Few publications have innovated like Quartz. It launched in 2012 as "mobile-first" and raced to embrace native advertising. Its first news app was a chatbot. It created amazing visuals and posted the code on GitHub. It had obsessions, not beats. So why is Quartz in trouble?
Are tech events on the wane? Quartz last month pulled the plug on The Next Billion, its three-year-old conference series with $1,500 ticket prices. The Bloomberg Technology Conference, historically held each June in San Francisco, is as yet unscheduled for 2017.
With CES a month away, we asked veteran tech journalists, "if you could wave a magic wand and change the experience of covering CES, what exactly would you change?" We got more than our share of throwaway answers. We also got plenty of earnest answers that might help make a PR pro's Vegas experience more successful.
If anyone knows for sure what "mobile content" will look like next year, it should be Forbes, with several apps already out and more on the way. But even Forbes doesn't. That's why last month it held an internal "100% Mobile Day" in which reporters, editors and folks from the sales and PR side brainstormed what "Forbes for your phone" might look like.
If there's one publication out there that never made a bad move, it's Quartz. According to Digiday, the three-year-old title now attracts 15 million uniques per month, about half from outside the US. More than 60 reporters and producers now publish between 50 and 60 pieces per day, Digiday says. That said, Quartz is at heart a software company.
Is the tech narrative endangered? Lately we've cased the web for the kinds of stories we used to see everywhere -- the 600-to-800 word news story about a tech company claiming to have built something better, cheaper or faster, or otherwise out to change the world. We found far fewer than we expected, even where they once were abundant.
A subscriber recently asked us, "What stories are better conceived as sponsored content than as earned media?" Great question. That's why we spent time this week studying sponsored content in some of the millennially-minded publications, looking to spot trends beyond the obvious. Perhaps you'll write and tell us whether we succeeded.
Trying to reach millennials? Join the club. This week we studied BuzzFeed, Fusion, Mic, Ozy, Quartz, Vice, Vocativ and Vox to map PR's path to tech coverage. Here's what we learned. Millennially-minded tech reporters build their beats around "culture" and "future." No pitch will work unless so tailored.
Few publications are hotter these days than Quartz. According to AdAge, Quartz now attracts more unique monthly U.S. visitors than Fortune. It just lured finance reporter Shelly Banjo from the WSJ; openings remain for a data journalist and for video and op-ed chiefs. On board since July, Quartz tech editor Dan Frommer fits right in because he too is something of a data journalist.
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.