We all start out somewhere. That’s why it’s so exciting to have a tech journalist who is just starting out on our most recent WitzEnd podcast. TechTarget Associate Site Editor, Jen English, told us how she got into the industry, what she’s learned over the past year, and how she manages to separate the hype from reality in tech.
Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation. If you like what you’re reading be sure to listen to the whole episode at the bottom of the page.
Not Everyone is an Engineer
English originally wanted to work in book publishing after college. However, after a professor connected her with a job at TechTarget she jumped at the chance to start something new. While English was always a lover of tech, she told us that the learning curve was still tough when it came to her telecom beat. She reported that in the early stages she leaned on her bosses to make sure she was understanding the tech behind the stories. Now, a little bit wiser, English recommends that young reporters be sure to read a ton to understand their beat.
“My bosses have helped a lot. They've been working in the industry for years so I can go to them to see if I’m right about something or if I’m missing something. Also, just staying on top of the various authors and writers out there to read their view points,” said English.
Customer Stories Are Key for Good Coverage
One of the revolving themes of our interviews has been that a customer story is a surefire way to get better coverage. English told us much of the same. However, not all emerging technologies actually have customers who can talk about a product. English told us that the SDN/SD-WAN space, for example, lacks customers actually using the solution.
“I cover SDN specifically so it’s a big thing and with SD-WAN as well, those have been huge hypes recently. The deployments for SD-WAN have started to grow more, but it’s been hard to find customers who’ve deployed it and have successful case studies that can show the benefits,” continued English.
Buzzwords Can Buzz Off
Clarity is key for reporters. Their job is to write in a concise manner that an elementary school student can understand. Yet, English told us that PR people are not always so clear in intention. She reported on the podcast that some of the pitches she receives are so filled with buzzwords that she doesn’t even know what they’re pitching sometimes.
“Make it clear up front what you’re introducing instead of having me parse through all the details and the buzzwords to figure out what it is that you’re actually pitching to me. I’m more apt to delete it if I can’t figure it out on first try,” found English.
If you’ve enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview below. Also be sure to listen to, rate, and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud.