Lessons for PR pros from The Huffington Post

Don’t try to make the news, just be nearby when news happens.

The blog’s hiding-in-plain-sight genius involved a nose for water-cooler conversation and an eye for resultant keyword searches. Its unreal ability to dominate the search by re-serving the public what it was already discussing allowed HuffPo to exit for a very real $300 million.

For the sake of comparison, Newsweek sold for $1.

Was Newsweek’s writing $299,999,999 worse than The Huffington Post‘s?

Of course not.

But the print stalwart never decoded that hidden strand of Arianna’s DNA: Today’s winners no longer try to make news; they instead try to be nearby when news is made.

My colleague and friend, Jesse Noyes, said it best: “PR people shouldn’t try to be the news; they should try to participate in news.”

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