Gorkana Meets...Richard Blakeley

Published: Apr 30, 2014

Firstly, tell us a bit about your role and the team at Rabbit

I’m the head of Business Development at Rabbit, a startup that is about to launch very soon. It’s a very exciting browser-based video chat application for publishers, and it’s going to change the way you interact with your favorite brands and publications. I love working at Rabbit, because my background is in digital content with a focus on video, and now I get to apply an application to help publications create and grow conversations around their content on a much broader level.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I try to mix it up and have work days and meeting days. It’s important to get your pitch out there, but it can’t all be about running from meeting to meeting. Listing to the needs of the content creator is extremely important because it helps develop the future product roadmap of our own company.

How can PRs help with content?

Great PR is good content. Just as an editor might have an exclusive story, a PR person has their own exclusive stories to tell. Everything from digital native advertising to comments sections on websites are evolving into content. At the end of the day, what is content? It’s really just great stories told well, and you can just as easily do that through PR as you can through editorial if you do it well.

What should PRs bear in mind when pitching in story ideas?

Keep in mind that every editor is different. Some hate mass emails and others don’t mind them at all. It helps to make your emails as short as possible and to not include large attachments in them. Ideally, include small images and then link to a dropbox for the larger ones. And always make sure your links work before you send out the email as many times they have changed from your original draft.

The Webutante Ball, Internet’s biggest annual party, is next month! What inspired you to start this event?

New York is the home to some of the top industries in the world — like publishing, fashion, finance, and media — and they are all being dramatically transformed through digital technology. I noticed that many people in the internet space started attending the same boring tech events after work. You know the ones, where people awkwardly mingle, sip a beer, and rarely say anything to each other. I wanted to change all of that by throwing a great party where people get dressed up and go out to have fun with friends and meet new ones. The Webutante Ball is a celebration of the evolution of digital culture in New York, and every year it’s a snapshot of the current digital landscape.

You founded the blog, “This is Why You’re Fat,” several years ago and its success resulted in a published book and rumors of a TV show. Are you still working on the expansion of this blog?

Yes! This is Why You’re Fat is still going strong after five years. Although now it’s more of a Hall of Fame for ridiculous foods, as there are only so many ways you can make a crazy burger before it’s just an unimaginative pile of food.

What one thing do you want to accomplish by the end of 2014?

I’d like Rabb.it video chat technology to be on most of the websites of publications you visit every day.

What do you hope will happen today?

I hope you’ll read this interview and decide to check out The Webutante Ball on May 20 to drink and dance with the digerati. Early Adaptor tickets are now on sale.


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