Get Known podcast: Get inside the journalists’ mindset.
Every year in the dark and cold of winter in Helsinki, Finland, we and 13,000 others find our way to Slush, the world’s leading startup event and the largest VC gathering. This is a place where many journalists show up and question their sanity because, as they say, no one in their right mind would come to Helsinki at the end of November. So, it was a great chance to interview the bravest of the brave.
In this episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Adam Bluestein, a freelance journalist working for Fast Company and other U.S.-based publishers. We start by talking about Adam’s experience in Helsinki and what Finland needs to do to get more global attention. Later, we get into the details of what attracts his attention and his way of developing a good story.
The one thing that stood out in our discussion was how tech journalism is about so much more than tech. It’s about people, the dream, and impact. When it comes to working in PR and media, I was reminded how critical humanity and impact are to any story, especially when journalists write for a wider business-focused audience like Fast Company.
Outside the interview, I got the treat of being able to spend time on a press tour with Adam where we got to see firsthand some of the amazing tech that is coming out of Finland. As you will hear, we got to visit one quantum computing chip manufacturer at the Micronova Center for Applied Micro and Nanotechnology in Espoo, Finland. On that visit, I got to see how he asked his questions and his way of exploring angles for a story.
After this experience, I can’t stress how important it is for people in PR and media to spend time with journalists, understanding their work, watching them operate, and getting to know them. It is by itself a school, and as much as I can share through the podcasts, I want to encourage anyone reaching out to journalists to do more than focus on your own product and pitch. Spend some time with a journalist; it will open up your mind and your life.
- People need to see what Finland has to offer and make it easy to come. With Finland being so far away, it needs to attract more media, and it is worth visiting.
- Take the time to understand his past work and the things his publications write about, and focus your pitches on those things. Relevance is very important, so do your homework. Connecting with big brands is one idea to connect to U.S. audiences.
- Adam regularly asks himself, how can we blow people’s minds with a topic that they thought they never would understand? Ideas always start with his own interest.
- Ongoing relationships with PR people are something he appreciates. This comes with not expecting a story will come out of every idea but being able to reach out to trusted people to help as he grows stories is important. But companies also can be a great source of subject matter knowledge and can take the time to establish themselves as such.
- Rarely do journalists like Adam write on the same exact subject right after writing about it, so use this as a guide but understand that what you are sharing should be different or expect that they will probably keep you in mind for the future.
Listen to the newest episode of the Get Known podcast with Adam Bluestein to learn more!