Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle will include a special advertorial supplement with articles penned by freelancers operating out of India. The stand-alone annual supplement, Perspectives, covers different business segments such as automotive, health, fitness, education, and retail (this year's supplement includes biotech). This will mark its fourth year of publication, but the first time the content has been produced offshore.
In the past, said Henry Ford, the Chron's senior marketing director, the articles were basically a repurposing of material provided by advertisers. "There's been declining interest," he explained. "We thought if it had a more editorial look and feel it might have better results, so we decided to bid it out to freelancers for the writing portion."
The company selected was Mindworks Global Media, a New Delhi-based firm -- slogan: "Trusted by editors worldwide" -- that offers editing, design, and "content creation" services. Client publications on its Web site are largely of the gadget-whoring, automotive, and financial varieties. "A significant number of stories for any publication can be written from anywhere, irrespective of geographic boundaries, if a high-level of domain expertise is combined with superior journalistic skills to get information, analyse it correctly and write in an engaging manner," the site states. "Offshore teams can readily undertake remote reporting for content that is not location-sensitive. When necessary, local reporting can also be done by posting team members at the locations."
Ford seemed happy enough with the result. "They pull together some great articles," he said.
Now please, Henry. Let's not give Dean Singleton any brilliant ideas.