It used to be common for journalists to have their own blog where they would post the stories and ideas that didn’t make it to their employer’s publication. But now, we have newsletters – namely, Substack.

Julian Childs, former international revenue chief of Business Insider, told Press Gazette: “That model of open CMS for newsletters has really opened the market for journalists to publish, in the same way that the internet and social media did 20 years ago.”

It’s pretty clear that Substack considers itself the successor to blogging, too: it has a guide on how to transfer your blog over.

Substack is an easy way to publish and monetise a newsletter. In February 2024, it announced that it had crossed the impressive milestone of three million paid subscribers, up from two million in 2023. And big names in journalism and media have gone all-in on the platform. The New Statesman became the first major publisher to distribute its newsletters Morning Call and The Saturday Read entirely through Substack; Former Times chief football writer Henry Winter has made Substack the new home of his journalism; Hollywood news Substack Ankler Media now counts 74,000 subscribers across its newsletters and expects to hit $10M in revenue in 2025; and former Business Insider execs are behind the new personal finance Substack publication MoneyIn2.

This is also good news for other newsletters

More than half of media leaders told the Reuters Institute that they will increase newsletter production in the next year. (It’s worth noting that zero said they would increase output of written articles…) The FT’s head of newsletters, Sarah Ebner, told Press Gazette that Substack has been “very helpful” for the paper’s in-house newsletters, by creating a market where people are willing to pay for them.

Why does this matter for B2B PR?

Business to business PR is all about reaching specialist audiences. And that’s exactly what newsletter writers and editors do – they invest the time in creating dedicated content for a dedicated audience. That’s why we pitch Substack editors much the same as we do traditional journalists – you can see our client Benenden’s report on how the gender health gap impacts women in the workplace in this weekly Substack on gender equality and the economy.

I also read them to understand what our target journalists are personally passionate about – and a paid subscription to a newsletter is a great way to show them that you value their work.

Some of our favourite Substacks

The beauty of newsletters is that there’s one for every interest. If you’re interested in B2B PR, technology, and the media, like me, I’d recommend checking these out:

Internal Tech Emails

This isn’t one to pitch to – it’s more a feast for the nosey. It does exactly what it says on the tin – it publishes internal tech industry emails that have surfaced in public records. Some particularly juicy ones include Inside Apple’s Marcom meeting and When Apple considered buying Bing (Bing didn’t show the right answer for “annie lennox first band” – oops).

WOMEN | MONEY | POWER by Josie Cox

You’ve probably seen Josie’s work on BBC Worklife and Forbes. She has a particular interest in business, workplace culture and gender equality, and her Substack is a must-read for all those who focus on diversity and inclusion. Try her article ‘My complicated relationship with a criminal’, on Elizabeth Holmes.

Comms All Ye Faithful by John Forberger

Previously called B2B PR Now, Comms All Ye Faithful is a great read for PR pros, marketers and founders working in B2B. John goes into granular detail on the hows and whys of B2B PR. He reflects many of the sentiments we hold here at Definition – particularly when he describes the need for PR pros to take time to understand their clients’ businesses and PR objectives, which we do during our onboarding phase.

Rory’s Always On Newsletter by Rory Cellan Jones

You might recognise Rory’s name from his time at the BBC, where he spent 15 years reporting on technology. He brings his informative and thoughtful writing to the topic of healthtech. Recent topics include sleep, dementia and AI, but his main focus is Parkinson’s, which he also covers on his fantastically named podcast, ‘Movers and Shakers’.

Make Work Better by Bruce Daisley

Bruce Daisley is a workplace culture writer, and his Substack is essential for anyone who likes to think and talk about the ways we work. Hybrid working, workplace culture, productivity, teamwork and more are covered here.

Want to chat about your favourite Substack, or how to feature in one? Get in touch!

Katie Chodosh Screen

Written by Katie Chodosh, Head of Media Relations at Definition.