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Join Our Research Team at DMA 2014
Dec 01, 2006
Interview

FAME: How to Get Your News Onto Forbes.com

SUMMARY: Covering technology, markets, personal finance and lifestyle, Forbes.com is one of the heaviest-trafficked business sites out there. Keeping up with the times, it also offers streaming video broadcasts several times a day. Find out what type of stories Editor Paul Maidment is looking for and how to pitch him.
Contact information:
Paul Maidment
Editor, Forbes.com
90 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 366-8900

Media profile
- With 10.29 million unique visitors each month, Forbes.com says it is the No. 1 business site on the Web
- Frequency: 2,000 articles daily
- Audience demographic: business leaders

Maidment’s background

An Oxford graduate, Paul Maidment moved into financial journalism after receiving his master’s degree. He started his career with the Asian edition of The Wall Street Journal and in radio and television with the BBC in Hong Kong. He was founding editor of FT.com, the Financial Times' site, and held senior editorial positions at Newsweek and The Economist.

Maidment says his experience with various media prepared him well for the diverse and all-encompassing nature of the Web.

“It’s a visual medium like television, and ever more so with the growth of Web video, which Forbes.com has embraced enthusiastically,” he says. “It has the depth of magazines, the range of newspapers, the immediacy of wire services and the intimacy of radio, but is also has its own dimensions.”

Maidment joined Forbes in January 2001 in a dual position as editor of Forbes.com and executive editor of Forbes magazine. He has also launched innovative features and services for the site, including Business News Alerts, Video Network and CEO Network. He customized home pages for Europe and Asia and created Infoimaging @ Forbes.com, a new section focused on Logistics, as well as several new site editorial channels --Entrepreneurs, Opinions and Leadership.

Current editorial coverage

Maidment says there’s more to Forbes.com than solid advice on attaining wealth. Financial gain is just a part of the equation. “We try to make our users smarter or richer -- smarter at running their company or their own career and smarter at investing. That makes them richer, of course, but we also try to help our users be richer in mind, spirit and ambition, as well as in pocketbook.”

The site’s primary goal is to offer practical insights to their users. Forbes.com recognizes the busy schedules of their readers and aims to reward the time they invest in browsing the site with useful suggestions on topics, such as improving investment strategies.

Content classification:

The site is organized by channels that include Business, Technology, Entrepreneurs, Leadership, Personal Finance, ForbesLife and Opinions. It also has a channel for financial markets data and a directory of lists. Forbes.com’s Video Network and all channels are run by their own editors.

Content format:

Forbes.com is flexible in their choice of content presentation. The site does not have a set rule regarding format for their news. Instead, it customizes the style according to whichever one fits the information the best.

“Our stock in trade is the news-analysis feature, but the beauty of the Web is that it lets us bundle different aspects of a story in different ways,” Maidment says. “We can combine any or all of a feature story, a case study, a Q&A, a video interview, an online chat or chat transcript, a multimedia product review, a photo essay, a quiz, a blog, a commentary, a profile, a tool to let users manipulate data or whatever else the Web lets us do into the most compelling and enriching experience we can provide a user.”

Contributions:

Although prewritten contributions are rarely accepted, Forbes.com invites concise reader-generated content that’s relevant to business people. David Andelman, the Opinions section editor, always appreciates shared expertise and novel proposals from experienced professionals. Forbes.com also has forums, so that users could comment on articles.

In addition, Leadership (Brett Nelson) and Entrepreneurs (Arlyn Gajilan) channels editors welcome suggestions on subjects for online chats and contributed pieces on topics relevant to their audiences. Video Network (Albert Bozzo) is also interested in listening to chief executives tell their business stories or talk about their passions.

Pitching stories:

You can find Maidment and his staff at large industry conferences, but the best way to pitch them is with an email to a channel editor. When pitching, make sure company owners -- Forbes.com target audience -- would be interested in the material.

“We like stories with business morals. We like analytical research and the implications it has on practice and policy,” he says. “We want pieces to be timely and forward-looking. We are looking for story subjects with original ideas and insights that are fresh.”

Also, don’t make the mistake of going with an “all-points pitch.” Focus on the most important aspect of the issue.

See Also:

Comments about this Interview

Dec 11, 2006 - Nathan Schock of BKG says:
I'm glad to see the FAME interview series make a comeback. In the past it has played a role in media relations for my agency and I'm sure it will in the future. Thanks!



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