Forbes Council and Alternatives for Thought Leadership Articles

It’s no secret that publishers are in dire straits.

The entire landscape of media is undergoing a seismic shift, beginning with the move from print to online, then with the proliferation of social media, and now with the growth of AI tools.

The net result is that once-powerful media publishing houses are going under:

-Los Angeles Times lays off 25% of their newsroom

-Vice Media, at one time valued at over $5B, is about to go under

-Cable news networks such as CNN are seeing their audiences shrink year over year

-Local news outlets are hanging on by a thread

Little wonder then that the wall between editorial and sales is coming down.

As publishers seek new revenues streams, they have to straddle the fine line between impartiality and keeping the lights on.

The first to discover a fertile field of opportunity was Forbes, with the launch of their Councils.

These proved so successful that they spun off a variety of specialty Councils so that now they span a wide range of industries and functions: Agency, Business Development, Business, Coaches, Communications, Finance, Human Resources, Nonprofit, and the one that kicked it all off Technology.

The Councils proved to be a bit too successful for their own good; almost every PR campaign has an executive as a Council member.

And when everyone is a Council member, it starts to lose its cache.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a use for being part of the Forbes Council, but it does mean that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and other publishing titles sought to diversify their revenue streams with similar initiatives.

Forbes Council

What is Forbes Council?

The OG paid thought leadership network, the one that started it all. A bit oversaturated, but still popular.

Basically, it’s a way to submit thought leadership articles under your name. But note that these articles cannot be promotional in any way. They must be written in an educational and informative manner.

What are the benefits of joining the Forbes Council?

The key benefit you get is your article published on the Forbes platform, which you can then share and increase your reputation amongst your target audience.

Regularly posting on your account helps to get your message out in a way that looks more authoritative than posting on your own blog.

How do you become a member of Forbes Council?

1-Year Membership: $2,700 USD with a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $600 USD = $3,200 Total

2-Year Membership: $4,550 USD with a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $600 USD = $5,100 Total

Premium Membership (1-Year): $6,800 USD with a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $600 USD = $7,400 Total

Good for: anyone who’s breathing.

If you’re seeking to stand out from the crowd, here are some other thought leadership opportunities:

Entrepreneur Leadership Network

Part of what used to be Entrepreneur Magazine and is today, the Entrepreneur Leadership Network focuses on (surprise) entrepreneurship.

Membership fee: $3,000 per year.

Good for: brands and services looking to reach solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, fast growth brands, influencers.

Fast Company Executive Board

Fast Company’s magazine covers the intersection of technology and business, with its Executive Board seeking similar contributors.

Membership fee:

1-Year Membership: $2,300 with a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $500 USD = $2,800 Total

2-Year Membership (Best Value): $3,700 with a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $500 USD = $4,200 Total

Premium 1-Year Membership (articles written for you, which is a pretty good deal): $6,400 with a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $500 USD = $6,900 Total

Good for: companies on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest in technology

Newsweek Expert Forum

Once a weekly news magazine on par with TIME, Newsweek seeks to continue its brand focused on a wide range of news topics, with a particularly robust contributor section.

A victim of its own success, as of March 2024 they are not accepting new contributors. Check in regularly to see if they reopen applications.

Good for: brands and executives that are involved in current issues

CNBC Tech Executive Council

CNBC is still the granddaddy of breaking news for stocks, the business world and politics.

Membership fee: $8,000 per year

Good for: executives at publicly traded companies

Fortune Connect

Fortune has carved out a niche for itself from Forbes by maintaining its cache as being a step above its competitor.

As of March 2024, they are not accepting new contributors but are accepting waitlist applications.

Good for: Fortune 1000 or large privately held company executives.

Larger companies may choose to diversify and appoint various executives to various outlets, for instance the CEO, a head of sales, a head of technology.

But don’t underestimate the amount of work it can take to write and publish articles on a regular basis.

Initially CEOs may be excited at the idea, but the daily demands on their time will quickly sap their attention.

Here are some tips to make the most of your subscription:

-Find an executive who will commit to being the public face and author of these articles

-Determine if they want to write it themselves (unlikely) or if they will need a ghostwriter

-Have a call to sketch out key areas: main topics of interest, target audience, desired tone, frequency.

-Brainstorm potential article topics, keeping in mind that they are to be informative and NOT promotional

-Create content calendar

-Agree on an article topic and rough outline

-We’ve found the easiest way to get the information from the brains of executives to a draft article is to conduct a short video call. Turn on recording and transcription. Have the executive talk through the article topic, providing 3 to 5 concrete actionable takeaways that the reader will find of value.

-Be sure the writers closely follow the editorial guidelines of the publication. Each may have their own nuances. And while you do have control over what you write, the final article will be reviewed closely by editors. Remember to keep the article fully neutral and educational.

Sound overwhelming? Take a load off and contact Firecracker PR today, and let us manage your entire thought leadership strategy.