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Jun 10, 2005

How to Get Your News Featured on UK BrandRepublic Site

SUMMARY: 110,000 mainly British ad, marketing, and PR execs visit Haynet's BrandRepublic site every month to get the latest news. The site publishes 40 (yes 40!) new stories on a typical weekday. So the editorial staff is constantly looking for things to write about. Want them to write about you? Here are the details.
Gordon MacMillan, Editor BrandRepublic 174 Hammersmith Road, London, W6 7JP Tel: +44 (0)20 8267 5000

-> Reach

110,000 unique visitors a month -- mainly UK advertising execs

-> MacMillan's background

Previous to BrandRepublic, MacMillan worked on Campaign magazine (owned by Haymarket, publisher of BrandRepublic) doing "various digital things," he says. One of those digital things was setting up Campaign's Web site, then called

Then he spent about a year and a half helping to set up BrandRepublic before it launched in September 2001.

When MacMillan isn't being an editor, he likes "horse riding and a bit of kickboxing," he says.

-> Current editorial coverage

The Web sites for Haymarket publications Campaign and Marketing were merged into BrandRepublic when it launched. The site serves the world of advertising, marketing, public relations, and new media. Coverage extends well beyond the UK, with plenty of European and US stories -- particularly new media stories, since "it's such an international business," MacMillan says.

Some of Haymarket's other publications, such as PR Week and Media Week, continue to have their own Web sites. But archives of stories from those magazines -- and 12 others -- can be found on BrandRepublic.

In addition, the site produces approximately 40 news stories a day.

"We have a news team of six people working on breaking news," says MacMillan. In addition to news, the site covers topics such as creative, design, traditional advertising, marketing and digital marketing, new media, PR and promotions, and direct marketing.

-> Best way to contact MacMillan

When at all possible, use email, he urges. Here's the contact list:

--General news, media news, ideas for comment or analysis: Gordon MacMillan

--Digital marketing and new ad campaigns: Jennifer Whitehead

--Direct marketing: Daniel Farey-Jones

--Market research stories: Sam Matthews

--Branding and design stories: Michael Byrne

In addition to original stories on the site, MacMillan also produces a number of email newsletters (daily and weekly) that cover various sectors of the industry. Pitch your story to the appropriate person according to the contact list above, whether it's for the site, for a newsletter, or both.

Your email should include a subject line that says something like: "Pitching an idea". Be aware that follow-up calls are not encouraged.

-> What MacMillan looks for in a story pitch

While BrandRepublic publishes plenty of news, "we also take a lot of industry comment pieces," says MacMillan. "The magazines, because they're very structured, can't accommodate the talking heads kinds of pieces," but the site can.

Comments, trend features, statistics, case studies -- MacMillan is open to them all.

The best way to get his attention, he says, is simply to have an idea of what you're pitching and what he publishes. "There aren't any big no-no's," he says. "Just be clear in the subject line what it is: 'Suggestion for comment piece,' 'Suggestion for feature,' or whatever."

Three hints:

a. MacMillan likes stories that have a "zeitgeist-y or buzz-y" feel to them: celebrity advertising and/or the rise of reality TV are both good topics.

b. When something big happens in the advertising industry, MacMillan wonders, "Is there a comment to be made on that?" Send your ideas his way.

c. Breaking news is the mainstay of the site, so get your stories to them in a timely manner. His team will post them almost immediately.

-> Pet peeves

Press releases really need to have details on where he can grab an image, he says. "So many times a press release comes over and the images aren't available for two or three days. We want the images immediately."

Stick the photo in the email as an attachment (preferred) or include a link where he can get the image (that's "quite common as well").

In other words, if you've got an announcement about a new senior hire, you've got a better chance of having it run if MacMillan's team doesn't have to hunt down a photo.

-> Prewritten contributions

Yes, they do accept bylined articles, but pitch the idea first. Don't just send something blindly because you're apt to have to do too much rewriting. Macmillan says he might be interested in a new take on celebrities and branding, for example.

-> Becoming a regular columnist

"Budgetwise, we're fairly constrained," says MacMillan. However, he's open to comment pieces by industry folks and has in fact run what he calls "serial comments."

"I'm definitely open to any ideas," he says.

-> Deadlines


-> Favorite professional publication

Campaign, Marketing, Broadcast, Advertising Age, Advertising Week, Media Week, and The Wall Street Journal online, among many others.

See Also:

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