Medium has a pair of new publications, probably just as difficult to pitch as other Medium pubs, yet still worth evaluating. Both are spinouts from OneZero. Future Human was built for “readers who want to understand more about the science carrying us into tomorrow.” Debugger is for “readers who are hungry for thoughtful stories about gadgets.”
As furloughs and pay cuts ripple through media brands, alternate routes that once looked like a waste of time suddenly don’t. One of those routes is Medium. Pitching Medium-owned publications can be tough, because Medium has free access to thousands of posts that authors contribute each week.
Traditional business publications celebrate companies that put stockholders first. NewCo Shift, the media brand launched this month by entrepreneur John Battelle, celebrates a new breed of capitalism that puts people first. That may sound trite. We'll get to why it isn't.
Few tech blogs also publish a weekly e-magazine. The Daily Dot does. It's called The Kernel, and it's well worth reading and pitching. "I don't get a lot of pitches for this, I think because we don't necessarily do a ton of stuff that PR professionals consider easy to pitch," says Kernel editor Jesse Hicks.
[Learned lots this week in meetings with editors and subscribers. Here are this week's notes from the field. Hope you enjoy. Please let us know if you like this format and how we can make it better.]
First, the newsy stuff. Business Insider is close to launching a consumer tech publication that will offer news, reviews and analysis with the 'tude we have come to expect from BI.
Looking to place a client as a Forbes contributor? "The door is open," says senior editor Loren Feldman, the newly arrived overseer of Forbes's Entrepreneurs channel. Says Loren: "I generally ask prospective contributors to send an explanation of what they do and what they would like to cover along with, say, 10 ideas for posts, with a working headline and a few sentences of explanation."
In simpler times, consumer titles, business titles, trades and verticals comprised the entirety of media. Editors and publishers researched their audience and served it. Today a subtler framework is emerging that over time will change how PR shapes pitches and woos influencers. Successful publishers today produce either attention products or engagement products -- or both in tandem.
Clickbait and native advertising may be remembered as 2014's big themes, but a third one -- the emergence of "agenda setter" publications -- will affect PR the most. The latest agenda setter is Backchannel, the "lithe, nimble center for meaningful, fun tech writing" launched this week and edited by former Wired and Newsweek scribe Steven Levy.