-- Updated May 2017 -- Few topics are more requested in SWMS valet research than, "who oversees contributed content at..." By popular subscriber demand, here's an all-new, expanded contributed content gatekeeper cheat sheet.
Our Bay Area trip was fun and informative. As usual, AEs and SAEs struggle to reach reporters who are overworked, arrogant or both. In one particularly heartbreaking story, a senior PR pro (and a fine person, in our view) told us of approaching a well-known reporter at an event, only to see him spot her, turn his back and walk away. There is no excuse for this.
Perhaps the most respected tech publication in the industry has the highest bounce rate, the smallest number of page views per visit and the lowest time on site among all major rivals. Which is it? SimilarWeb can tell you, for free. Founded seven years ago this month, SimilarWeb data can reveal dozens of criteria that can help shape your pitch strategies.
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.
Re/code has announced the Code/Enterprise series, the company's first foray into enterprise face-to-face events. The debut takes place Apr. 21 in San Francisco, the second on Sept. 29 in New York. Re/code is starting small. The onstage program will run only a couple of hours, bracketed by "cocktails and networking." Tickets cost only $175. If this year's enterprise events do well, says senior editor and (now) event producer Arik Hesseldahl, Re/code will consider launching a multi-day, high-ticket event in 2016.
Just as the Andreessen Horowitz SxSW party was winding down, Carmel DeAmicis walked into the room, spotted Re/code co-founder Kara Swisher, walked up to her and introduced herself. Kara pounced. "I know who you are," she said. "I can't talk now... but have you ever considered Re/code?" Recalls Carmel: "I was in final negotiations with Business Insider... but Kara stole me away at the last minute with her Kara power."
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.
We profile Re/code culture reporter Nellie Bowles on a day when the woman who hired her, Kara Swisher, is to interview the President of the United States. That's something Nellie could pull off, too. She's just as erudite, charismatic and good on camera. Like Kara, Nellie can write books: she's writing one now, for Hachette, about Silicon Valley culture. And she writes as colorfully as anyone at Re/code or anywhere else.
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.
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.