You often ask us, "Where can I place a company profile? Who writes them?" At least in the 157 SWMS valet requests we received in Q1, rarely had PR pros considered the ‘how.’ Tier 1s such as Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company and Inc. love those “blueprint” headlines that show readers what success -- in all its aspects -- can look like.
We've been studying CEO profiles lately -- because subscribers have been asking us to. Here's what we found. CEO profiles focus either on CEOs getting to the top, or the techniques they use to stay there. The getting-to-the-top pieces are almost always "Can They Do It" stories, portraying a CEO's quest to establish a new marketplace or vanquish entrenched competitors.
Re/code may now belong to Vox, but that hasn't stopped PR from coveting placements in Re/code's Voices section. One important piece of good news for PR: Re/code still accepts one-offs. Inc., IDG, Forbes Entrepreneur and other sites prefer contributors who can deliver multiple posts on a given topic. Still others, such as The Economist's Lean Back blog, prefer contributors whose posts consistently deliver strong traffic and shares.
Staff writer Issie Lapowsky carries a big load at Wired; she typically writes more than once a day and when a big Facebook or Google story breaks, it's often Issie who has to chase it. That said, she's always on the hunt for constructive stories to tell. Her work often gravitates to doing-well-by-doing-good stories. She also writes quite about education, as she did at Inc.
If you want to place contributed content, be a myth buster. Search the web and you'll find page after page of headlines with the term "myth busting" (or its one-word or hyphenated variants). Myth busting is big. Forrester uses the term to hawk its webinars. The HuffPo has a standing column about them. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman have been busting myths on TV for 12 years; name another show that lasted that long.
Publishers these days want contributed voices, not just contributed content. In its online application form, the IDG Contributor Network "asks how many posts would you like to commit to at this time?" Inc. now gives its contributors access to its content management system so they can post as many times as they wish. Forbes pays contributors X for every one-time monthly visitor to their page but 20X if that reader returns to read that contributor's other posts.
The contributed-content door is wide open at Inc. EIC Jim Ledbetter said today the title has about 200 regular contributors, more than double the total from early this year. The lucky contributors span a variety of roles, from academics and professional writers to consultants and CEOs. Inc. will consider contributors so long as they produce "original, thoughtful commentary... for readers running their own businesses or investing in those businesses."