Even before the Apple Watch arrives, "design" has come to dominate the hive mind. (The latest evidence: this week's 16,628-word New Yorker profile of Apple chief designer Jony Ive.) Wearables, car tech and IoT -- three of today's top tech trends -- all owe themselves to design. Smart VC firms are hiring designers-in-residence. Yet editorially, the rise of design is easy to miss. According to Google Trends, the number of news headlines containing the word "design" dropped 50 percent since 2004. Yes, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Wired and The Verge all offer design sections, but who else does?
Speaker-placement opportunity is unfolding at Bloomberg and Fortune. Having scrapped its "Next Big Thing" event brand, Bloomberg is hard at work on the debut of the Bloomberg Technology Conference, set for June 15-16 in San Francisco. Steering the ship is Bloomberg LIVE editor Stephanie Mehta, a 14-year veteran of archrival Fortune and a former architect of Fortune face-to-face events.
San Francisco's KQED got lucky this week, hiring tech edit veteran Christina Farr to launch a blog and podcast "at the intersection of new technologies, healthcare and medicine." The new franchise is called "Future of You" and launches Mar. 12 -- the day before South by Southwest -- at KQED.org/futureofyou.
Forbes staff writer Aaron Tilley, whose beat is hardware and chipmakers, is one of those reporters that PR is lucky to pitch: smart, sincere and hungry to learn. It's a shame, so far, that much of PR mishandles him. "It becomes a little exhausting being pitched all the time," Aaron says, "when in fact you just want to have a conversation with another human being."
PR pros rarely think about headlines. Yes, it's not their job to write them, and pitching one usually insults your target and could get you blacklisted. But times have changed. Publishing is now software and software is driven by science. Upworthy editors write 25 headlines for each article before choosing one. InfoWorld EIC Eric Knorr holds daily headline meetings with his staff.
Did I make you laugh? Good, because if you have an inner Tina Fey or Jimmy Fallon, and you bring that instinct to work, you can come sit by me. Snark and humor resonate with readers and fuel headlines that people love to share. Enterprise tech headline writing, which I have been practicing intensely since 2008, also involves science, art, and muscle memory. Great headline writers keep up to date on the science, appreciate the art, and relish the practice.
Looking to place a client as a Forbes contributor? "The door is open," says senior editor Loren Feldman, the newly arrived overseer of Forbes's Entrepreneurs channel. Says Loren: "I generally ask prospective contributors to send an explanation of what they do and what they would like to cover along with, say, 10 ideas for posts, with a working headline and a few sentences of explanation."
If you want to place contributed content, be a myth buster. Search the web and you'll find page after page of headlines with the term "myth busting" (or its one-word or hyphenated variants). Myth busting is big. Forrester uses the term to hawk its webinars. The HuffPo has a standing column about them. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman have been busting myths on TV for 12 years; name another show that lasted that long.
Add The Economist's Martin Giles to the list of tech reporters joining the VC world. Martin yesterday officially joined Wing Venture Capital to "develop deep and actionable insights in core areas of interest to Wing and its portfolio companies." In short, Martin is now private property. We can no longer get access to his prodigious mind for the price of an Economist subscription.
We profile Re/code culture reporter Nellie Bowles on a day when the woman who hired her, Kara Swisher, is to interview the President of the United States. That's something Nellie could pull off, too. She's just as erudite, charismatic and good on camera. Like Kara, Nellie can write books: she's writing one now, for Hachette, about Silicon Valley culture. And she writes as colorfully as anyone at Re/code or anywhere else.
Two scenarios dominate your use of SWMS valet consulting these days. One, after a gatekeeper rejects your IT-related contributed post, you send it to us and ask who else might run it. Or two, you'll send us a draft and ask who might run it. In both cases it is usually too late: the piece lacks the context gatekeepers require.