Last evening, I had an opportunity to hear Sarah Lacy’s story about starting Pando Daily. During her fascinating talk, Sarah mentioned about how they come up with so many good stories. One thing that caught my attention was that the writers don’t have access to analytics and their stories are judged by merit and not by traffic numbers. During the Q&A, I asked Sarah what in her mind made a good story (for PandoDaily, of course.)
Here is Sarah’s take on that (paraphrasing from my notes)
We have three filters for great stories. They are:
1. Exclusive AND interesting: Plain exclusive stories are not worth their salt if they are not interesting. If the story is interesting ONLY but everyone has access to the story, we are as interested as others based on the merit of the story.
2. Real breaking news: This has to be some news that will have a material impact. Not a story that has a label called “Breaking News” on it.
3. Well-researched opinion pieces: These are articles that are based on facts and research. The research has to be real and the person should have called a few sources that have something important to say on the topic.
Sarah clearly mentioned that her team is rarely interested in standard press releases. They would rather prefer a short, really well told story with facts to backup their story.
I had read Sarah’s writings over the years so it was good to finally meet her and see the passion she has for writing as well as for Pando Daily.
I wish the whole team very best and if you have a great story that you think will fit in with what PandoDaily covers, send the story to firstname.lastname@example.org