15 Sep Ask the Influencer: Q&A with Tania Anderson of Tech Bisnow
Tania Anderson is no stranger to the tech scene, she has worked as Washington-based journalist for nearly 20 years. She joined Bisnow Media in May 2011 and currently writes and edits Tech Bisnow, Association & Nonprofit Bisnow, and contributes to DC Real Estate Bisnow. Tania previously worked as a freelance writer for 7 years for various publications, including the Washington Business Journal, the Baltimore Business Journal and Washington Technology. She has a BA in communication from George Mason University and a master’s in print journalism and public policy from American University.
Tania was kind enough to agree to participate in an Ask the Influencer Q&A with me, for which I thank her kindly! I hope you enjoy my interview with Tania below.
SBX: You’re native to the DC area and have written for most of the local papers, what is it about the area that has kept you here for so long?
TA: I was born in Costa Rica but moved here with my parents as a baby, so it’s just home. I love how diverse the area is in terms of people, things to do, and industries. The schools are great and there are so many different types of neighborhoods to live in. Why move?
SBX: For Tech Bisnow, you cover the local tech scene, up and comers, as well contracts and real estate, how did you get involved with tech?
TA: I have to give credit to the father of an ex-boyfriend. He was an executive at SAIC and helped me get an internship at Washington Technology. I was very fortunate that they gave me a foot in the door right out of college with no professional writing experience. I worked as an unpaid intern and then hired as a junior reporter. I also grew up with a dad who was (and still is) a huge tech geek. We had a computer and lots of gadgets in the house throughout my childhood. So I have an genuine interest in tech and innovation.
SBX: In the time you’ve been writing about the tech community what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen?
TA: It’s so much easier and cheaper for people to launch tech companies. You don’t even need an engineering or computer science background to run a tech company. And people are much more willing now to take the risk of launching a tech company. Failure is a lot more acceptable now than it used to be. Consumer technology has also really taken off since I first started. I previously only covered enterprise technology and now there’s so much going on for consumers.
SBX: As a reporter for multiple publications, I’m sure you’ve seen some outlandish pitches, what’s the craziest pitch that you’ve seen?
TA: I don’t think I’ve gotten any crazy pitc
hes. What I do get are irrelevant pitches. Those are clearly coming from people who have never read an issue of Tech Bisnow or any of the other publications I write and edit. Not many people know that I also write Bisnow’s weekly e-newsletter on associations and nonprofits, I do all the Q&As for our daily Bisnow Morning Brief, and I’m the Northern Virginia reporter for DC Real Estate, a daily e-newsletter that covers commercial real estate.
SBX: What are you favorite topics and trends to cover?
TA: Lately I’ve been doing a lot of stories about women in technology. It’s been a lot of fun profiling female entrepreneurs and how they got into tech. There are so many brilliant women in tech doing big things but they don’t do as much chest beating as their male counterparts. I also love to cover things that others are not covering. So stories off the beaten track. Any story that can help me take the reader behind the scenes in an interesting way is also of interest.
SBX: Any tips for PR or companies to keep in mind when pitching you?
TA: Read the publications that I write for and learn what I like to cover. Feel free to pick up the phone or send me an e-mail asking me what kinds of stories I like to cover. Develop a relationship with me outside of just pitching. I’m much more likely to read an e-mail from a friendly PR person over one from someone who doesn’t take the time to get to know me.
SBX: Outside of writing, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
TA: I have two active daughters (ages 10 and 6), who keep me very busy with dance, gymnastics, swim team, and theatre. But I also train for half marathons. I’m running one in LA on Dec. 26 with my family, so I’m training to run it under 2 hours.
A big thanks to Tania for taking the time to answer my questions.