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Mar 18, 2005

How to Get Your News Featured on CMP TechWeb

SUMMARY: More than half a million IT professionals surf CMP TechWeb's main site each month. Got hot news you'd like them to know about? We interviewed News Editor Stuart Glascock whose team writes the daily news stories that appear on the site. Discover what sorts of stories they are looking for. (By the way, Stuart's the first editor we've met who admits his fave publication is ... Google News).
Stuart Glascock, News Editor CMP's TechWeb 1411 Fourth Ave., #1001 Seattle, WA 98101 206-254-0385

-> Reach

500-600K unique visitors per month

-> Glascock's background

He worked "about 10 years" for daily newspapers as a reporter in California, and has spent the last eight with CMP, first with CRN’s Microsoft News Digest, then as the news editor for TechWeb.

Glascock finds the technology industry dynamic and exciting. "It's always changing," he says. "I like being out in front on technology trends and innovations. It's just a lot of fun."

He also enjoys long walks in the park, he jokes.

-> Current editorial coverage

TechWeb is both a portal and a site for original content. It publishes content from CMP’s Pipeline sites and print publications, and Glascock “fills in the gaps with daily news coverage we generate from my humble staff.”

“We're very interested in security topics because security news drives a lot of what's considered breaking news in the IT fields these days.” Other topics covered include: ebusiness, software, hardware, networking, and mobile issues.

TechWeb visitors are tech-savvy professionals involved in purchasing IT products and services for their company or organization. Because TechWeb is a combination portal/news site, “Our target audience is fairly wide.”

By and large, he says, TechWeb’s role is to get news stories out quickly and efficiently, without the analytical features more common in news magazines.

-> Best way to pitch Glascock and his staff

Initially, Glascock is the best person to contact. “More often than not I'll refer a caller with a decent story pitch to one of our writers,” he says.

Once you’ve had contact with one of the other writers, you can approach them directly, “but to simplify things with new contacts, it’s best to start here,” he says.

Send Glascock an email or give him a call. He’s looking for anything interesting and newsy that has some resonance to as large an audience as possible. “Pitch us differently than you would a news magazine,” he says. “A magazine would include a customer win, a partnership deal, the legacy of a product, and so on and so forth. Pitch TechWeb with something that’s timely. If it's a version upgrade of a major software product, you don't want to tell us three weeks after the fact because the party's over and it doesn't matter anymore.”

-> What he looks for in a story pitch

Because TechWeb’s audience is fairly diverse, the pitch should be less narrowly focused than if you were pitching, say, a Pipeline site.

New and updated product releases, “the ones that don’t require us to do any additional reporting,” are always good and make up many of the shorter stories on the site.

Make your press release direct and to the point. For example, a pitch he received this week for an upcoming conference listed names and titles of speakers, followed by bullet points of conference features, then additional information on the event.

“I get a lot of email, everybody does, so anything that you can do to boil down the information into its essence, that's key,” says Glascock.

How much information is too much? “I will have made a coverage decision long before I got to [10 paragraphs],” he says. “But if the lead is strong enough, if the bullet points are compelling enough to draw me in, I might read 10. It has to be strong from the start.”

Three tips: a. He’s a big fan of bullet points and highlighting.

b. If there’s a time element involved in your announcement, use the word “upcoming,” or include a date.

c. Follow-up calls are fine, but try to make sure you’re adding additional value, not just calling to see if he received your release.

-> Pet peeves

“I'm a really low blood pressure kind of guy,” Glascock says. (He attributes his laid-back attitude to a few years he spent in Colorado.) “I don't have any pet peeves. It's not our role to criticize people who are just trying to do their job.”

But he admits: “If I had a peeve, it would be useless information. Don't send a press release on the CEO's latest Rotary award, because I don't care. And I get those. And some poor PR person out there has to bite his tongue and send it out because someone has a gun to his head, but it doesn't do anyone any good.”

-> What Glascock looks for in online press rooms

Contact information, primarily.

-> Prewritten contributions or becoming a regular columnist

“Depending on the context, I might refer them to one of our other publications,” he says. “We don’t accept white papers or bylined articles.”

-> Deadlines

“We have people in New York and people here on the West Coast who can write, edit, and post, so we have pretty good coverage across US time zones.” So deadlines are rolling.

-> Favorite professional publication

Google News

See Also:

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