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The most successful proposed pieces take stands on timely questions that matter to many people in the Ad Age audience, typically in 750 words or less and without serving as veiled or indirect ads for the author's company. Some further guidance:
Exclusivity Pieces should not have run elsewhere and should not be simultaneously pitched to other publications, whether in print or digital media. If we run your piece, we retain exclusive rights for one week, after which you are free to post it elsewhere.
Content The writer needs to take a clear position, often going out on a limb with his or her perspective and inviting disagreement. The piece should reflect the individual's own opinion, view, expertise and not that of his or her company. There should also be a clear takeaway for intended audience. The writer should include real-world examples to support points. And they should not all concern the company where the author works.
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Jargon should be avoided at all costs. Our readers may work in the business, but they'd rather read English than corporate-speak, and you need to make sure the piece is comprehensible and engaging even for people who aren't using the tech, on the account or already immersed in the controversy you're addressing. Here's an example of what not to say:
"This was a multibrand and multiplatform negotiation to drive a portfolio of game properties, and we initiated it to secure seamless integration in the right environments and to leverage their budgets for maximum impact."
That's jargon, if you were unsure. Also note: concept is not a verb; ideate is not a word.
Full pieces should be well-polished when submitted. We will do a final edit, of course, but authors should copy-edit first and check for errors themselves.
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Canned pitches will almost always be summarily rejected. Know the Ad Age audience and whether or not the subject has been written about.
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Please note that for DigitalNext and Small Agency Diary, we aren't usually interested in one-off contributions, but rather in writers who will contribute on a somewhat regular basis.
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