Guidance for PR
I’m always happy to hear from public relations professionals and anyone who thinks their client/service/product may be of interest to me. Here’s a basic guide to what I’m interested in, and how to reach me:
- Asia-related: My job is Asia Technology Correspondent, so it must have something to do with Asia, and not just “our boss is in Asia at the moment so we thought you’d want to talk to him.”
- Telecoms, media or technology: pretty broad, and I’m interested in more or less any kind of innovation. Personal technology: issues, gadgets, software, services – including consumer electronics and anything that is innovative and inventive (i. e. it doesn’t have to have a chip in it.)
- Technology and society: reports, individuals, etc: on how technology improves, or doesn’t improve, society — particularly, but not exclusively, the developing world. Love surveys of how people hold their cellphones or eat celery while typing.
- Technology and politics: cyberwar, infowar, security issues, hacktivism, that kind of thing.
- Well thought-through trend pieces: I know you’re doing it to promote your client, no need to hide that. But you might have a good angle, or prompt me to think of one, so I will always take seriously a well-thought through pitch.
- Relationships: I really want to know how to reach someone in a company or organization when I need them. So I’m usually happy to meet for a coffee with anyone who can help me do that.
What I’m not interested in:
- new appointments, unless they’re really senior.
- too many press releases: keep them limited and keep our interest.
- press releases which you can’t help me follow up on. No bigger waste of time than piquing a journalist’s interest and then saying ‘we can’t give you any more information or someone to talk to about this.’ Not least, this means we have no way of actually confirming the press release is authentic.
- non-disclosure agreements: I will observe embargoes but please do not ask me to sign NDAs unless there is a really good justification.
Like all journalists, I have my quirks.
- No junkets. I’m not in a position to accept junkets, and I don’t like them anyway. This extends to all-day conferences, lunches and other attempts to group journalists together and curry favor with them.
- If I don’t respond to an email pitch, please don’t keep pestering me. I’ll read everything, but I won’t reply to everything.
- Please don’t blast me with pitches if you don’t actually cover Asia, or can’t pass me onto someone who can actually deal with me. So responses like “it’s not yet available in Singapore” or “sorry, I didn’t realise you’re in Asia. We don’t deal with Asia” aren’t particularly welcome or useful. It’s a global world. We should think global.
- If I’ve conducted an interview, attended a press conference or borrowed one of your gadgets/apps, please don’t ask me when the article will appear, what other products I’ll be reviewing/companies I’ll be interviewing, or whether you can see the article before it appears. And please don’t try to browbeat me into writing a story after an interview. An interview with your client does not guarantee I’ll write anything. And certainly not according to your schedule.
- Please, no follow-up emails to ask how the article is coming along (unless you’ve got something useful to add). Sometimes these things take time, and sometimes editors don’t want the piece after all. If you’ve got your Google Alerts set up, you should know as soon as I do when it comes out.
How to reach me: Email is always best (include [pitch] in the subject line to ensure it reaches me). Please, no phone calls unless one of us is actually dying. If it’s the first time you’re emailing me, please indicate somewhere near the top that you’ve read this page, so your missive doesn’t go straight into the spam pile.