The Tin Shingle Blog


2018 Editorial Calendars Uploaded

2018 Print Magazine Editorial Calendars Added

Is the magazine you're looking for not up yet? Email

  • Boys' Life
  • Family Circle
  • Family Fun
  • Girls' Life
  • Traditional Home
  • Veranda
  • More to come!

What Is An Editorial Calendar?

Simply put, it is the general direction or theme the editors plan for each issue of a magazine during the calendar year.

How Do I Use Them?

When you pitch an editor, you will want to be sure your idea corresponds with this theme. You may even ask the editor via email if they are still working on this theme for that month. That is a recommended way of starting a relationship with an editor in their inbox. Also, listen to these TuneUps to refine and strengthen your skills:

Browse all of Tin Shingle's Training TuneUps here. TuneUps are free for level 3 and 4 members of Tin Shingle. All others can purchase their favorites and keep them forever

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Turns 30 - Resonates with This Week's TuneUp - Going Bigger: The Mindset

This month (October) National Domestic Violence Month turns 30, which supports individuals working through domestic issues and raises awareness for those issues. A belief of National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is well supported also by Tin Shingle: Storytelling is a tool for raising awareness & inspiring action. The truth is our personal life spills over, shapes, and changes our business life.

On Wednesday, October 18th Tin Shingle's co-founder, Katie Hellmuth Martin is about to get personal in the next installment of Give Yourself Permission Series.  October is also Emotional Awareness Month and National Bullying Prevention Month, which all affect far too many people and their lives. These issues are threaded through this week's class because let's face it, life in this world can be hard. And putting yourself out there to promote what you sell or do is nerve-wracking.

Thanks to our community of business owners at Tin Shingle, we hear directly from people struggling with this concept. There is a mental block preventing them from doing the promotion. Through some counseling of these business friends in Tin Shingle’s Private Client Program, we have learned it is due to deeply personal reasons that they don’t promote what they sell and put themselves out there, be it for a special class taught by an expert, or even a product sold online. 

Deeply personal conflicts that Katie is going to cover in this TuneUp include: 

  • Living in fear from domestic violence issues and wanting to hide - yet sell what you created
  • Cultural and class conflicts with promoting - the discomfort of standing out in a culturally low-key community
  • Reactions from clients that dictate how you do things - even if the client is wrong
  • Enduring low self-esteem, and pushing through that in order to bring the great thing you created to people who want it
  • Fear of stepping on other’s toes - if competitors are your friends

Tin Shingle's Training TuneUp Going Bigger - The Mindest will provide a healthy dose of motivation to help you continue with your business goals. We will also share proven strategies and antidotes to the challenges many face because of past experiences. Register early to secure your spot live-it's free! Bring your questions and be ready to take notes. We are a community - and we are in this together!

Listen or stream free live Wednesday, October 18, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST from your phone or computer!




No Nerf Guns Anymore #NoNerfGuns

No Nerf Guns Anymore

When my 4 year old son experienced a semi-automatic Nerf gun at his friend's house, he was enamored. It was all he wanted for his birthday. Several YouTube videos later (we do let our kids browse YouTube and several family-based producers of content have Nerf gun wars between father and son and other games), Nerf guns were all he could talk about, and wanted the cross-bow for Christmas. Rather than resist this request, which could create a complex where he craves what he cannot have, we indulged. Now, they are all in the trash (well, recycling), to be melted down and taken out of circulation. Nerf guns are a contribution to the desensitizing of all people about guns, and we are doing our duty to stop it.

Fifteen semi-automatic Nerf gun weapons are in our home, and words in his vocabulary include "magazine," "aimer" and "pistol." After the Las Vegas shooting, when I spotted the double-barrel rifle Nerf gun on the floor, I was creeped out. Normally it's just an object that needs picked up and placed into the appropriate bin to keep the house clean. The next day, the kids' school had a scheduled Lock Down Drill, where the kids are trained to hide in a closet and be quiet when an intruder is in the school. Also that day, an administrator of a local daycare had been to a free terrorist training session put on by local police officers, who encouraged teachers to look for ways to escape from the building, as well as how to buy time by distracting the gunman in the school. The mock-shooter during this drill used a Nerf gun, and shot real Nerf bullets at the teachers. That's how they knew if their strategy of hiding under a desk or passing in front of a door with a window worked or not.

The Nerf Brand is a Happy Childhood Memory, and Disguises the Seriousness of Children with Semi-Automatic Weapons

Because it was Nerf, I went along with these toys. There are other guns developed by other brands, and they all do the same thing. There's even a "toy" gun to shoot Orbees, which are a fun mystery pellet that can be used in flower arrangements, fake spa baths for kids, and as bullets. They are basically little rubber bouncy balls, so they'd really hurt if they hit you. This gun was purchased at our local, independently owned toy store.

If pro-gun advocates want to deflect the blame from guns, and put it on people, saying that video games and other things are the culprit, then video game and toy gun producers are going to feel the pinch. They won't be happy about it, and both the NRA and businesses who produce these things will deflect blame. The impact guns have on society comes down to us - the consumers - and what we buy.

What Happens When Nerf Nazis Invade Us?

When I posted this photo on Facebook, a white male friend asked:

"But what do we do when the nerf nazi's invade?"

My response to him:
"What we do is support those people who have volunteered to protect us and have been taught about guns, to fight the nerf nazi invaders. Not as a thing as a normal toy that makes pretend shooting those around you a normal part of behavior or reaction. You feel safe with people who have guns who have been trained in them. Not hoard then."

Boys and Guns - It's a Thing. No Guns Ever?

There is talk among mothers of boys and girls that mothers of boys need to pay attention to how the boys play, and if they encourage gun use. I have a boy and a girl, and I have seen them naturally gravitate towards their own interests in a stereotypical way. My girl likes baking, art, and running. She is not drawn to balls or guns. My son likes baking, balls, guns and only recently, drawing numbers on paper.

Another friend in Facebook is a teacher in a city with a high crime rate, and says her boy students make guns out of Playdough knives, and attributes it to their living conditions and exposure to real guns. She teaches them what to do if they encounter a real gun. My son is not exposed to such things, but also makes guns out of any object, including sticks, old Lego builds that can be a ship or gun, or his finger.

From my experience, my boy is naturally drawn to guns, and it's my job as a parent to keep an open dialogue about guns with him. We have begun talking to our kids about the Las Vegas shootings, and about what to do in lock downs (try to escape or hide, depending on the situation).

Children having semi-automatic weapons in their hands, sold in the Toy Section of every toy store, is not appropriate, and is desensitizing.

Join me in the real #NoNerfGun movement by talking to your kids about the seriousness of these toy guns, and why it's not OK to have them, despite the confusing message about them being in the Toy Section, which makes them OK and legitimizes them in the minds of children.

NYLON Shutters, Closes Print Edition, Moves to Digital

NYLON's latest move is a big one. They announced in early September the brand would be changing platforms to digital only.  The October 2017 issue is their farewell to print following with its staff being dissolved. Chairman of Nylon Media, Mark Luzzatto, gave this announcement published on, "As a result of the restructure, there will be about one dozen layoffs effective immediately. We would like to thank those employees for their dedication in keeping Nylon continuously ahead of the curve. As platforms emerge and change, our voice, content and brand keep getting stronger, as do our array of marketing solutions.”

NYLON and its staff are not new to shake-ups, especially within the last couple years. In 2014 NYLON merged suddenly with Fashion followed by NYLON Guys print mag shuttering after the March/April 2015 Edition to “concentrate on the growth and expansion of the Nylon brand across all platforms – digital, e-commerce, video, influencers, print and social.”

Founded in 1999, the publication's move to digital is not surprising as trends show many others evolving as well. (Hello Self and Village Voice) The new digital publication will offer linkable stories (to shop the brands featured) and still include a "page turning" feel. In my opinion, still very different from paper but who can turn down the tips from this articles like this one on how to wear your pajamas to work?!

Moment of Silence for 9/11 in 2017

Our moment of quiet came today at 4:47pm here at Tin Shingle, when reflective thoughts could come in, allowing for a moment of silence today for 9/11 victims, their families, first responders, and those who helped. And then pictures and news of Irma flooding in Charleston happened - during Florida , after Texas, and so many others, and it became overwhelming. So many victims in the past, and so many victims being created right now - today.

We are never safe. We must always cherish what we have. We must always fight for the beautiful United States of America. If we didn't feel the depth of its beauty before, we are being tried and tested now, tested to do without the beauty, the nature, the freedom, the confidence to live without judgement or insult no matter how it arrives - in person or digitally.

Please continue fighting, loving, living. Trust what you know is right, and speak for it. From a business perspective, if you need to step away to feel these thoughts or to stay safe, do it. Take time to reflect and do what you need to do.

Thank you to first responders, and to people who protect us in stealth mode. xo

Tin Shingle's Co-Founder, Sabina Hitchen Is At It Again, Hosting Another Segment on Good Morning Washington

Sabina Hitchen as On Air Expert sharing travel tips and road trip must haves from small business and entrepreneurs with Larry Smith on Good Morning Washington

Many of you know long time friend and co-founder of Tin Shingle, Sabina Hitchen, who started a new adventure in 2016 with her website Sabina Knows (, featuring her online course Press For Success. Since then Sabina has founded and curated her own TV "Table Top" Segment to feature impressive Small Biz products you just can't miss. 

Sabina Aires On Good Day Washington With Small Business Travel Products 

As an on-air expert sourced by different morning shows Sabina showcases innovative products from entrepreneurs in different themed #SmallBizBigIdea segments. Thursday, August 24th she got herself down to DC for the taping of her new segment, Must-have Road Trip Essentials including the  Wrap-a-Nap pillow and Nonda Smart Car Charger. Check out the whole segment, with travel tips on Good Morning Washington's website.

Where Else Has She Been?

Sabina has also hosted other themed #SmallBizBigIdea segments on the morning show, Great Day Washington featuring some of our own Tin Shingle members such as Upgrade Your Picnic With Small Business Products and Glam Summer Accessories. You can also watch Sabina dish out other snazzy entrepreneur product finds on The Daily Glow

Where Can She Take You?

As one of Tin Shingle's PR insiders, Sabina sends over the new juicy details for upcoming segments she is curating. That is when we make it our mission to get the themes, contact details and more over to you - so you (or your brand) can be on TV with her too!

Never miss any of Tin Shingle's #PRSpecialOpps (or other amazing #SmallBizGoodness with PR tips, motivation & more) by joining our newsletter signup and reading Tin Shingle's blog regularly.  

All leads are posted and updated in Tin Shingle's PR Center for Level 3 and Level 4 Membership. Upgrade now to see the places you will go! 

#PRSpecial Opps TV Segment Looking For Party Products

Tin Shingle's insiders obtain juicy leads and opportunities from the media and influential outlets. When they come along it is our mission to tell you about it ASAP. Here is the latest opportunity.

Tin Shingle is not affiliated with any lead unless otherwise specified.  Leads we get are for pure editorial (PR aka free), and if require a fee, that fee is noted.

If you are  PR Pro, Writer, Editor, or Producer who wants to share your leads with Tin Shingle's membership base, please email

Special PR Lead Opportunity

On Air Expert Seeking Party Products for National TV Morning News ShowOn Air "Table Top" Expert Seeking Themed Products for Morning News Show Segment

We have to keep most of the juicy details private - and available to Tin Shingle Members Only at Level 3 and 4, but here’s what we can share with you in case you wanted to upgrade or log in to get the full details!




  • Decor
  • Party Favors
  • Customizable Snacks/Gifts
  • & More

All details available in Tin Shingle's PR Center.

Contact Info: Available to Level 3 or 4 Tin Shingle Members (upgrade now if you haven't already. Membership is monthly, so is commitment free. Try it!)


Media Contact Details and Pitching Tips


#MotivationMinute: Just Let It Go

Motivation Monday: Business Tips to Let Go of Undue Anxieties, Failed Partnerships, Over Thinking, Expectations Postponed.

If you listen or watch Tin Shingle's free live Training TuneUps (every Wednesday at Noon EST) you are very familiar with our "Motivation Minute" which inspires, encourages, and motivates all to keep reaching out, slaying all their goals, whether personal or business.

Tin Shingle's Most Recent "Motivation Minute" Inspired By An (Often) Reminder, Just Let It Go.

I promise not to break into song from Disney's Frozen (but in my head that is my theme song). The truth is life, and especially business journeys can be related to an amusement park ride- the ups and downs, excitement and dread of what will happen or does happen next. It is inevitable that there will be some regrets, maybe many expectations postponed, one or two failed partnerships, and if you're anything like me, a whole lot of over thinking.

You just need to LET IT GO!

Resentment, guilt, and holding on to undue anxieties have been often compared to drinking small amounts of poison. We may not necessarily notice the effect at first, but, it is definitely there, and will only continue to hurt yourself, your goals, and possibly your passions. No one wants that! 

How to Let It Go:

I know you are probably saying, yeah easier said than done. Did I tell you I am the queen of over thinking? Here are a few tips (and reminders for myself) to move on, start fresh, and let it all go.

  • Take a deep breath or many! Sounds simple but, it really can help. 
  • Remember your priorities. Sometimes we focus on something that in reality is actually very small. Which brings us too...
  • Maintain perspective. Look at the big picture. Make small goals to reach larger goals. And no matter what don't give up...get up!
  • Don't compare your "behind the scenes" with everyone else's "highlight reel". Yes, that is a Pinterest quote, but it is true. Focusing on where others are and you are not will get you nowhere! 

You can't drive a car while only looking in the rear view mirror. So learn from your mistakes, recognize your priorities, and keep perspective. All of us here at Tin Shingle have confidence that you can and will rock every last challenge and goal!

(If you are not tuning in on Wednesday's, you really should be! You can watch at your computer or listen on the go for PR and entrepreneurial tips, advice, strategies and more. We take live questions during the call as well for you to maximize what you learn. All classes are recorded and available for Level 4 All Access Pass Members of Tin Shingle to stream free 24/7 or are available for everyone else to purchase their favorites and keep forever.)


PR Special Opp: National Magazine for Girls Seeking Product Ideas

Tin Shingle's PR Center Special Opportunity and PR leads

Tin Shingle's insiders obtain juicy leads and opportunities from the media and influential outlets. When they come along it is our mission to tell you about it ASAP. Here is the latest opportunity.

Tin Shingle is not affiliated with any lead unless otherwise specified.
Leads we get are for pure editorial (PR aka free), and if require a fee, that fee is noted.

If you are  PR Pro, Writer, Editor, or Producer who wants to share your leads with Tin Shingle's membership base, please email

PR Leads

National Girls Magazine Seeking Products

National  Magazine For Girls Seeking Products For Feature in Upcoming Issue


  • Games
  • Gift Bags
  • Snacks
  • Boredom Busters
  • Activities
  • Outdoor Gear
  • First Aid Kits/Products

All details available in Tin Shingle's PR Center.

Contact Info: Available to Level 3 and 4 of Tin Shingle Members (upgrade now if you haven't already)


Media Contact for PR LEAD Click here

Upgrade Membership here

How To Avoid Getting The Dreaded, Anti-PR Answer: "Buy An Ad!" When Pitching the Press

You know the song and dance - you pitch the press about your business, and they respond with: "Sure, we can publish that - when you place an ad." And they may CC their marketing person or provide you with their email address. As a digital marketing producer, I've heard this complaint from clients when I encourage them to pitch the media with their anniversary celebration, or any other reason that they should try for pure editorial.

Now as a publisher of a local online newspaper/blog, A Little Beacon Blog, I get several pitches from businesses and organizations. Some of these pitches get turned into pure editorial, and some do not, but could get published if they were via our advertising channel. So what gives? How am I suddenly being part of the dreaded answer that my business friends and clients complain about?

It's All In The Pitch

It came down to this problem: the simple-ask pitch.

Businesses who emailed in a simple ask: "Can you feature my business?" were not compelling enough to stop everything to write an article about. When we write an article, we put resources into it. We pay a writer (or it's me and I don't pay myself) for content and photos. We pay our own production editor to socialize the story on all three channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We usually produce a newsletter around the article, or at least feature it in a related newsletter.

I'm all for encouraging businesses to go for it, and ask for what you need, but this kind of simple ask won't get you what you want - the PR feature. I took a step back to review the pitching situation, and it hit me: my knee-jerk reaction was all about the pitch. And I'd put money on a bet that other writers and editors have the same reaction. See our TuneUp with GQ writer Sarah Crow, who also agrees with this and experiences it a lot from businesses pitching her.  How the pitch was worded led me to either be hooked on the story, and turn it into a must-publish article, or it gave me the reaction of "Well, buy an ad, and sure, we'll produce an article." But what was the difference?

Hey - Feature Me!

Businesses that reached out and said these words did not get a feature: "Would really love you to write about my business."

This angle has come in via email, Instagram comment and Facebook page message. This pitch will rarely work and here's why: We have compelling articles already in the schedule that have juicy and timely hooks to them. Either they are being talked about by people in the community, or it's about a big event that everyone is anticipating, or it's about an event or a piece of news that is so cool but nobody knows about it yet.

The only people we stop the presses for - as in stop writing pure editorial just to plug a business - are advertisers. Advertisers are part of what keep a publication alive, so having them is important. Anniversary stories are a no-brainer to throw an advertiser a bone and write about their anniversary. There are (hopefully) so many businesses celebrating anniversaries, that a publication can't possibly write about them all. So if you're not an advertiser and you want to feature an anniversary, you would need to email a reporter or editor and state reasons why your first year or five years or twenty-five years are so important. What happened in them? Did you almost go out of business XYZ years/months ago and made a comeback? Do you employ a large amount of people in the area? Did you create special employee incentives that make your business a trend-setter (Paid Family Leave is being talked about right now...what can you talk about to this trend?) And you'd pitch it in with bullet points.

"Feature Me!" Needs Juicy Details

At the end of the day, you're really saying to reporters: "Hey! Feature my business! We are really terrific!" But because space is tight and not all of the great stories of the world will fit, you need to identify why your story would be a great one right now. It must rise above the competition for the other articles that are being written that are really juicy and that the publication's readers will love and share on social media or through word of mouth.

Here's an example of a pitch that did not work, and how it could work better:

Pitch Example #1 That Did Not Work:

"Hey, our business has been here for 20 years and we just bought land and are expanding. Would love if you wrote about us."

This pitch failed because it requires homework on my part. It's from a business I don't know, and was pitched via Instagram comment. First of all, Instagram comments get lost real quick. Second of all it's impressive that the business has been around for 20 years and that they made an investment. But I need more in my inbox without needing to do homework. Not pages of content, but I need:

What people can do on the land. Why did you expand on it?

Something unusual that people do with your business. Why are you successful?

Pictures of your current location (triggers familiarity) and pictures of the land.

Anything noteworthy about the business owner, like if the owner or business has been featured on national TV shows. As a local publication, the other local publications are competition, so mentioning them probably would not be compelling. And vice versa for national. If you were on Good Morning America, you don't need to mention you were on the Today Show just last month.

Pitch Example #2 That Did Not Work:

"We are fans of your blog and were wondering if we could either have a small article about us featured or a social media mention?"

This pitch was from an exercise studio. This writer made a good move of at least indicating that they read the blog. But to flat out ask for an article or social media mention means that you are asking us to do work for you. And if we are going to do work for someone, that someone is going to be someone who is paying us. Otherwise, we work for free for our readers. We work very hard to give our readers articles and ideas that they will love. That concept even translates into how we produce advertisements. We want our readers to be interested in what is being advertised, as that is a win-win for everyone.

Meanwhile, we were working on an article about another fitness studio that was going through a major change, and bringing in new business partners and offerings. This business did not even pitch us to try for an article. The reason the business will get featured is because they have been around for a number of years and are well known in the community. To make a major change triggers newsworthiness.

Newsworthiness and Timeliness

Therein lies the secret to a pitch: what makes it newsworthy. This may be hard to identify if you are doing your own PR pitching, since everything you do is newsworthy, right? Keep your ears open to what impresses others about your business, and pick one of those reactions and turn it into a pitch.

Even for our own advertisers who buy branded content articles from us, we pitch them newsworthy ideas and we write the article for them. We have to make sure it appeals to our readers. However, 95% of our articles are pure editorial - not from advertisers - and those that are, blend in rather seamlessly with the content. But you can tell that with so many articles being written, competition is thick for what gets chosen. Often, it comes down to what is relevant right now this instant, aka timely. Why now? What would people care about the story right now? Is it about an event that is coming up? Or an issue being discussed?

Pitching the media and not getting picked up doesn't harm your business at all. If anything, it simply informs reporters and editors who gradually may become more familiar with your business simply through your email pitches, even if they don't respond to you. One day, one hook, one pitch may be just the hook they were looking for - and they didn't even know they were looking for it. It just hooked them.

So keep pitching. No matter what.



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