Marijane Funess April 5, 2016 | 03:03:42

A PR Pro’s Guide To Media Start-Ups

The savvy public relations team pounces on new media outlets with zeal, looking for the best ways to find placement opportunities. These can range from providing expert quotes to offering up an exec for a profile. Right now, there are some relatively new outlets that have been lumped together in what Wired Magazine calls “millennial niche news sites.” We don’t see these sites as quite so limited in their appeal, but they do share a common mission which is summed up in this quote from Ozy CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson, [to be a place where] “people could get smarter a little bit sooner.”

With that in mind, here’s a primer on the hottest new news websites and a bit of pitching wisdom for each.

Ozy – A breath of fresh air in the digital media landscape.  The easily accessible site covers everything from the very local such as this coverage of a cannibis “trade pub” in Oregon to the topical, a tax season piece including an interview with the CEO of H&R Block, and dozens of other hard and soft news pieces. The site includes detailed info on their staffers and their work, so choosing a writer to pitch should be straightforward. Finding their emails, not so much, but the intrepid shall prevail.

Mic – News as unique as our generation. This site flaunts its youthful bent and editorial team (“a rockstar team of editors, reporters, producers, designers and engineers!”) but its coverage is wide and varied as well. The site has terrific pop culture reporting including thought-provoking pieces on race, sex and the arts as well as attacking style from every angle such as this piece on ill-fitting suits worn by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump featuring cogent critiques from the menswear industry. The site is well-represented on Cision, making it easy to track down reporters of interest.

Vocativ – We use deep web technology as a force for good.  This site forages through forums, databases, documents, and public records, social platforms, chat rooms, and commerce sites to ferret out stories such as  “a nutrition label for your broadband service” apparently unearthed from FCC docs which does seem kind of “deep web” to its lead story on Spain ending its siesta tradition – a story that was everywhere. Cision has a complete listing for writers on the site, though it seems a best bet here is to offer up expert sources rather than pitch stories.

Fusion – The media brand for a young, diverse and inclusive world. This site is decidedly the most youthful-looking of the four with a strong emphasis on pop culture, justice, sex and the arts. Graphically, Fusion has an easily digestible mix of listicles, GIFS and video and the mix of news and features makes for an easy, breezy read. Fusion also deftly tackles weightier subjects like this piece on the gig economy. Fusion has a comprehensive list of contributors and their stories to help plan your pitching as well as solid Cision data. The site seems ripe and open to smart PR pitching.

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