2 MINUTES WITH: Peter Bale, executive producer, MSN homepage

The MSN homepage has been recently re-launched.

Bale: 'We are interested in original stories and material and are always looking for fresh ways to report existing stories'
Bale: 'We are interested in original stories and material and are always looking for fresh ways to report existing stories'

PRWeek: What have changes have you made?

Peter Bale: We have expanded the amount of news and content on the site. We have a team of 30 journalists who keep the site up to date and take content from our partners Reuters, Press Association and ITN. We have also put all our services, including Windows Live and Hotmail, on the homepage for easier access.

PRWeek: Who visits the MSN homepage?

PB: We target a mass audience and have more than 10 million monthly unique users. Most of these users range in age from theirlate teens to early forties. 

PRWeek: What do you want from PROs?

PB: We are interested in original stories and material and are always looking for fresh ways to report existing stories. We are interested in the principle of storytelling and particularly in receiving pictures, videos or maps to illustrate stories. We want to go beyond plain text.

PRWeek: How do you differ from your competitors?

PB: We have more editorial resources and a stronger editorial focus than Yahoo and, compared with traditional media sites like The Guardian website, we have a much more open way of reporting stories. We are less opinionated and are not selling a particular political, class or demographicagenda.

PRWeek: Any advice to PR professionals?

PB: PROs should remember that it takes much longer than people realise to create content for the web. Sometimes people assume that it should be instant. But when you are getting pictures and videos together, we need a bit more notice.

PRWeek: How should PROs get in touch?

PB: Phone or email the news desk. Section editors are Tom Evans (cars), Ellen Cresswell (money), Mike Lok (entertainment), Alastair Bruce (tech), Chris Lunn (video), Nicole O’Neill (life & style) and Peter Bell (mobile).

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