While the Gartner Hype Cycle tells us that most Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are still floating around the “Peak of Inflated Expectations,” I think most of us will agree that IoT will inevitably transform several industries along with the way we live our lives. But with those expectations come immense confusion, a lack of transparency and plenty of wild predictions. As one of the many people charged with informing end-users, vendors and the masses of the benefits of this technology and why we need it, Ken Briodagh, Editorial Director of IoT Evolution, has a tough job.
Very few embody the growth of IoT as much as Ken and the publication he works for, so we took the time to chat with him about the growth of IoT, how to develop relationships with the media and his recently published book, IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things.
How to work with Ken
“Despite the separation in our jobs, we’re on the same team!” Ken’s pointed statement is the underlying truth that both reporters and PR people, alike, sometimes forget. Ken is a straight shooter and simply asks that PR professionals pitching him look to earn his trust, develop a relationship with him and most of all, know what he writes about. “Why does this matter to the larger industry and how does it fit into our editorial mission?”
Although Ken won’t likely answer a cold call, he will respond to a direct message on Twitter, but what piques his interest most is when someone can successfully pitch him in 140 characters. Some of the annoyances he strives to avoid are mass emails, getting his name wrong and calling right after sending a pitch. He won’t likely cover your client if you do that. The best way to get a hold of him is email and his advice is something every budding PR star should heed, and that is: DO NOT BURY THE LEDE!
Ken is a reasonable man and offers some sounds advice to developing a relationship with him. “Give me what I want! Here’s the information, maybe we do an interview to tie it up, maybe offer some backstory and research. I need to be able to take what you send me and create the nut of the story.”
The Evolution of IoT Evolution
IoT Evolution spun out of M2M Evolution, which covered technologies that have been around for a long time, but hadn’t yet been combined to form what we now call the Internet of Things. IoT Evolution filled that gap and Ken Briodagh was placed at the helm of TMCnet’s new property and set out to cover this developing industry comprehensively with an independent editorial perspective. The challenge, in part, has to do with the fact that IoT touches everything from industrial use cases to connected consumer products, so Ken set forth a strategy to help tackle the nuances of a nascent industry.
“Everything is IoT…everything.” Ken’s initial strategy was to cut through the noise and the hype and talk about what makes IoT work. “What is this thing we call IoT? How does it work? What makes something part of IoT? What is leading the development of the technology?”
The next step included the understanding that his readers get it, “So now, let’s talk about execution.” Briodagh says, “How does this happen? How are companies looking at implementations? Let’s dig into the engineering of it.” Every reporter is invested in giving readers what they want, but you must listen to your readers in order to truly understand those needs. “By giving them (the readers) what they wanted, in terms of case studies and practical applications, we really saw the industry sort of adopt us as a place where they want to talk about this.”
As any growing entity does, IoT Evolution found itself maturing and ready to take on the next phase of covering IoT. “Now finally, we feel comfortable talking about the future and bringing in some of the hype to start devaluing the crazy predictions.”
But the challenges don’t stop there and Ken is ready to take the industry to another level. “We’re now focused on trying to lead the industry toward the next incremental steps of broader understanding and adoption. So now it’s become about education.”
Despite his daily regimen of editing multiple articles per day and traveling to events in order to cover the newest developments in IoT, latest products and up-and-coming startups, Ken recently wrote a book on his experiences covering this new frontier. The book, entitled IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things, discusses over 160 trends that have shaped IoT in the last year focusing on five major themes: Smart Cities, Sustainability, Security, Consumer IoT and Industrial IoT.
“I wanted to look at the whole scope of the industry outside of the vertical discussion that everybody has and talk about the universal things that apply across verticals.”
Ken is a true renaissance man who has helped IoT stakeholders all over the world get a better grasp on an industry that is as embryonic as it is compelling. Along with the website, print publication and new book, Ken has a podcast called IoT Time, and moderates panels, roundtables and introduces keynote speakers at TMCnet’s IoT Evolution Tech Expo shows. You can download his book for free from Smashwords, or buy it online at Amazon.