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Oct 12, 2007

PR Interview: How to Get Blogged by Adrants

SUMMARY: Want to get your company mentioned on Adrants? Sherpa’s own readers gave Adrants the title of best advertising blog in 2006. What makes this site stand out? How about commentary and news laced with some attitude. Check out our interview with Adrants’ founder and publisher, who offers tips on pitching him so your queries don’t end up getting deleted.
Contact information
Steve Hall

Hall launched Adrants in March 2002 after previously cofounding MarketingVox and working at companies such as Leo Burnett, Starcom/Mediavest, BlackSheep Marketing and Bozell. He also publishes the ad:tech weblog and founded AdGabber, a social network site for advertising, marketing and media professionals. Hall graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in advertising/journalism.

Circulation & Readership
Adrants’ readers are online and traditional advertising industry professionals. The audience is loyal -- 94% say they read Adrants daily. On average, readers spend almost six minutes per site visit. They are closely involved with new, promotional and direct response media. 70% hold management-level titles.

The site receives:
o 450,000 unique monthly users
o 14,500 readers of Adrants Daily weekday newsletter
o 23,922 average daily page views
Source: Urchin software

Examples of Current Editorial Coverage
Written by industry professionals, Adrants provides news, features and commentary. The site covers:
o Marketing and advertising trends
o Cultural and demographic shifts that affect advertising tactics
o Campaign launches
o Viral and buzz marketing
o Industry research and developments

Writers and editors don’t hesitate to share information that isn’t yet public knowledge. They also call a spade a spade, thus differentiating themselves from more politically correct commentators. If you're looking for an honest opinion or report on a new campaign, this is the place to find it.

Web Site
The site’s articles are accompanied by entertaining and often provocative photos. Adrants’ readers frequently get the scoop on happenings before the news makes it to the industry’s leading print magazines. The site’s content includes daily original and aggregated reports, industry summaries, career advice and postings, and a database of creative portfolios.

Content is divided into the following categories:
o Adrank (bad, best, good, worst)
o Administrativia (announcements)
o Medium (newspaper, cable, radio, etc.)
o Subject (agency, brand, campaign, etc.)
o Weekly archives
o Ad conversations (other industry blogs)

Adrants’ sister site, Adgabber, provides inspiration for some of the site’s posts and acts as a playground for like-minded professionals who can query members with polls and debate advertising subjects.

7 Tips on How to Pitch Hall
Tip #1. Avoid sending mass mailings or anything that resembles them.

Tip #2. Refrain from emailing queries that have little or nothing to do with the type of content Adrants publishes. When Hall receives emails of this sort, he says they are “a clear indication the sender has never visited the site or only gave it a cursory glance.” Read stories on the site to be sure you are pitching relevant information.

Tip #3. Don’t ask Hall to check out your site if it’s password-protected. They “are no fun to work with. With the explosion of video and file-hosting sites, why make the person you’re trying to get publicity from do extra work?”

Tip #4. Include the “who, what, where, when and why” in your first paragraph.

Tip #5. Don’t write more than a couple of sentences and edit your press releases. Hall thinks they are often “too wordy and contain useless, manufactured quotes no real human would ever say.”

Tip #6. Make sure you include a link in your message to the full press release.

Tip #7. Avoid buzzwords in your pitches. “Write as if you were explaining the story to a friend or to their mother.”

How to Contribute to Adrants
When sending story pitches to Adrants, keep in mind that readers who think it is “all T&A, snark and contains no real news” are mistaken. The site offers comprehensive studies, campaign commentary and gossip. Hall admits to being “famous for pushing boundaries” but doesn’t appreciate when that’s the only characteristic assigned to Adrants.

Adrants’ editors want to get your emails. More than 90% of their pieces are original stories born from tips and press releases. They like to see and sample products even more than they like to read about them. If you are sharing a newly launched ad campaign, don't forget to link to it or send along supporting images and video. If you want to snail mail them anything, email them for their physical address. Also, readers are encouraged to submit comments about stories and discuss them on the site.

Press Kits
Refrain from sending press kits. Hall prefers non-physical media: “Digital is far easier and far more likely to get published.”

Where to Meet Hall
You can find Hall at ad:tech conferences, which he attends regularly. He checks out some other trade shows, but not too many. Send him an email when you would like to discuss stories -- he’s “happy to meet when time/location allows.”

See Also:

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