Write for Us
Pacific Standard publications include a bimonthly print magazine and a daily website—PSmag.com—that put social and behavioral science research into lively, intelligent conversation with the news and the national debate. We are a great home for writers who can tell deeply reported, gripping tales while plumbing the intellectual, theoretical, and empirical context that surrounds them. We have a particular interest in stories covering economics, society and justice, education, and the environment. Our writers should want to make readers think about how society ticks—how individuals, institutions, cultures, families, and the like actually behave—and about why we do the things we do.
We are in search of:
At PSmag.com, we publish a variety of smart, fun stories—reported features, essays, columns, and more—that contain the qualities of the writing outlined below, but are particularly suited for our digital audience. That means we run multiple pieces every weekday that respond in some way to recent news and events and/or are especially shareable on the social Web. These pieces should aim to put us among the lively conversations happening every day online and contribute to our goal of becoming a must-visit daily destination site.
Our features take a number of forms: vividly reported stories or profiles that are deeply informed by interesting research; personal essays that ground sociological or cultural phenomena in lived experience; dispatches from the world of ideas, illuminating some new strand of research that promises to change the world or the way we look at it; or cogent, evidence-driven polemics that gleefully run against the grain of convention. And in whatever form, we love “conceptual scoops”—pieces that muster data, research, and reporting to powerfully reframe the reader’s grasp of an important but misunderstood subject.
These are short, 700- to 800-word, brightly and actively reported pieces that prize immediacy and immersion, either in a scene or an idea. The ideal Prospector deploys cinematic language, well-chosen quotes that impart a character’s voice, and tight narration. This is the place in the magazine where we want to give readers a sense of discovery—of stumbling upon an intimate scene. It’s also the place where we focus more on social and behavioral ideas that are “still in beta,” as tech people say. Subjects can be thinkers who are a little out there, new concepts that are outlandish but promising, or settings that are a little offbeat.
“The Five Studies You Need to Know About If You Want to Understand X:” This column consists of a short introduction, followed by five 150-word blurbs, each describing one salient finding from a piece of research. Together, the five studies should trace out an emerging new understanding of some important, popular subject. Ideally, the subject is timely, the studies are surprising and build on each other, and the writing is fun.
These two standing items in the magazine, each between 1,200 and 2,000 words, are reported essays that cohere around a strong argument or frame. They should give readers a new way to think about an economic topic or a cultural touchstone, and should be buttressed by an understanding of the social science literature that illuminates the subject.
We’re interested in critical essays that put books—one or multiple—in their most lively and relevant context. We aim to examine new works that fit loosely under the social and behavioral sciences rubric, or that can be analyzed from a social or behavioral science standpoint. Books under review can be popular or academic, provided they have value that can be harnessed for a broad lay audience. (Note: The magazine doesn’t publish consumer-oriented book reviews.)
LIFE IN THE DATA
Our back page consists of a short personal narrative essay about the interaction between a big social or behavioral pattern—be it demographic, psychological, economic, geographic, or cultural—and one’s own personal, lived experience. We’re not looking for reporting stunts; we’re looking for introspective autobiography and compressed, gemlike writing. Length: 700 words.
All Pacific Standard and PSmag.com articles should be sophisticated and engaging, should shed light on the new or the innovative, and should wear their erudition lightly. Writers receive careful, thoughtful, collegial, and stringent editing, with the aim of making sophisticated ideas and research accessible to an educated public. Queries are welcome via email; please direct print-specific pitches to email@example.com and Web-specific pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIGITAL SALES MANAGER
Pacific Standard is looking for a motivated, entrepreneurial, and outgoing person to lead its digital sales effort.
We are a small staff, keenly interested in increasing our intellectual capital and our network. This position offers an opportunity to become part of something, new, exciting, and ambitious: We’re just two years old, but Pacific Standard, which is put out by a team that includes alumni of The Atlantic, The Washington Monthly, Outside, and Architectural Digest, has come a long way fast, growing to nearly 100,000 bimonthly print subscribers and more than one million unique monthly visitors to our daily website. Just last month, we were nominated in the category of general excellence for the prestigious National Magazine Awards.
We’ve recently redesigned our website, which is now fully responsive, and have everything in place to begin selling custom display advertising packages and sponsorships. That’s where you come in. (An outside ad operations coordinator and/or the associate publisher will fill remaining digital inventory with programmatic display advertising sold through exchanges.) There is also the opportunity to sell limited print advertising (or cross-platform campaigns). For the time being, this person will be the only one selling custom advertising on PSmag.com, giving them the opportunity to generate significant revenue and commissions.
This person will be responsible for developing a shared sales calendar and monitoring the progress of sold advertising programs to ensure delivery and client satisfaction; cold calling, prospecting for new clients, and responding to RFPs; completing, reviewing, and processing insertion orders; presenting content package ideas to the editorial team that have sponsorship potential; delivering strong presentations over the phone and/or in person to prospective clients with various sales aides, visual presentations, research reports, and sales support data; educating potential clients on the value of Pacific Standard; serving as the point person on all-things advertising and sales for the associate publisher of The Miller-McCune Center.
Before applying, please review our current Media Kit for our mission statement, online reader profile, and existing online opportunities and rates we’ve had success charging clients in the past. Current opportunities include traditional display advertising (ROS and targeted), text links, email newsletter display advertising, site-wide advertising bundles, limited native advertising and sponsored content, and disruptive advertising (pop-ups, roadblocks, and special packages).
REQUIRED SKILLS & EXPERIENCE
● Media sales experience; previous work with independent digital publishers a plus.
● High level contacts at client and agency strategy groups; developed relationships in the industry.
● Ability to generate revenue and meet/exceed established sales targets.
● Proven success launching, managing, and executing strategic sales initiatives across platforms.
● Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; you should be articulate, meticulous, energetic, and persuasive.
● Strong personal initiative (this is a remote, commission-based position).
● Demonstrated time management skills and an outstanding work ethic.
● Experience with Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers and/or other ad management and ad serving platforms.
JOB LOCATION & DETAILS
This is a part- to full-time position, to be determined by the selected candidate, and can be filled remotely. Compensation is in the form of a very generous commission structure based on completed sales. Benefits and base salary are not initially included, though there is the opportunity for this to grow into a full-time, on-site position overseeing what we anticipate will be a small team of traditional account managers and sales assistants, and the development of a brand content studio for the creation and sale of sponsored posts and related material.
Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Nicholas Jackson, the digital director of Pacific Standard and associate publisher of The Miller-McCune Center, at email@example.com with “Digital Sales Manager” in the subject line. Interviews for qualified candidates will begin immediately.
ABOUT PACIFIC STANDARD
Pacific Standard grapples with the nation’s biggest issues—with a focus on economics, society and justice, education, and the environment—by paying particular interest to what shapes human behavior. We are interested in the psychological tendencies, customs, conditions, and galvanizing ideas that propel modern life, and suggest ways in which it can be improved. Through our publications and events, we explore the science of society with a broad community of readers, contributors, and thought leaders. We believe in the power of cutting-edge empirical research to shed new light on human affairs. And we believe in the power of great storytelling to make vivid and persuasive what is otherwise abstract.
Our publications include a bimonthly print magazine and a dynamic website, PSmag.com. In partnership with our parent organization, the non-profit Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy, Pacific Standard works with national organizations focused on the social and behavioral sciences, bringing public discussions to live audiences.
ABOUT THE MILLER-MCCUNE CENTER
The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Santa Barbara, California. As a private operating foundation, the Miller-McCune Center strives to not just inform, but also to promote meaningful dialogue by reporting, in clear and concise language, the latest and most relevant scientific research and innovations shaping the issues of the day. Today, using print and online resources, internships, and direct outreach to the scholarly community, the Center’s goal is to tap into existing social and behavioral research to inform and promote forward-thinking actions in public policy.