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How Forbes is just like Oprah: magazine staffers required to pen blogs

Photo courtesy of ycvibe via Flickr

When Forbes announced earlier this week that it would require all its reporters to pen blogs in addition to their regular duties, I immediately thought of Oprah. Why? I kept picturing the Forbes editor standing in the office, pointing at each staffer and excitedly saying “And YOU get a blog!” then pointing to the next cubicle and saying, “And YOU get a blog!” It’s just like when Oprah gave away all those cars – it seemed like a good idea at the time but turned into a nightmare when the lucky new car owners were forced to pay hefty taxes on the prize or give back the car completely.

The “all shalt blog” edict is one of many changes expected at the magazine since its new “editorial overlord” Lewis D’Vorkin took over earlier this year.  His presence is expected to be felt through a faster editing process and the emphasis on news and stories as products.

I wonder if these newly minted bloggers are eager to sacrifice time usually devoted to conventional reporting duties in favor of blogging. Some of these reporters might be used to the luxury of spending days, even weeks, to craft a story. However, the immediacy of blogging and the attitude of complete transparency in social media might prove difficult for some staffers.

On the other hand, the Forbes staff might be sitting on goldmine of excellent bloggers they never knew existed. Having everyone pen a blog is a natural way to un-earth unutilized talent.  Make no mistake – blogging regularly with compelling content is a talent – and Forbes undoubtedly has pool of gifted and respected writers already.

The next logical question is which news outlet is next to follow suit? If this turns into an experiment that goes wrong, other news outlets won’t put their staff on the virtual firing lines. But if even a few of these Forbes staffers becoming blogging superstars, it will be an experiment that’s gone very right.

Every workplace is asking staffers to wear many hats and get as much work done possible in less time. But if you work at Forbes, the extra hats and long hours are evidenced online in blogs for everyone to see.

What do you think? Could you find time to write a blog in addition to your regular duties? Do you think this experiment will work?

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Cision's research staff makes over 20,000 media updates to Cision's Media Database each day! For more updates and other thought leadership in the industry, follow @Media_Moves.

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