One week ago, TechCrunch showcased 23 lucky startups as part of TechCrunch Disrupt's Startup Battlefield competition. The winner turned out to be an analytics company that helps gamers play better. The big news for PR -- how do TechCrunch reporters write about cool companies when their bosses say they're cool?
First there was "A/B testing," where a publisher would float two different headlines on their own site and go with the better one. That's still around, but nowadays it's all about "dark testing" on Facebook. TechCrunch does this, as do Refinery29, Fusion and many other titles that publish directly to the FB platform.
Former TechCrunch reporter Alex Wilhelm loves the challenge of his new job as editor-in-chief of Mattermark. "It's a combo of my old job -- writing, reporting and publishing, plus a new layer of [managerial] skills I've had to learn." Alex is on the hunt for smart contributed content -- that isn't ghost-written.
Instead of you going to DEMO, what if DEMO came to you? That's the idea behind Traction Technology Partners, founded last December by former DEMO producers Erick Schonfeld and Neal Silverman. Theirs is a complicated business model. But it is the right idea in an era where F2F and community are so symbiotic and will only remain so.
So you want to get into TechCrunch. You can pitch beleaguered reporters -- or write the piece yourself. It's easier than you think. Just make senior editor Jon Shieber happy. "The whole thrust of what we want to do is to have people who are very experienced in the industry be able to explain different aspects of the industry, or speak to the community on things that are going on," explains Jon.
The closest the industry has come to a Megan Rose Dickey, so far, is a Kara Swisher -- female, smart and focused on equality and inclusion. Though Kara is of course in a class by herself, Megan may have it on Kara in a couple of important ways. One, Megan is pretty much a full generation younger than Kara, in a business that reveres youth.
You send us lots of rejected contributed content, asking what went wrong. Sometimes we can spot a path forward, but it's heartbreaking to hear that "the client wants it written this way" or "this has already been approved." That's why this week we studied nine sets of contributed content guidelines from top edit targets and packaged what we think is their most valuable advice.