Even after 13 years in tech journalism, one can still get nervous about interviewing a tech CEO — especially if his name is Mark Zuckerberg. Just ask Fast Company senior writer Daniel Terdiman, who late last year looked up and saw a young guy in a T-shirt standing on his front porch, waiting to talk household AI.
First there was "A/B testing," where a publisher would float two different headlines on their own site and go with the better one. That's still around, but nowadays it's all about "dark testing" on Facebook. TechCrunch does this, as do Refinery29, Fusion and many other titles that publish directly to the FB platform.
Tech PR pros don't need something else to do, but it's probably time to keep an eye on Facebook Live (FBL). Launched last August, FB's live video portal has come of age. Brands, celebrities, tech journalists and mere mortals are broadcasting live every day to large and growing audiences.
In simpler times, consumer titles, business titles, trades and verticals comprised the entirety of media. Editors and publishers researched their audience and served it. Today a subtler framework is emerging that over time will change how PR shapes pitches and woos influencers. Successful publishers today produce either attention products or engagement products -- or both in tandem.
PR pros, read carefully: does this sound like reality to you? People visit web sites to read what interests them. Realizing this, you pitch stories these visitors might read. When they do, the visitors might buy a product or service mentioned, or share the article with others. This indeed may be reality but is less so every day.
FT west coast editor Richard Waters and correspondent Hannah Kuchler collaborated this week on a 2,000-word news analysis you and your clients absolutely have to read. Why? Because it's a model for the contributed content that gatekeepers want to receive from you. The topic, as Richard described it for us: "how collaboration/productivity services are evolving and converging... and what some of the big players and some of the more interesting start-ups are up to."
Outtakes from last week’s SWMS Analysis: Zuckerberg's Q&A Comeback
Perhaps the ultimate CEO interview train wreck is Walt Mossberg's and Kara Swisher's take-down of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at this year's D8 conference. Watch if you dare. Zuckerberg spent 24 of 37 precious minutes backpedaling about privacy when he should have repositioned questions and emphasized the positive.
At this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco: different story. Interviewers John Battelle and Tim O'Reilly had 40 minutes to tame Zuckerberg and didn't come close. Someone has been training this guy.
Here's a link to the video. See the table below: