After nearly 20 years as a technology reporter, Phil Harvey knows how to spot tech trends still in their infancy. As managing editor at CRN, he oversees news coverage of technology, telecommunications and the Internet of Things. Harvey’s career started in the U.S. ground zero for tech – San Francisco – and since then he’s had roles with Light Reading and a telecommunications company in England. In that time, he’s learned how to spot good pitches from a lightyear away. While it may seem daunting for PR professionals to keep up with the tech industry, which changes significantly by even the hour, the tips below from Harvey can help you stay on top of your game.
You’ve been in the industry for a long time – how has it changed, and what do you think will be the hot topics in the coming months and in 2017?
In the tech industry, automation of every mundane process in every vertical category is still the driving force of all computing and communications. That does include the Internet of Things, but I think IoT is a subset of automation becoming more accessible and configurable by the end users of said automated processes. This sounds better when I have a beer in my hand. Honest.
In the consumer tech space, using CRM and the cloud to create interesting services seems more useful than new gadgets. Blue Apron, not smart fridges.
How do you prefer to receive pitches?
I prefer email, but I don’t mind phone calls if it’s a good story.
Do you use social media like Twitter or Facebook to gather leads and story ideas? Can you be pitched via these channels?
Sure. I try to be easy to find and contact so if social pitching works for you, have at it.
What kind of information do you prefer to receive?
CRN’s audience is made up of technology suppliers, solutions providers and IT professionals. My main responsibility to our readers is to tell them what’s changing and what market challenges or opportunities result from those changes.
I’m interested in any story that covers business changes, market challenges and company conflicts in telecom and IT.
What will catch your attention?
I like it when vendors dig deep and find real (market or proprietary) data that shows growth potential or larger technology trends. We don’t have a huge research budget, and I appreciate any good data that comes our way.
Another thing: If you have something important to tell the technology channel, get your CEO to tell us. If it comes from the top, it carries more weight and we’ll stop and do that story.
Do you have any advice for PR professionals?
I need to deliver compelling stories that get clicks, views, butts in seats (at conferences) and advertisers. At CRN, we really, really like scoops, exclusives and anything that helps us delight our audience.
How about any pet peeves?
We try to use services like Cision to help us more effectively communicate who we are, how we work and what audience we’re trying to serve. Please do take note of that versus blindly emailing your “all tech” media list.
The Cision Media Research Team maintains a database of more than 1.6 million records, including social influencers, traditional media contacts, outlets and opportunities. We collect and maintain the latest contact and pitching information of bloggers and journalists who can spread your message, broaden your campaign and help you build relationships with the people who matter. To experience the Cision Media Database first hand, request a demo here.