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December 11, 2019

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WitzEnd Podcast #13: Mike Robuck, Editor of FierceTelecom

May 7, 2019

On this week’s episode of the WitzEnd podcast, we are coming at you fierce! We interview the Editor of FierceTelecom, Mike Robuck. We’ve got the insider scoop on his favorite telecom events to attend, his go-to topics to write about, and he even provides some industry wisdom to new startups. To spice things up a little after the interview round, we are playing a brand-new game called “Yay or Nay.”


Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation. If you like what you’re reading be sure to listen to the whole episode, linked at the bottom of this page.


Reporters want that “New-News”

“Last year’s MEF conference was a good one for me. What I like about that conference is I have access to the people that are speaking and demos taking place. Sometimes at these larger shows it is hard to get out on the show floor to meet people because they are so spread out, but at MEF18 one can see a demonstration on block chain and talk to someone after a panel. Another good one I went to last year was the Open Networking Foundations Connect Event. We were able to talk to people out in the hallways, everyone was accessible, people wanted to share knowledge, and there was big news. Sometimes when you go to the larger events, people don’t really want to say anything that is newsworthy. They want to talk about something they are already doing. When reporters spend time going to a conference, we’d like to get ‘new-news’, we’d like to be able to meet with people face to face, and we would like time to go out on the show floor and talk to vendors and exhibitors.”


Writing is about Telling Stories

“I’ve found that I like writing about the cultural aspects of some of these technology changes. How they are impacting the people that work there, how do you get somebody who has worked at a telco for 25 years and done a job a certain way to reskill and then do another job. Writing is about telling stories. Whether it is a company story or a person’s story. How do you get that cultural transformation part of it across, and how can you frame it so it helps someone else who is going through the same transition?”


Remember the Five W’s - plus the How

“If we are taking the time to do a call or meet somewhere, tell me why it matters. Tell me what it is in the context of the industry, how it works, and what this means if I am putting it in my network. I also like to ask about competitors. Some companies don’t want to talk about their competitors. For somebody to say on a regular basis ‘well, there’s really no one else like us out there.’ There actually is probably some overlap out there. You can be up front about ‘so and so does it this way, but we think that this is a better way to do and here is why.’ The old standard of journalism is the five W’s plus how. Those questions all matter. If it is a new company, I like to ask them about their funding, number of employees that they have, do they plan on having additional funding rounds, and if someone is willing to say that they have a certain customer.”


Hear More…


If you’ve enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview, linked below. Also, be sure to listen to, rate and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud.




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