In this episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Thomas Macaulay from The Next Web (TNW), where he covers a wide range of startups in the tech ecosystem across Europe. Thomas had quite an indirect and inspiring route to becoming a journalist proving that a degree in journalism or communications is not the only path to success in tech journalism.
In addition to his unique background and the development of TNW from a blog to the media and events organization it is today, we discuss the development of tech stories and the process of writing about very technical topics for a mass audience. We also discuss the commercial and journalistic balance that must be combined to benefit all of TNW’s different businesses.
As we have spoken with many journalists on this podcast, the economics of journalism have changed significantly over the years as the internet and expectation of free content have had a massive impact. We discuss how it is much more difficult to build a viable business on journalism alone and where that leaves reporting and his own job in this day and age.
If you want to get Thomas excited about your tech story, he loves weird and wacky tech or things with real human impact. We talk about his most recent work focused on the surprisingly boring business-driven pitching needed to raise money for a psychedelic startup. Our conversation on this topic provided insight into how the team at TNW works in pitching to their editors, developing the angle, and getting out 1 to 2 stories a day with their small team of 5 journalists. Of course, we also talk about the relationship between “PRs” and journalists, the massive amount of pitches received daily, how to stand out among all those potential stories, and what pushes Tuomas over the edge to take a story.
- Short and impactful pitches with a personal touch are the most effective.
- The importance of developing a relationship with journalists is useful. Know the journalist’s interest and work.
- Think about the real story, not the product you are trying to pitch.
- Companies often forget the importance and relevance of personal stories in talking about tech or their company.
- Think long-term when you are pitching.
Listen to the newest episode of the Get Known podcast with Thomas Macaulay to learn more!