ClickZ Columnists Are People, Not Companies

I was just writing yet another e-mail to a corporate PR person who responded to a message I sent to someone else at her company — someone I know personally, and to whom I’d written about potentially joining ClickZ as a columnist.

I realized it was the third such e-mail I’d sent this week. I’d like to share an exerpt in the interest of making our editorial policies a bit more transparent: I’m interested in pursuing the discussion of a [column topic] columnist, but it’s important to point out we consider our columnists to be individual contributors. I’m not inviting [your company] to write for us. Rather, I’m looking for a qualified individual practitioner…

On principle, we don’t work through PR people insofar as our Expert columnists are concerned. We consider the relationship to be a purely editorial one. We need enthusiastic, motivated contributors with their own views and perspectives. No one who writes for ClickZ is “assigned” by their company to do so, or is spouting a company line.

Hey, we love publicists and marketing folks. We work with ’em all the time. But I tought our readers might be interested in a little of the editorial philosophy behind one of ClickZ’s most popular sections.

Intersted in contributing? We don’t always have slots, but we certainly do hang on to all legitimate queries and have surprised more than one person by actually getting in touch, sometimes even hiring them. Here’s what we have to say to those who want to toss their hat into that ring.

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