By Lisa Larranaga
As the LGBTQ community makes strides toward equality and finds stronger public support, regional publishers have tapped the underserved market by providing new offerings tailored specifically to them. Perhaps nowhere has this trend been more prevalent than in the Pacific Northwest.
With the launch of the PQ Monthly in February–which covers LGBTQ news, events, arts and culture in Oregon and Southwest Washington–El Hispanic News publisher Melanie Davis has realized her goal of giving a voice to the unheard.
“The publication was born out of love, and that’s how we continue to move forward,” she said.
Another publisher in the Pacific Northwest, Sagacity Media, recently launched its 28th title, OutCity, which focuses on travel for the LGBT community in and around Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and beyond.
“This is a very well-traveled community and we felt it was underserved in the 35- to 54-year-old demographic,” publisher Rob Scott said. “We felt there was a need to regionalize and promote between the cities and reach out to neighboring states to bring community here for travel.”
In a sea of new content geared toward the LGBT community, OUTtv is the world’s first television network focusing exclusively on television programming for the gay and lesbian audience, said Blue Satittammanoon, director of marketing and communications.
The Canadian station, which prides itself on covering both Toronto and Vancouver as well as small towns and communities across Canada, says the general public’s perception of LGBT equality has changed a lot since the channel launched in 2001.
“We only had a mere 20,000 subscribers,” Satittammanoon said. “Today, we have more than a million subscribers. We have come a long way, and a large number of our audience is straight women.”
“I think our mere existence helps advance the cause,” he continued. “Our dedication and commitment to provide world-class LGBT documentaries and themed programs help educate people and promote acceptance and understanding. We hope gay bullying will one day be something of the past. We will continue to educate future generations of children on the subject.”
At PQ Monthly, Davis said she would like to see more marriage equality for the communities she serves, and more corporations showing a commitment to equality and fairness in the workplace.
The LGBT market is growing and these publishers are listening. Davis said PQ Monthly launched with 20,000 copies and they’ve already added an additional 2,000, and have grown the page count by 16 pages.
OutCity has had tremendous feedback since its launch and is glad to get people out and travelling to the region.
“We give the community a sense of having its own magazine; written by and for the community,” Scott said. “We’re very excited.”
At OUTtv, new changes are coming in the summer and fall. In July, the channel will have a fresh new look as they launch a new brand identity and its first HD broadcast services. In the fall, a brand new website will be launched to ensure the company continues to stay on top of online and mobile technologies.
“We are Canada’s only television and online social media portal that features programming specifically for the gay and lesbian community,” Satittammanoon said. “We listen to our audience; we want to build the network that people want.”
Making the Pitch
All three of the outlets accept pitches and said the main thing to keep in mind is following the golden rule of PR: make sure you know their audience and content and have a place in it.
Melanie Davis, Publisher
Rob Scott, Publisher
Blue Satittammanoon, Director of Marketing and Communications
Photo credit: Guillaume Paumier, via Flickr