WitzEnd Episode #8: Reading Press Releases by the Phone with Executive Editor at TMC Paula Bernier
We are back with a (slightly silly) new episode of the WitzEnd podcast. This week we are very excited to be joined by Executive Editor at TMC, Paula Bernier. We spoke with Bernier about the changing journalism landscape, why it pays to be prepared, and why you should never read a press release over the phone.
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.
Lesson 101: Don’t Call a Reporter Just to Read a Press Release
Perhaps one of the most surprising omissions from our interview was the fact that PR people will call Bernier just to read her a press release. She told us that one of her biggest pet peeves is having a PR person skip emailing the release to simply read it to her.
“Use email to contact me. I prefer email, don’t call me. Especially don’t call me to read a press release because that still happens at least a couple times a week and it drives me crazy,” reported Bernier.
Tech Journalism is Dead, Long Live Tech Journalism
During our far-reaching conversation, Bernier shared with us unique insights from her 25+ career in tech journalism. She told us that she’s seen the booms and busts of the industry, yet still finds the industry to be engaging even after all these years. She highlighted how culture’s impact on business has made this a very exciting time to be a reporter.
“It’s a time of huge change most definitely. Everyone is talking about digital transformation so businesses of all kinds— not just tech— are really changing in fundamental ways in response to new market forces coming about due to the on-demand society. Folks now expect new services and innovation a whole lot faster,” said Bernier.
Reporters Come Prepared, So You Should Be Too
Bernier is known as one of the most prepared interviews in the business. During our interview, she told us how she prepares for interviews. Doing the research and knowing what information is key for your story is key, she reported. Bernier also warned that she’s more likely to listen to your pitch if you do your research and come prepared with something worthy of an article.
“It seems like a lot of folks will just pitch stories where they’re using a lot of the same catchphrases. So when I’m looking through pitches or talking to people, I really need to push them to go beyond just talking about things like NFV, SDN, and really dive into why they’re important,” continued Bernier.
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.