TopLine's Jim Beckham (@jimbeckham) talks to Alex Scroxton, Senior Reporter at Microscope.co.uk, about the evolution of tech industry media and the best ways to pitch to it.
MicroScope is the UK's longest-established B2B reseller magazine, first published in September 1982 when the channel, and myself, were both in their infancy and the British tech industry was a really exciting place to be. We've been following our market throughout its evolution and have seen a lot of competitors come and go (mostly go).
The ways in which people consume media and get their day-to-day news has changed radically in the last five years, and these days we're undergoing some evolution to meet this challenge. Last year we were acquired by TechTarget and we've now begun a journey towards becoming a different kind of read. Our readers often tell us about the need to become trusted advisors to their customers and although it's a cliche, under new ownership we are now ideally placed to be trusted advisors to the trusted advisors.
Ideally, director level people within the tech reseller community. Distributors, vendors and analysts are also very welcome.
After 28 years of weekly print magazines we closed our print operation in 2011 when we joined TechTarget. We're an online-first title now but we still publish a monthly digital ezine containing features, in-depth analysis and opinion, a round-up of top news stories and other goodies. Each edition of the ezine is themed around a technology topic (cloud, storage, security etc), it goes out in the middle of the month, and you can sign up online to receive it for free.
As soon as possible.
There's really no such thing as an ideal pitch for me. But I will say this; the channel is a very defined space in the tech industry that's inhabited by people who are often businessmen first, technologists second, and I will always have time for PRs who take the time to understand this, know our audience and pitch according to those interests firsts and the client's second.
I prefer approaches to be made by email, too, as it gives me the time to form a proper response, if I get caught on the phone, unless I a) know who you are and b) know the client, I tend to go on the defensive, as I've found this means there's a far greater chance the PR hasn't done his or her homework.
Presumption and ignorance are the two things that raise my hackles the most, so someone who doesn't know what we write about and has presumed I am interested without actually asking will likely get told where they can put it. Don't assume that because your client's product can be sold through the channel that that makes it a channel story. Spend ten minutes reading our website before you get in touch and save us both the agony.
Also, if you want to talk to me about customer wins, Magic Quadrant positioning, how you won an award or have a financial news release that doesn't have any sales figures but just talks about growth, then please don't bother.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog was founded by B2B PR specialist Heather Baker, who runs video production and corporate animation agency TopLine Film and digital PR and SEO agency TopLine Comms. The B2B PR Blog takes contributions from sensible industry folk with something interesting to say.
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