FIR Interview: Outbrain’s Jeff Pyatt on Outbrain, Content Marketing, and Native Advertising


Among the various classes of native advertising as defined by Edelman’s Steve Rubel, you’ll find “paid syndication,” in which “sponsored posts, articles, videos, slideshows and information graphics from corporations appear within the news section.”

Rubel includes Outbrain among the examples of companies that “sprinkle sponsored links into a company’s earned or owned media in the footer of related news articles.”

Indeed, that’s precisely Outbrain’s approach. With dozens of algorithms that analyse user habits, Outbrain delivers a list of recommended links at the end of stories appearing on sites like CNN, Mashable, and Slate.

Outbrain claims its links appear on 100,000 websites. The company serves over 150 billion recommendations and 15 billion page views per month, with a reach that extends to over 87% of the U.S. online population, not to mention international readers.

In this FIR interview, co-host Shel Holtz spends half an hour with Jeff Pyatt, head of Outbrain’s PR initiatives; he also addresses direct response clients. In this wide-ranging talk, Pyatt explains Outbrain’s value to PR practitioners and the kinds of content PR agencies generally pay to promote.

The conversation also covers the ethics of native advertising, among other topics.

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About our Conversation Partner

Jeff LyattJeff Pyatt is the Head of Global PR Initiatives at Outbrain. In this role, he leads Outbrain’s content discovery business across all industries with a special focus on public relations. As such, Jeff has become an advocate for the PR industry within the company. He is passionate about the power of good storytelling and content-based journalism to develop brand loyalty.

Prior to joining Outbrain, he worked in publishing and politics, including editorial and business development roles at RealClearPolitics, Yahoo! News and Health Central, and communications roles in the office of Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Jim Webb’s winning 2006 campaign.

Jeff’s a vocal advocate for expanding the role of the PR in brand journalism and believes they will win at content by leveraging their best asset: journalists and great communicators.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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