Fortune has transcended last year's chaos in which parent Time Inc. finally split from Time Warner and top editors Andrew Serwer and Stephanie Mehta suddenly left. Under first-year editor Alan Murray, Fortune is now, among other things, a high-velocity tech news shop. In March it published more than 500 tech stories; April's totals easily topped that.
We spent this week on the road and will spend three weeks on it next month, meeting with subscribers to tackle their toughest coverage challenges. Today we share some of the challenges we discussed this week in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Washington DC -- along with our advice on how to deliver the goods. [To protect confidentiality, no agency or client names are mentioned.]
But before we get to that...
Speaker-placement opportunity is unfolding at Bloomberg and Fortune. Having scrapped its "Next Big Thing" event brand, Bloomberg is hard at work on the debut of the Bloomberg Technology Conference, set for June 15-16 in San Francisco. Steering the ship is Bloomberg LIVE editor Stephanie Mehta, a 14-year veteran of archrival Fortune and a former architect of Fortune face-to-face events.
It's been years since Fortune senior writer Michal Lev-Ram was paid to walk trade show floors, head back to the hotel room and click the keys. She still writes and remains pitchable. But it's best to think of modern Michal as a businesswoman and a brand unto herself. She's fresh off co-chairing last month's Fortune Most Powerful Women, Next Gen conference; there will be another this year and she's recruiting speakers for it.
We've never seen PR pros more pressured to deliver "Tier 1" business coverage than we did this year. Not to pander, but we know how difficult this can be: clients rarely give you what you need. Often, though -- and as we see in the skyrocketing number of SWMS valet requests -- PR pros often spend too much time finding targets for an idea that's weak in the first place.
Few reporters understand PR and journalism equally well. Jon Fortt is one of them. That doesn't necessarily make him easier to pitch. But in this era of unprecedented PR-newsmaker hostility, it does make Jon something of an inspiration. Jon understands PR so well in part because the biggest part of his job is to interview some of the most well-trained, on-message CEOs in the world.
Fortune this month launched Data Sheet, a daily enterprise tech newsletter authored by freelancer Heather Clancy. Data Sheet's content is curated from around the web, not just from Fortune. It's the third in a growing family of Fortune's newsletters, joining Term Sheet and Broadsheet, which launched in July.
PR pros always ask, how can I build better relationships with senior editors? One way is, always be thinking about who's good in journalism. We'd like to suggest a few names of folks who are young and on the rise, not too expensive salary-wise and plum to hire. Who's on your list?