest-growing magazine in the U.S. in circulation; the publication ranks fifth on the “Advertising Age” top 10 magazine advertising revenue growth list for 2003.
“Wal-Mart is where the action is,” said Dick Porter, CEO of Publishing Group
of America, which publishes “American Profile.”

“Wal-Mart is a make-or-break
relationship for a growing number of major manufacturers, who need their
marketing vehicles to make a measurable difference in store-specific sales.
You need the right medium and the right messenger in Bentonville to create
and sell programs that will accomplish that. Now we have both.”

About American Profile

Franklin, Tennessee-based Publishing Group of America publishes American
Profile, which launched in April 2000. American Profile was named
co-magazine launch of 2000 and was the second largest publishing launch in
U.S. history. It is distributed through more than 1,000 newspapers with a
combined circulation of over 5.7 million. The magazine has five regional
editions featuring the good news about life in America’s hometowns.
Editorial content includes Hometown Heroes, a regional calendar of events,
recipes and national stories about celebrities with hometown ties, health
trends, and entertainment and current issues. Each issue also profiles one
of America’s great hometowns. The company has offices in New York, Los
Angeles, Chicago and Franklin, Tenn.

I have some thoughts on this announcement that I’ll skip until later for two reasons: I’ve got to go back into a meeting session and secondly, the magazine is edited and published in Nashville led by the guy who typcially sits on the pew behind me at church (head-thumping range, in other words), therefore gaining them the rexblog “free pass.”