01 May Meet the Tech Media: Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want
Disclaimer: Not an actual representation of the Meet the Tech Media panelists
Yesterday morning I had the chance to attend a “Meet the Technology Media” panel session hosted by Business Wire. I’ll be honest, I went in with some pretty low expectations but was pleased with the information I walked away with – and what I’m sharing with you here.
I’ve been to these sorts of events before and often don’t leave feeling I’ve learned that much other than being reminded, yet again, that there are clearly some PR people out there who are really bad at their job.
Panelists for this session included:
- Andrew Feinberg – a freelance journalist who covers federal and state technology and telecom, largely from a legislative view, and has written for The Hill and Communications Daily. (side note – Andrew and I also have the same alma mater – Go, Badgers!)
- Bill Flook – tech journalist with the Washington Business Journal who focuses on the DC tech scene and start-ups.
- Rob Pegoraro – freelance technology writer who spent 18 years at The Washington Post. Rob writes a weekly Q&A column for USA Today and blogs about gadgets and social media for Discovery News. Super smart and funny, Rob is very consumer focused and not someone I would typically be pitching but someone worth knowing.
- Paul Sherman – the well known editor and publisher of Potomac Tech Wire is very interested in the business side of things – new hires, M&A, contract wins and other big company news
- Nick Wakeman – the long time editor-in-chief of Washington Technology focuses on systems integrators, procurement trends and major contracts.
I was interested in this event because these are my people, these are reporters I’m reaching out to on a regular basis and if they had any tips to offer on what they are looking for this was my chance to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. I can’t say I walked away with knowing the perfect way to pitch them so my clients get their attention but I do feel I have a better understanding of what they want. For the sake of this blog post, I’m going to focus on Bill, Paul and Nick – reporters who are of very high interest to my clients.
Let’s start with Bill.
Bill is very focused on enterprise and consumer tech and specifically focuses on the DC tech start-up scene. He gathers a lot of information from the DC Tech Facebook group. He’s not all that interested in contractors and if you are going to pitch him on acquisitions or contract wins it needs to somehow be connected to DC tech. While he doesn’t cover products and product announcements, he’s open to having a discussion if you can talk about the macro trends, what you’re seeing in the market that drove the launch of a specific product or changes to a product line-up. Focus too much on your product though and you’re toast.
Next up, Paul.
Potomac Tech Wire is really an aggregator of the day’s top news in the DC area and doesn’t publish longer feature pieces. If you’re hoping to be covered you have to have a connection to DC and if the dateline of your press release is outside the greater Washington, DC, area you need to be sure to spell out quickly and easily what the connection to DC is. Additionally, while Paul and the crew at Potomac Tech Wire are fine with receiving event announcements, they don’t have the resources to cover an event and are much more interested in any findings that come out of an event. Like Bill and the Washington Business Journal, Potomac Tech Wire doesn’t cover products.
Last up, Nick.
First things first, you may have noticed that Washington Technology is no longer a print publication and has recently instituted a pay wall for the content on its website. I’m hoping to have more on that development for you soon. As far as coverage in Washington Technology, Nick is very interested in covering the business side of things – and if you can attach dollar values to your news even better. When writing about selling to the federal government, make sure your story discusses trends and would be of interest to others, and not just promotional for you. While he doesn’t get to check Twitter every day, there are a few hashtags that he specifically follows that would be useful to use – including #govcon and #govIT.
So was the Meet the Media session worth it? This time around, I’d say yes, absolutely!