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Profile: Harry McCracken, Fast Company

Fast Company technology editor Harry McCracken sheds light on newsgathering at physical and virtual events, and changes in FC edit coverage brought on by Covid and other factors. Interview was conducted July 2020.

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How to Pitch Contributions to Fast Company’s ‘Work Life’

If it wasn’t before, Fast Company’s Work Life section became perfectly positioned when legions of readers began working where they lived and living where they worked. “I will say what our editor-in-chief, Stephanie Mehta, has said about Work Life, which is, it’s table stakes for us,” says deputy editor Kathleen (Kate) Davis.

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Fast Company Unveils ‘Queer 50’

Fast Company last week unveiled The Queer 50, a first-ever list of LGBTQ women and nonbinary innovators in business and tech. The idea germinated in Fall 2019, when Fast Company editors and members of Lesbians Who Tech decided informally that “it was about time a list like this existed,” recalls FC editor Julia Herbst.

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Harry McCracken: Anatomy of a Fast Company Cover Story

So the CMO believes in stretch goals and wants you to land a cover story. You know the odds and not the path. Thanks to Fast Company technology editor Harry McCracken, we at least can illuminate the path to this one, published in FC last fall. Read and learn.

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Analysis: Here Come the Unions

Fast Company editors voted to unionize last week. So did the New Yorker’s. Should PR care? Not directly. Unionization does affect the editorial environment in which you pitch. Over time, if the economics of publishing don’t improve, the best journalists may well seek to work where editors are “protected.”

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Even More Narrative Story Types

Where are all the company profiles? They abounded when the IPO window was wide open. Not anymore. Back when he wrote for Forbes, Dan Lyons told us that PR people always wanted him to write “book reports” — here’s who we are, and we’ve done this and that. That sounds like a company profile, doesn’t it?

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Sage Advice from Nine Contributed Content Guidelines

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.

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FRIDGE NOTES

Bloomberg Businessweek Goes Monthly

Now a misnomer, the Businessweek name will stick around for a while longer. Bloomberg is investing big in paper stock and photography. It’ll be a coffee table magazine, showcasing all that Bloomberg does. Now we know why Brad Stone took this new assignment. The first refurbed issue arrives in July.

Semafor Goes AI Crazy

Fourteen of 19 tech stories in the Semafor technology section are about AI. Two of the five outliers were about TikTok’s potential sale. Semafor sells itself on being differentiated. Chasing AI-news-of-the-day won’t achieve that.

Refinery29 Buys An Event Company

Another scoop from Sara Fischer at Axios: Refinery29 is “taking over” B2C event brand Beautycon, among the most successful F2F events in the beauty space. The idea is to augment the R29 brand and make the title less vulnerable to a weak advertising market.

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