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December 11, 2019

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WitzEnd Podcast #9: Craig Matsumoto

March 20, 2018

It’s been awhile since our last episode, but we are bringing in 2018 with an insightful and entertaining WitzEnd podcast. For our ninth overall episode, we got a chance to catch-up with 451 Senior Analyst and longtime telecom journalist Craig Matsumoto. Craig has covered everything from service-providers to optical networking, and SDN. Craig joins us to discuss his recent move from Editor-in-Chief at Light Reading to Senior Analyst at 451 Research and why he made the switch. Also, we discuss what journalists are looking for in press releases and Craig's foray as a radio DJ. Here are some highlights from our conversation with Craig.


Why he made the move from journalist to analyst.

Craig has covered enterprise networking and service-providers since the nineties and was also with Light Reading for over 10 years; however, he recently just moved into a new role as a Senior Analyst at 451 Research, so we wanted to get his take on the move. Craig explained during the interview that the appeal for the analyst position was its writing-centricity and that it allows him a platform to write more thoughtful and longer pieces. Additionally, Craig explained that the move lets him delve into specific topics deeper than ever before because although he had beats as a journalist he was having to cover a little bit of everything, which was fun he explained but it didn’t let him dive as deep as he’d like. Moreover, Craig let us in on the sort of topics that he will cover as an analyst. He described it as “mostly about the delivery of content and information and connections to the cloud (CDNs) and network interconnect” and “how mobile-edge computing will factor in.”


How things have changed. 

Also, in the interview with Craig, we wanted to get his perspective on how PR people approach him differently now that he is an analyst compared to a journalist. Likewise, we were interested in understanding how interviews have also changed since he made the move. Craig let us know the way interviews are conducted drastically differs as an analyst compared to a journalist. As he explained, as a journalist he could play the byline card requesting answers to questions rapidly, but as an analyst, it can take weeks to set up a briefing since he needs to learn about the entire company and must talk to multiple people making the interaction more calculated and less off the cuff. Furthermore, now that he is an analyst he must deal with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), whereas when he was a journalist following an NDA would have gone against his moral framework. Also, he lets us know as an analyst you speak to fewer CEOs then you do as a journalist. Similarly, Craig detailed that because he has only recently made the move to analyst he hasn’t had a lot of PR people approach him yet, but he expects fewer PR ambushes at industry events from people he doesn’t know and less of that “I gotcha angle” that journalists get.


Who reads the whole press release?

Because Craig spent so many years as a journalist we also wanted to get his take on what worked and what didn’t for PR outreach, and what caught his attention with press releases. Craig let us in on a little secret that he doesn’t read the whole press releases, but instead checks the headlines for news that affects change. He also feels that press releases seem to always fall flat and likes the ones that have taken a creative approach, but in the end, he only uses them for utilitarian purposes after a briefing.


We also got the chance to talk with Craig on a personal level, learning what profession other than his own he would like to try, what three words he thinks describe him, and we learned something most people don’t know about him. So, if you’ve enjoyed these takeaways and want to learn more about Craig be sure to listen to our full interview below.


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.




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