Ever wonder why USA Today San Francisco bureau chief Jon Swartz is so courteous to PR people? Jon knows dozens of PR pros on a first-name basis. Big into social media, Jon rarely fails to favorite a Tweet from PR and often converses with PR folks whether he has met them or not. We always wondered why. This week he told us why.
[Learned lots this week in meetings with editors and subscribers. Here are this week's notes from the field. Hope you enjoy. Please let us know if you like this format and how we can make it better.]
First, the newsy stuff. Business Insider is close to launching a consumer tech publication that will offer news, reviews and analysis with the 'tude we have come to expect from BI.
Says Emarketer: the average American watches 76 minutes of web video each day. In the wake of 33 presentations at the 2015 NewFronts (which ended today), even more reasons to watch web video are on the way. This SWMS analysis can help refine your storytelling and sense of audience.
Fortune has transcended last year's chaos in which parent Time Inc. finally split from Time Warner and top editors Andrew Serwer and Stephanie Mehta suddenly left. Under first-year editor Alan Murray, Fortune is now, among other things, a high-velocity tech news shop. In March it published more than 500 tech stories; April's totals easily topped that.
Not so long ago, if you wanted to place a client in a business video, you'd email a producer you happened to know. If you had a decent story to tell and your client was good on camera, odds are you'd get the hit. Somewhere along the line, "web video" became "web broadcasting" -- and everything changed.
Few other business segments face change as do banking, finance, securities and insurance (or BFSI, as it is known). The media that follows it is changing, too. Tax and stock advice will be with us forever. But a growing number of financial titles read more like TechCrunch every day. They need to, because new technology is changing -- and in some cases threatening -- business fundamentals across BFSI segments.
Entrepreneur contributors editor Stephen J. Bronner last week sent us his cheat sheet titled "How to keep Entrepreneur.com editors happy." It's required reading for any PR pro seeking to land a contributed post -- there or anywhere. As you'll see, it's designed to make Stephen's editing job easier -- but sheds practically no light on the topics Entrepreneur cares about most.
If you're a PR pro under 30, know that Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols was writing about technology before you were born. That doesn't make Steven unpitchable -- but it does make him impervious to clerk-y PR razzle-dazzle. We'll spare you the full measure of his PR laments, except that "it's kind of frightening" to him that "even the big PR firms... throw the "recent [college] graduates" into the deep end, pitching stories they don't fully understand.
Clouds, smartphones and wearables have transformed the world of financial services. Banks and brokerages battle crowdfunded lenders and robo advisors, using M&A, partnerships, FUD and every other weapon available. “Financial services companies are at the center of the tension between productivity and innovation and security and compliance,” Box CEO Aaron Levie told TechCrunch's Ron Miller.
"OMG, I'm a millennial," Tweeted Christina Bonnington this week, when she couldn't remember what a "keyboard typing machine" was called. The former Wired Gadget Lab writer, now the newly hired technology editor for Refinery29, doesn't really need to remember the word "typewriter" anyway. She's got an important new job these days, focusing on cool, useful technology that will fascinate Refinery29's 22 million monthly readers.
Yet another venue has arrived for IT contributed content. It's called RTInsights and was founded by Les Yeamans, the software executive who founded eBizQ in 1998 and sold it 12 years later to TechTarget. His new project, RTInsights, rounds up the usual suspects -- analytics, big data, cloud -- but focuses on real-time technologies surrounding IoT, event processing, decision management and related fields.
We spent this week on the road and will spend three weeks on it next month, meeting with subscribers to tackle their toughest coverage challenges. Today we share some of the challenges we discussed this week in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Washington DC -- along with our advice on how to deliver the goods. [To protect confidentiality, no agency or client names are mentioned.]
But before we get to that...