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Get featured

How to get your car featured in a top ranking magazine.
by Tony Rabbitte

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Car submissions

Introduction:
To the majority of serious car enthusiasts, having their car featured in a high profile magazine is the ultimate achievement. All your hard work and painstaking hours are immortalised on the printed page forever. It is the pinnacle of recognition of a job well done. It demonstrates in front of your peers that you have made the grade. But there are more benefits to having your car featured in a magazine than most people first realise. Sure, there are the bragging rights, but for those who have the insight to ‘see’ a bit further into the picture, a magazine feature can have the potential to create for you, the first steps towards becoming a known identity in the game.

The benefits of having your car featured in a high profile magazine:
Collectively, if you were to speak to a number of car owners that have had their cars featured in a national magazine they would undoubtedly recite a whole range of benefits in having done it. Some of the benefits are:

• National/international recognition for building/modifying an outstanding car.
• Recognition among your peers.
• The benefits of possible future sponsorship.
• Often higher resale value as the car is now famous.
• If your car is photographed by us you will receive a disc of hi-res images for your own personal use. These are printable to large poster sizes. Your car may also be run on FeatureCarsAustralia.com as one of the Feature Cars.

How magazine exposure can help to attract sponsorship:
Many of the high profile cars getting around the show scene are sponsored in some way by businesses within our industry. Often they are wheel and tyre companies, audio companies, engine builders, trimmers etc. Some are relatively new businesses trying to establish themselves in the market while others are well established names who sponsor cars as a part of their promotional program. Either way, they all sponsor cars for one reason, publicity.

One way of attracting the attention of a potential sponsor is to demonstrate that you have previously had cars featured in a high profile magazine and that you have built up a relationship with a few of the magazines over time. If you have obtained previous exposure this will give a potential sponsor a greater level of confidence.

Sure, sponsors are car enthusiasts just like you, but they are also business people. They will not invest their time, money and credibility in a project that is unlikely to gain them good, positive exposure. There is only so much sponsorship to go around and the lion’s share of it will always go to the most eligible candidates. Getting your car into a national magazine will play a major part in helping you to get near the top of that candidate list.

What the magazines are looking for in a feature car:
There are a lot of magazines out there and they all try to focus on different aspects of the modified car scene. Each magazine has a different set of criteria that they are looking for in a feature car. The trick is to aim your car at the type of magazine that it is best suited to while at the same time, aiming as high up the food chain as possible. In general, most magazines are looking for some or all of the following:

Dare to be different: Magazines are always looking for cars that show something different that nobody has done before. Is your car an inspiration to others? Do people often comment on how they like the way you’ve done this or that.

Engineering: Is your car well engineered? Does it have performance and other related features that other enthusiasts would find interesting?

Visual appeal: The overall look of the car is vitally important when considering your car for a feature. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Every car owner thinks their own car looks cool and that’s fair enough, but when a magazine editor considers your car for a shoot he needs to make a judgment call based on what he thinks the majority of the readers might consider cool or interesting. If he gets it wrong too many times the magazine’s sales figures will eventually suffer.

Attention to detail: So often we see cars that are almost there. They’ve got all the goods but are a bit rough around the edges. Admittedly these cars sometimes make it into the mags if they are strong enough overall but by paying attention to the finer detail you will dramatically increase your chances of being chosen for a feature.

Which magazines to approach first:
In most things in life you need to start at the bottom and work your way up, right? That theory is correct with most things but when trying to get your car featured in a magazine things work a little differently. If you have a car that you feel is worth featuring then you should start by offering it to the top ranking magazines first. If the top mag knocks it back then go to the next one down and so on. That way you will be attracting the best possible exposure. If you find that you are getting too many knock backs, ask for feedback from the editors. They will be able to advise you as to what else needs to be done to the car to qualify for a feature. The easiest way is to simply let us handle all that for you. We are in regular contact with all the best magazines in the industry both in Australia and overseas and it will cost you nothing to have us do all the groundwork on your behalf. If you have a particular magazine in mind that you'd like us to approach we'll be happy to give that magazine first offer.

Correct etiquette when dealing with a magazine:
There is a certain amount of etiquette that needs to be observed when dealing with a magazine. Failure to do so will do little more than burn your bridges behind you. For example, if you offer your car exclusively to a magazine and then go back on your word after they have invested time and money in producing the article it will more than likely be your first and last feature. If you are planning on being in it for the long haul, here are a few tips to remember:

• Once a magazine has approved your car for a feature it is usually customary that the magazine is given a chance to get to the shelf before you allow another magazine to shoot it. It always pays to be up front and truthful about you car’s published history.

• Be truthful about the information that you give the magazines in relation to your modifications. If you bend the truth you will only end up embarrassing yourself in the long run.

How to prepare your car for a photo shoot:
Preparing your car for a photo shoot is pretty much the same as preparing it for a car show. You can do it yourself or you can opt to have a professional car detailer do it for you. Either way the choice is yours but the most important point to remember is to pay attention to detail. We often see cars turn up to photo shoots clean and polished but lacking in the nooks and crannies. Nowadays magazines ask the photographers to focus in close on distinguishing features and modifications. If the shoot has to be interrupted while additional detailing is done, valuable shooting light is lost. This is particularly important if the photographer is working to very specific lighting such as sunset or sunrise. Some car owners even go to the trouble of hiring a detailer to attend the photo shoot for the purpose of touching up in between takes. Kind of a make-up artist for the car you might say. While this may sound extreme to some people, it certainly shows dedication and the importance that some car enthusiasts place on having their car featured in a magazine. Photo shoots that operate at this level of professionalism usually produce the most spectacular photos.

How to submit your car for a feature article:
1. Take some photos of your car so we can see what it looks like. They don't need to be professional quality photos, as long as they are clear and we can see what your car looks like. A mobile phone is plenty good enough for this purpose. You will need to take the following photos:

Front 3/4 shot. (showing both front and side)
Rear 3/4 shot. (Showing both rear and side)
Engine bay. (Showing entire engine bay)
Interior. (Showing as much of the interior as possible. Take several photos if you don't have wide angle capabilities)
Boot. (only if detailed or relevant audio/engineering installations)
Undercarriage. (optional, usually only necessary if there is major detailing)

2. Attach the above images as low-res jpegs to an email entitled 'Feature car submission' (or see the other options available for submitting your car on the submit page.)

3. Add a few technical specs about the car within the body of the email.

4. Email your submission to featurecars@rabbitte.com.au or rabbitte1@gmail.com

Important:
It has been brought to our notice that some car submissions have not reached us. If you have submitted your car and not heard back from us please re-send or contact us to verify your submission. Sometimes emails carrying large files can be rejected by the server.

Please refer to the instructions below on how to reduce image sizes or try our Gmail account rabbitte1@gmail.com

NOTE: If you don't have the facilities to reduce the size of your images then we recommend using the Windows email function.

Instructions:
1. Make a folder in My Pictures to hold the above photos.
2. Click  Start > My Pictures > Click the folder where your photos are kept > From the menu on the left click 'E-mail this folder's files' > a popup window appears > click the radio button 'Make all my pictures smaller' > click OK > an email window pops up > type featurecars@rabbitte.com.au into the 'To' window > highlight and delete any text in the 'Subject' window and replace it with 'Feature car submission' > Add a few technical specs about the car within the body of the email > Hit the send button.



  
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