My meet the media interview this week is with Tim Danton of PC Pro fame who is also the editorial director across Dennis Technology titles as a whole. I love his top tip for PR professionals:
“ Know your product, know the titles you’re approaching and ignore rude journalists!”
Wise words. Enjoy.
Name: Tim Danton
Title I work for: PC Pro and as editorial director across Dennis Technology titles as a whole
Paul Stallard: What is your pet hate of PR?
Tim Danton: It’s frustrating when people have no idea of what subject matter we cover – we’re just a name on a hit list – and that used to be a huge pet hate of mine, but it appears to be getting better!
PS: What is the best way to contact you?
TD: Email first. Phone if you have a really good reason for calling.
PS: What is your top tip for PR professionals?
TD: Know your product, know the titles you’re approaching, and ignore rude journalists!
PS: How many emails / calls do you get a day?
TD: Around 100 emails, around 10 calls.
PS: How has the increase of social media affected traditional journalism?
TD: I think it’s great. There’s now a direct link between readers and journalists, and PRs and journalists, in a way that simply wasn’t possible before. But really I’m talking about Twitter (@timdanton) here: Facebook is dangerous (do I really want people I’ve met once to see all my private photos?) and LinkedIn still under-used.
PS: Have you had to change your writing style for online copy to incorporate SEO?
TD: Yes. Headlines and opening paragraphs need to be structured to include the relevant keywords, for instance, and you need to include the full name of products whenever you mention them. It’s frustrating to an extent, as it can harm the flow of the story or review, but it’s also a fact of life now.
PS: Is there a future long term for hard copy publications or will online rule?
TD: Yes, but print titles will change how they structure magazines, and the type of articles they publish in them, while publishers will change how they make money from them. This is already happening!
PS: Bar your own, which news titles do you read?
TD: I browse and flit depending on where I am and what the people I follow on Twitter suggest.
PS: Do you believe journalists are rude to PR professionals?
TD: Some are, absolutely. Particularly journalists who, shall we say, have a high opinion of themselves and their importance! But 90% of the journalists I meet understand the pressures PR execs are under, and appreciate the job they do, so we shouldn’t let a few louder mouths drown out everyone else.