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 (JW):

  • 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.) I’m more interested, though, in how the stuff is used, and how it can be used better.
  • 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.
  • Regions: I’m based in Asia, but am interested in anything anywhere.

What I’m not interested in:

  • heavily corporate technology or press releases that would only make sense to someone inside the industry
  • any press release about some new appointment, unless his name is Steve Jobs or God (or both).
  • too many press releases: keep them limited and keep our interest.
  • software with restrictions — trial period, limited functionality, or anything that inhibits me using it as, and as long as, an end user might. It’s not possible to try out software according to your timeframe, and with pop-up reminders.
  • 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. I’ve gone through some of them in my blog: 23 Ways to Make a Better Pitch and My PR Pet Peeves.

Here are some main ones:

  • 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.
  • I’m based in Singapore but I write for outlets with a global reach. So although I’d prefer to write about products that are available globally, I’d also like to write about stuff when it’s newly available. 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.
  • Please don’t ask me when the review will appear, what other products I’ll be reviewing, or whether you can see the article before it appears.
  • Please, not too many follow-up emails to ask how the review is coming along. 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. 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 (or in the subject line) that you’ve read this page, so your missive doesn’t go straight into the spam pile.

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