“A good PR is a journalist’s best friend.” CommsCo talks to Tom Allen

Recently, we caught up with Tom Allen, Special Projects Editor for Computing, V3 and The Inquirer to find out about his tech and media predictions for 2018 – and what he wants to see from PRs. 1. What is your biggest PR bug bear? Without a doubt, it’s when PRs call me to read the first paragraph from a press release (no-one talks like that!) and then ask if they can email it to me. Rather than wasting both of our time, just send it! 2. What do you want to a) more of and b) less of from PRs in 2018? More: Cake. Actually, scratch that, I’m diabetic. More personalised contact and assistance with arranging CIO interviews Less: Irrelevant press releases. 3. What was the biggest surprise in tech of 2017? WannaCry? That was pretty surprising! 4. What is your top tech prediction for 2018? I expect we could finally see that foldable phone from Samsung, which we’ve heard about and seen components for many times but hasn’t yet materialised. 5. How do you see the state of the media as we move into 2018? Investigative journalism in a lot of new media outlets is either dying or was never there in the first place; it’s far too easy to get overwhelmed with press releases and miss the important stories. Many journalists would be well-served by focusing more on their core skills and less on PR rewrites. 6. How do you see the journalist/PR relationship evolving in the future? It’s always been a symbiotic relationship, and a good PR is a journalist’s best friend. The important thing is to take time to talk to and get to know each other as people, not just another email address.