Wondering what 2018 could mean for PR/journalist relationships? We caught up with Adrian Bridgwater, journalist for Computer Weekly, TechTarget, Forbes and The Register to find out his tech predictions, surprises, and how he sees the state of the media in the year ahead.
What is your biggest PR bug bear?
“It’s tough when agencies send the same email “circled back” three times. I read or at least scan them all first time around, so it just clogs my inbox. Admittedly this is more of a US agency practice, but there’s an open sales culture stateside, so it’s more acceptable. So okay, the biggest pain is when people send bland client-driven press releases with no appreciation for my specific beat. A personal five line email with a creative twist is worth 100 press releases.”
What do you want to a) more of and b) less of from PRs in 2018?
“More creative imagination and personal story theme attention. Less scattergun, please.”
What was the biggest surprise in tech of 2017?
“Quantum superposition qubit theory is much sexier than I originally thought. Okay, on an easier to digest level… maybe the fact that blockchain can be reverse-engineered through log file analytics for government approved reasons such as the fight against human trafficking. No, that’s still geeky. Umm, okay, there’s still no Recreated ZX Spectrum available is there? Can I use that?”
What is your top tech prediction for 2018?
Services layers in cloud will dominate, software process automation will flourish, people will stop confusing AI and machine learning and know which comes first — and the industry will drop the ‘women in tech’ tag and finally champion diversity in general as everybody starts to appreciate their responsibility.
How do you see the state of the media as we move into 2018?
Print media still has a place and the online trade media sector is vitally important… and now cementing its place more comfortably. Paywalls are a pain and not the way forward.
How do you see the journalist/PR relationship evolving in the future?
Good PR has a whole lot of journalism in it, as suggested above. But, hopefully, press will also start to realise the vital role PR plays in terms of corralling and managing clients’ media communications channels and relationships.