Name: Erick Erickson
Preferred e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.redstate.com
Erick Erickson spent six years as an attorney in Macon, GA, before beginning his work behind the scenes at Redstate, a conservative advocacy, news, and opinion blog. He's also worked as a political consultant and appeared as a commentator on cable news shows. He spoke with Frank Washkuch about his site's unique spot in the political blogosphere.
PRWeek: How would you describe the content?
Erickson: It is political opinion and news writing. We have broken stories regularly. In fact, in 2005, we were the first site anywhere to report on who the president was picking for the Supreme Court. And it's been that way since then. We are more and more moving in an activist direction, trying to get conservatives to engage politically, trying to get them to call members of Congress and take action.
PRWeek: When you say you're moving more in an activist direction, how does that affect the content?
Erickson: It's actually much more news-centric, Congress is doing X, and this is why it's good or bad. These are the details, here is the number, make a phone call. So it's more news and less opinion now than it used to be, trying to educate readers and get them involved in the process.
PRWeek: What is the core readership demographic?
Erickson: We survey our readers regularly. Our average reader is a 42-year-old married father of two who works full-time and has an hour commute.
PRWeek: Why that person?
Erickson: Because for some reason, and I'm not sure why, we have cultivated a readership that doesn't really spend a lot of time online - people who want to get involved politically and don't have the time can go to the site and find out the info. We regularly send out items via e-mail for the people who can't be online in the office all day, but can still participate via e-mail.
PRWeek: What will be the big issues you'll cover for the rest of this year?
Erickson: There are a couple: One is healthcare, which I think everyone is focused on; But our big focus are state legislative races, because whoever wins the statehouses in 2010 will control redistricting.
PRWeek: What are the others?
Erickson: Healthcare and national security issues will be big. But the bigger overall issues, meta issues, are the rebuilding the conservative movement and the issues to attract independent voters to the conservative coalition.
PRWeek: Obviously there are a lot of politically minded PR professionals. Who do you have the best relationships with?
Erickson: The volume of e-mail I get through pitches are mostly from the conservative community. I don't get a lot from the general PR community, although more and more we are.
PRWeek: Any advice for people who want to get an issue on your radar?
Erickson: Don't send press releases. Press releases are the first thing I ditch. Focus on issues that you know the reader does care about. For instance, what do 42-year-old fathers of two care about?