With 2016 now so close, we thought we'd package what we felt were 2015's most poignant PR takeaways from the many tech and business journalists we interviewed. We kept the list quite short and focused only on the counter-intuitive. Let's get right to it.
New York Times
If anyone knows for sure what "mobile content" will look like next year, it should be Forbes, with several apps already out and more on the way. But even Forbes doesn't. That's why last month it held an internal "100% Mobile Day" in which reporters, editors and folks from the sales and PR side brainstormed what "Forbes for your phone" might look like.
We've been studying CEO profiles lately -- because subscribers have been asking us to. Here's what we found. CEO profiles focus either on CEOs getting to the top, or the techniques they use to stay there. The getting-to-the-top pieces are almost always "Can They Do It" stories, portraying a CEO's quest to establish a new marketplace or vanquish entrenched competitors.
Bloomberg tech reporters are happy these days. Brad Stone and Tom Giles, two admired figures in the newsroom, were promoted this week and now run Bloomberg tech edit free from bureaucracy. Says one Bloomberg insider of Brad: "I think he's one of -- if not the most -- respected journalist in the Valley just based on the fairness of his reporting and how he treats people."
Is the tech narrative endangered? Lately we've cased the web for the kinds of stories we used to see everywhere -- the 600-to-800 word news story about a tech company claiming to have built something better, cheaper or faster, or otherwise out to change the world. We found far fewer than we expected, even where they once were abundant.
Never before have we seen PR pros struggle so mightily to land security coverage in business publications. Considering that businesses will spend $76 billion on cybersecurity in 2015 and $155 billion by 2019 (say Cybersecurity Ventures and Gartner), you'd think business editors might care to address where that money might be spent. Yet they don't. "I think there are lots of reasons why, not the least of which is that security journalists have become crime reporters," says a veteran security PR pro, who asked to remain anonymous.
Eight-year-old Farhad Manjoo left South Africa with his sister and parents in 1987, bound for a new life in southern California. He spent his college years among the gorges of New York's Finger Lakes, studying economics and editing Cornell's student newspaper. Upon graduation, Wired gave him his first tech edit job just as the (first) tech bubble burst. Farhad rode it out, eventually freelancing for top-tier titles and authoring a book about truth.
"Snarkless" may not be a word, but the term sums up New York Times enterprise tech reporter Steve Lohr. Steve has never framed a story unfairly, which may explain why so many of our subscribers ask how they can get on his good side. The quick-and-dirty answer: recruit an academic who can explain your client's value as well as you can.