Source: Alan Burkitt-Gray
Next in my “Meet the media” series is Alan Burkitt-Gray the editor of Global Telecoms Business where he has been for the past eight years. Prior to becoming the editor of this prestigious telco title, Alan was the editor of Government Computing. He also spent seven years as a freelancer writing for Broadcast, Computing and a variety of other technology/business magazines.
Alan has answered the questions with brilliant honesty which makes for great reading. For example when asked about working in PR: “I’m not a PR person. The skills are different, and they’re skills I don’t have,” or has Alan black listed any agencies because of bad practices “Good PR is done by individuals not companies and I know who I get on with and trust.” You can’t say fairer than that.
Paul Stallard: Do you think that most PR professionals read the titles you write for before contacting you?
Alan Burkitt-Gray: “Most” implies I’ve done an accurate survey. I’m amazed by the number of people who send emails about new product launches. A quick glance at our website will show that we don’t report new product launches, except when they’re on the scale of the iPhone. A new router, or a new release of billing software: no.
PS: What is your top tip for PR professionals?
ABG: Know your client and understand the publications you’re pitching.
PS: How has the increase of social media affected traditional journalism?
ABG: What’s traditional journalism? Journalism has always moved fast as the technology of production and distribution has moved. I’ve been using Twitter since mid-2008, following and being followed by a group of technology-oriented journalists and PR people (twitter.com/alanburkittgray); now Twitter links that I post are the second biggest producer of visits to the Global Telecoms Business site.
PS: Have you had to change your writing style for online copy to incorporate SEO? Continue reading
I have just spent a wonderful couple of hours mucking about at the Roald Dahl museum. Having spent a small fortune in the shop buying some Quentin Blake pictures and cards from my childhood, I saw a piece of text on the back of one card which I really liked.
On the wall in front of me at work, I have a few bits and pieces to remind and inspire me during the day, holiday snaps, the family, pieces of coverage, that sort of thing. Well remembering a conversation I had with someone last week about how to deal with being re-buffed on a pitch or being spoken to badly by a journalist, the text on the back of this card is exactly the sort of thing I like to look at and keep going:
“You mustn’t despair!” cried Mr Wonka. “Nothing is impossible. You watch.”
My colleague Rebecca Wheeler wrote an interesting blog today about a survey from JD Power & Associates. According to the survey nearly four in 10 bloggers say they would pay news organisations to reuse news content. I agree with Rebecca that I don’t see this as the saviour for newspapers as to be honest bloggers can copy their news for free and just add some comment relatively easily.
However, this story did came in the same week that I saw Guy Kawasaki is paying two people to ghost write his posts on Twitter.
Are we approaching a new dawn for bloggers? If you can buy content for your blog and pay people to write your content on social networks such as Twitter is there a danger that your personality gets lost?
I was talking to another colleague Jo Jamieson the other day who writes a personal blog as well as the day job one. She met up with some bloggers from her community and they all expressed how they thought that she spoke exactly the same way as she wrote on her blog. I try hard to do a similar thing here and feel that is part of the charm of blogging. Surely, if content is not being generated by the owner of a blog it will lose its personality?
What do you think?
Source: Peter Whitehead
Continuing my ‘Meet the Media’ series I was lucky enough to pin Peter Whitehead the editor of FT’s Digital Business section down and ask him a few questions about the best way to approach him, his top tips for PR professionals and the long term future of hard copy publications.
Peter has answered with some interesting points but he has also illustrated that certain sections of our industry is continuing to make elementary mistakes. If you are a PR professional, please read the answers below before you pick up the phone to the guitar wielding Mr Whitehead.
Name: Peter Whitehead
Title: Editor of the FT’s Digital Business section
Paul Stallard: Do you think that most PR professionals read your section in the FT before contacting you?
Peter Whitehead: I think the vast majority that contact me are familiar with the section and very expert on the sector, or at least their bit of it. There are odd exceptions, of course, and they stick out a mile.
PS: What is your pet hate of PR?
PW: Phoning to tell me they’ve sent an e-mail. I’m pretty much a one-man band and so have to use just one communication channel and e-mail is the one that works best. Also, it’s annoying whenPRs ask for information that is already freely available on the website – usually who’s writing a particular piece. It means that if I can’t remember I have to look it up – just as they could have done in the first place.
PS: What is the best way to contact you? Continue reading