Cutting through the noise in today’s media landscape – an ongoing series 

With only two months remaining in 2021, the media agenda has never been busier. The transition into the colder months has mirrored the stories making recent headlines - talk of the UK’s energy crisis, the future of supply chains and Autumn budget announcements from the government. But as the world gears up for COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, we’re seeing a major skew to sustainability-related topics.   

This month, we also share some top tips for building strong media relationships to help cut through the noise and deliver stories that resonate.

What’s new in the technology media landscape?   

This month, BBC underwent a visual revamp, launching new logos and simplified layouts and graphics across apps and online services. This modernisation of the audience experience will roll out over the coming months, and highlights the ongoing importance of optimising the user experience – the easier it is for users to find and enjoy content, the more they’ll log into online services. 

COP26 is fast approaching, and we’re starting to hear of more and more UK journalists heading to the event in Glasgow next month. Here’s a few media targets who’ll be focusing their coverage on the event and related news: 

  • Derek du Preez, Diginomica 

  • Millie Turner and Edward Thicknesse, City AM 

  •  Rosie Frost, Euronews 

  • Justin Rowlatt, Climate Editor, and David Shukman, Science Editor, BBC 

JOURNALIST MOVES  

BUSINESS & TECH 

  • Alex Hern, The Guardian’s tech correspondent, is on paternal leave until March 2022. Dan Milmo, the publication’s global tech editor, will be coverage the UK’s tech news in the meantime 

  • Natasha Bernal has joined the Financial Times as Deputy Technology News Editor  

  • Matt Reynolds has been appointed senior writer at WIRED 

  • Sid Venkatarmakrishnan has been appointed Banking and Fintech reporter at the Financial Times, following his role as Capital Markets reporter at the publication 

  • Dominic O’Connell has joined Times Radio as a business presenter  

  • Matt Oliver has joined The Telegraph as a business reporter, following his role as City reporter at the Daily Mail  

  • Phil Aldrick left The Times this month and has joined the team at Bloomberg  

  • Ilaria Grasso Macola and Nick Earl have joined City AM as reporters 

CONSUMER 

  • Gurpeet Narwan has left The Times after 5 years to join the team at The Telegraph as consumer affairs editor 

  • Ellen Scott has been promoted to Lifestyle and Weekend Editor at Metro 

  • Sian Elvin has been promoted to Deputy News Editor at Metro 

  • Aaron Toumazou has been promoted to Commerce Editor at GQ 

  • Rebecca Flood has been promoted to Associate Trends Editor at Newsweek 


Top tech stories of the month 

  1. At the start of October, CNBC reported that the global tech giant Facebook experienced a critical six hour outage. This left billions unable to access the company’s services, including WhatsApp and Instagram, and Facebook reportedly lost $6bn as a result. This outage highlights a key question: have we become too reliant on Facebook and its services? With so much global importance placed on one company for communication and business, an outage like this can have major impact globally in a matter of minutes – leaving individuals unable to communicate with loved ones, and small businesses unable to continue operations.  
  1. As we transition into the colder months, the UK has been experiencing an energy crisis. The BBC reported this month that household electricity price rises were ‘inevitable’ due to a spike in wholesale gas prices – rising 250% since the start of the year. These rising prices have led to multiple smaller firms going bust over the past month alone, including Goto Energy and Pure Planet. These rises are set to continue into the new year, calling into question how we source our energy as a country. Is it time to step away from our reliance on gas and place more emphasis on greener solutions, especially in line with COP26?  

  1. It’s not only energy firms that faced the pressure last month – Bloomberg revealed that Apple was likely having to slash iPhone 13 production targets for 2021 by up to 10 million units, as a result of the prolonged chip shortages. Across the globe, electronic supply chains have ground to a halt as manufacturers struggle to deliver chips and demand continues to outpace supply. As one of the world’s largest chip buyers, it’s not surprising that Apple is taking a major hit. It’s now more important than ever for enterprises to look into supply chain efficiencies and deploy emerging technology solutions to help automate and optimise operations.  


What you need to know about… building strong journalist relationships 

In the PR and comms industry, developing strong media relationships is a key stepping-stone to securing great opportunities for your brand.  

Inviting a journalist for a quick coffee or lunch is a great way to get to know them and find out what they’re looking for in their stories. But how can you get your name on a journalists’ radar and get a media meet in the diary? Here are some top tips: 

  • Do your research: Check that the journalist you’re reaching out to covers topics relevant to your brand – they’ll only be interested in hearing from you if you can share appropriate stories and help with their future articles. Have a read through their recent work and pull out one or two stories that seem particularly relevant.  

  • Highlight relevant brand narratives or upcoming news: When reaching out to journalists about your brand, highlight the types of insight you can share and mention any upcoming news that you think might be relevant to them. If you share a quick bullet point list, they’ll be able to quickly digest your brand narrative and let you know if it interests them.  Be their eyes and ears - we are the experts and have inside knowledge of industries to share!  

  • Be flexible: Editorial teams are continually stretched, and journalists may often struggle to find time for an in-person media meet. If this is the case, think about alternative options – could you share some quick questions over email to gain insight on their ways of working, or suggest a 15-minute Zoom call to catch up?  

  • Keep it current: Keep an eye on career updates via twitter and use these as a hook to reach out to contacts - a quick congratulations on a new role or friendly hello can go a long way!  

  • Leave the sales pitch at home: When meeting journalists, remember that it’s not a sales pitch – a conversation about what they’re interested in, when they like to receive pitches and how best to reach them will be a lot more beneficial than simply trying to ‘sell’ your brand or story. 


If you would like to find out more about how tech brands can cut through the noise in today’s media landscape, please get in touch alice.holton@hotwireglobal.com!