In trendy and media trade media at least, the Substack-as-new-model-for-journalism story seems to have already come and gone. Yet there’s so much more left to tell. Perhaps the Substack story’s next phase is best told inside out, through the eyes of a newly self-minted author — such as James Ledbetter.
On Dec. 2 we hosted a Zoom session with TechCrunch senior editor Alex Wilhelm and Madrona Venture Group strategic comms director Erika Shaffer. The mission: to spot the best ways to land startup coverage in 2021. Here's the video playback. So many tips and nuggets! Huge thanks to Alex and Erika for their insights and generosity.
CES is virtual this year, just like the accompanying and independent product showcases -- Pepcom, ShowStoppers, CES Unveiled and Techfluence. This shift to cyberspace creates fresh opportunity to lead this category. Last week we spoke with the least known of the four brands -- Techfluence -- which hopes to reinvent the show-within-a-show CES experience.
SWMS contributor Rhiannon Pacheco writes: With Covid keeping people out of the aisles and in front of their screens, buying more online than ever before, fintech and ‘buy-now-pay-later’ companies such as Klarna, Affirm, AfterPay, Marqueta are rising in popularity and dominating recent headlines.
Based on our research, here’s a look at story types most common in the payments and banking spaces these days, coupled with a short list of must-pitch reporters, and some diamonds in the rough, too. Keep a sharp lookout for the story types, using them as templates for your own approaches.
You're going to love this cheat sheet, overseen by SWMS contributor Rhiannon Pacheco. It contains lists of 58 payments reporters, 18 banking reporters, 17 fintech newsletters mostly from Substack, 48 fintech-friendly podcasts, and links to 45 verticals across payments, banking and crypto.
Why did we choose payments and banking for the latest SWMS deep-dive? Everybody buys something. If the payments space doesn't constitute the largest total available market of all time, it's close. Banking? For a decade, startups have struggled to monetize those who don't use banks, or barely use them.
When planning your coverage strategies for 2021, rethink the power of Tier 1. Don't assume "Tier 1" means best-of-breed coverage. Tier 1 editorial brands imply a level of leadership that may not hold up under scrutiny. Remember too that the older the brand, the more prestige it tends to enjoy in the C-suite.
The following are excerpts from a Dec. 2020 interview with James Ledbetter, author of the FIN Substack newsletter. James’s responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
No single 2020 predictions list amounted to much, thanks to a pandemic and the murder of George Floyd. Next year begins a bit more clearly, with a conventional American president and a surging stock market. Oh, trouble lurks, of course. With the proviso that anything can go poof, let's gaze into the crystal ball...