To glimpse the future of publishing, don't study publishing. Study LinkedIn, which year after year shows what smart editors can build in a data sandbox. In 2015 LinkedIn committed itself to a series of quarterly lists, showcasing up-and-comers whose thoughts and achievements provably resonate.
Historically, when it came to contributed content, success equalled placement. Today, an additional measure has emerged: how widely a given piece is shared, and what elements fueled those shares? This week we studied ten recent VentureBeat guest posts and saw patterns we've seen before, in VB and other publications.
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.
We've never seen PR pros more pressured to deliver "Tier 1" business coverage than we did this year. Not to pander, but we know how difficult this can be: clients rarely give you what you need. Often, though -- and as we see in the skyrocketing number of SWMS valet requests -- PR pros often spend too much time finding targets for an idea that's weak in the first place.
Placing contributed content is never easy. A Publicity Club of New York luncheon panel last week reminded us why.
"The best submissions," explained Business Insider managing editor Jessica Liebmann, "have a ton of voice, are counter-intuitive, argue a point no one else is arguing, and are written in the tone of our site. The piece needs to be conversational -- how would you tell a friend about whatever you're talking about?"