The Edge, an online publication owned by health startup Hone Health, won a public health journalism award from the Association of Health Care Journalists.
The year-old publication won for “The Enemy Within,” an editorial package that told stories of army veterans and the risk of low testosterone – and the challenges they face getting treatment.
Competing in a category alongside media stalwarts like the New York Times is a notable step for a brand publisher, and may provide some evidence that reporting-based approaches can pay off handsomely for brand content. When we spoke with Hone’s editorial director, Tracy Middleton, in November, she told Toolkits that the idea is to build a newer, more modern version of Men’s Health. The company’s editorial approach is based on serving people searching the Internet for symptoms such as tiredness or weight gain. The Edge publishes a plethora of original content that seeks to answer health-related questions, and drives interested parties to order a hormone deficiency test to see if Hone’s products can help.
The package that won the award was borne out of Middleton’s research on how many of Hone’s customers happened to be veterans. Middleton said that it was a success from both an editorial and a business perspective: “Our email with the package had an open rate of 60%, higher than others. And we used it to re-engage people in the funnel, such as in the cart abandoned stage, or those who bought a kit but hadn’t registered it,” she told Toolkits.
Betr launches Betr Combat
Sports betting companies’ love affair with media continues. Last week, Betr launched a combat sports media vertical, called Betr Combat, and signed MMA professional Bo Nickal and combat sports celeb David “The Schmo” Schmulenson to host shows.
Betr Combat is described as the first “verticalized” media arm from the company and will feature original shows and videos, interviews and analysis. Betr plans to launch more verticals in the coming months, each of which will target a sports league.
Betr is a micro-betting company launched by YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul and sports betting exec Joey Levy, and relies on content and publishing as a core part of its customer acquisition strategy. When it launched last year, it said its plan was to develop 10+ videos a day to begin, creating content that would drive people to Betr in an increasingly competitive market.
Betr’s existing programming garnered an audience of 5.1 million in its first six months It first launched its real money gaming app in Ohio in January with plans to include combat sports micro betting opportunities soon.
Tech layoffs hit brand publishing
Technology companies are cutting their brand publishing teams as they slash budgets and staff more broadly, bringing into sharp focus how nascent the discipline remains and how much work remains to be done to convince executives of its worth.
The tech industry has seen widespread layoffs over the past nine months, largely thanks to changed customer behavior post-pandemic and a period of overhiring. According to layoffs.fyi, more than 200,000 tech jobs have been lost since the start of 2022. Within tech companies, marketing teams are among the worst hit. And since publishing groups typically sit within marketing departments, they’re finding themselves on the chopping block too.
While it’s difficult to get a sense of how many brand publishing or editorial staff have been laid off in recent months, recruiters and editors paint a bleak picture of how the economic climate has affected journalists working for tech brands.
Also worth noting:
- Raconteur spoke with FT CEO John Ridding, a 35-year veteran of the news brand, about chatGPT and AI, why news and information is more important than ever before, and how to create a fearless publication.
- A new Gallup and Knight Foundation survey found that only 35% of Americans think national news organizations are reliably reporting the news fairly or accurately.
- Wayfair said that it’s had to heavily spend on advertising despite cutting costs via layoffs in the latest quarter. Brands in competitive sectors usually are unlikely to dial down ad costs even during rough times.