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Introduction to “the New WIRED”

September 8, 2016

 

WIRED magazine has been around since 1993. With its futuristic design, the hard copy of the magazine has stood the test of time in an evolving media landscape. Last week, I was introduced to “the new WIRED,” and uncovered story opportunities for some of my clients.

 

I attended an Inside the Newsroom Series event with WIRED sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of PRSA and HP. The panel discussion included WIRED’s Senior Associate Editor Alex Davies, Video Producer Paula Chowles and Senior Writer David Pierce and was moderated by a member of HP’s PR team.

What’s New?

Transportation stories are cool. The emergence of self-driving cars, drones and transportation-related industries being transformed by the Internet of Things and other technologies such as aviation is fueling the success of many companies, including some of Engage PR’s clients. I was pleased to hear that WIRED had recently launched a Transportation vertical, and am excited to dig in and work with my clients to develop compelling story angles for it.

 

In attracting new viewers to WIRED.com, Paula Chowles produces videos to accompany stories. Her goal is to drive a connection with viewers through engagement including shares and comments. In addition to producing their own videos, WIRED accepts video footage from companies that they will edit to tell a story.

 

Besides learning about what’s new with WIRED, I came away from last week’s event with reminders about how best to pitch stories to WIRED. Here are a few tips:

 

Secondary Story Angles are Key

WIRED is not a news-driven magazine. As such, there are no “blackout dates” with editors when Apple introduces a new product; they are approachable on other stories.

 

Editors really want to understand from pitches what the broader trend is that a company’s news fits into and how the world will change or be a better place because of it. Another example of a secondary angle that would interest WIRED is the journey of how a unique product was created instead of focusing on the features of the new product.

 

Characters Tell a Compelling Story

In pitching a story to WIRED, focus on the people behind the technology. For example, Alex Davies went to a car show, but was not just interested in what the cars looked like. He was fascinated by the people involved, what drove their passion for their cars and the process of how they had transformed them.

 

Startups Fuel Bigger Stories

A member of the audience asked about story opportunities for startup companies in WIRED. David Pierce explained that startups indicate emerging trends and typically become “pegs” for bigger stories. Keep that in mind when pitching and set expectations with your executives accordingly.

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