MEDIA INSIGHT: "All Business," The Associated Press


50 Rockefeller Plaza 4th Floor New York, NY 10020 212/621-1500 http://www.ap.org Most PR pros will agree getting ink with the Associated Press carries a lot of weight. This summer, AP business columnist Rachel Beck launched a new opportunity to score AP coverage. Beck's "All Business" column is just that: a column that aims to cover all elements of today's business landscape, but with a more analytical spin than most AP reporting. "Think of it as beneath the headlines," Beck advises. "I'll be looking more at the hows and whys," she says. Beck, fresh from receiving her MBA, thinks the subject matter is just what the Associated Press audience needs. "So many papers have only a very small staff in their business department. It's up to us to fill in the holes for newspapers across the world." Audience profile varies from newspaper to newspaper, but the column is available to the 1,700 newspapers AP serves in the United States alone. Content/Contacts The content is wide open - as long as it's business-related and hinged to the trends of today's marketplace. "Our goal is to take nuggets of news and go to the next level," Beck says. While Beck won't be doing analysis of individual companies, she will look at corporations as part of overall trends. Her first columns ("All Business" launched in mid-July) have examined issues like why CEOs should "stop being celebrities and go back to work," how the buy-and-hold strategy can backfire for investors, and how free shipping could spell doom for e-tailers. In a statement released when "All Business" made its debut, Beck said, "The column will examine how executives make decisions, and analyze everything from mergers to new products to technology advancements." Contact Beck by email at rbeck@ap.org. Pitch Tips Email only, please. Like many editors and reporters these days, Beck has no time or patience for phone pitches, especially when you're calling to follow up on an email you just sent. "Email lets me read what I want to read at the end of the day or in the morning. I don't even get faxes anymore, thank God." Beck is interested in studies and great sources. "I don't want the head of PR, I want a top executive," she warns. She's also looking for ideas for subject matter for the column. She emphasizes that she will likely never examine a single company, but your exec could get play if he or she can offer expert opinions on subjects like investment strategies, the CEO's role, or the high-tech marketplace. Comments Beck produces the column twice a week, once on Tuesdays for papers to run Wednesdays and thereafter, and once on Fridays for weekend editions. She has been a business reporter with the AP for six years and has covered topics including retailing, technology, transportation, financial markets and workplace issues. She says her recent MBA and her Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia (completed in 2001) have given her a new perspective on the world of business. "Business news has become front page news," Beck says. This column is for readers "who wake up in the morning with coffee and cereal and read the business page." In The Pipeline Because the column is tied to current news and trends, it's difficult for Beck to predict what she might cover next. Her most recent column covered how companies hide the perks given to CEOs and other senior executives in their books. "I'm not even really sure what I'm working on for next week." Potential subject matter includes new incentives for top management now that stock options are losing their popularity; the wide gap between information available to small investors vs. large institutions; and the prerequisites for getting thousands of out-of-work techies back in the job market.

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