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Dec 03, 2004

PR Interview: How to Guest Star on KenRadio's World Technology Round-Up Show

SUMMARY: Every day 200,000 listeners tune in to Ken Rutkowski's radio show on high-tech news and gadgets. In our exclusive interview Ken explains exactly what he's looking for from a PR pitch (and what he's not):
Ken Rutkowski, Host KenRadio Broadcasting 310-305-4100

-> Reach

World Technology Round-Up daily radio talk show 200,000 listeners a day

Online Product Reviews +/- 20,000 listeners a week

Daily Clicks Newsletter 42,000 daily readers

-> Rutkowski's background

Rutkowski began his career "in academia." Then, with a yen to talk about technology on the radio, he started a radio show in Chicago in 1993, which he eventually took to NPR; then he decided to take the show and put it only on the Internet, "because online I'm completely accountable," he says. "I know who's listening, how long they're listening. It's not nebulous."

Technology satisfies his need for instantaneous gratification. "It's an instant high and it's always changing," he says. He attends "one or two" conferences a week, often as a featured presenter for events such as COMDEX, CES, CTIA, NATPE, NAB, Internet World, Streaming Media, IBC, CTIA, Radio Ink, Asiacom, MIPTV and MILIA.

-> Current editorial coverage

KenRadio Broadcasting has a number of properties with opportunities for companies in the entertainment, content, media, technology, telecom and Internet industries to get coverage:

o World Technology Round-Up This daily radio show offers insight and perspective on high-tech business news and views from around the world. The show covers "life changing -- or technology changing -- news," Rutkowski explains. It's a hard show to get mentioned on, because the news has to be radically amazing, he says. News of just another phone or just another computer? Don't bother.

o Profiles Rutkowski profiles individuals who are hot in the technology world -- people such as the CEO of Morpheus. It has to be someone "worth doing a profile on," who's changing the face of technology today.

o Daily Clicks Newsletter The daily online newsletter is a compilation of the most significant technology stories, plus cool gadgets and short summaries of two exciting press releases with a link to the site (warning, PR folks: he'll only cover releases if you house it somewhere online).

o TV appearances Rutkowski regularly appears on Good Day LA (2.5 million viewers) and various other television shows, talking about gadgets, "hot" Web developments, and things that "affect people's lives when it comes to technology."

-> Best way to pitch Rutkowski

Great news: Rutkowski loves PR executives. "Sometimes you can't get hold of someone at Microsoft but the PR guy knows how to do it," he says. So if you want to call, email, or send something via snail mail, "I'm cool with all three."

Rutkowski is chatty -- the ultimate radio show host -- and any PR exec who has a legitimately good story to pitch will likely enjoy a lively conversation.

-> What he looks for in a story pitch

Don't send a canned email that goes to everyone. "If it's more personal, I'll look at it," he says. Otherwise, it's likely to get caught in his filter or simply deleted. Try using his name in the subject line, he suggests. (By the way, he gets 1500 emails a day, so that subject line better be snappy.)

As for the pitch itself: --if it's a press release, make sure it has a physical location online, and make sure it's truly newsworthy --if it's for a CEO interview, let him know how the person is "making waves" in the categories he covers --for any company news, make sure you've got a logo he can include in anything online --he's not interested in enterprise level technology; it should be something for the masses

-> Pet peeves

Someone who doesn't have a clear message, as in, "Yeah, well, we've got something that's maybe kind of interesting…"

"If they're not excited, I'm not excited," he says.

And, as with all media, don't pitch something blatantly inappropriate and make sure you're familiar with his show/site/newsletter.

-> Prewritten contributions

He does publish original news stories (*not* press releases, though he links to two in the daily newsletter), so submit 'em if you got 'em.

-> Regular columnists

Is he looking for regular columnists? "Oh, yeah, absolutely. I'm always looking for people with unique opportunities, not from traditional media, anyone from media/entertainment/technology, or all of the above. Things that are within that convergence and how they affect general consumers."

-> Where you can meet Rutkowski

At any one of hundreds of events and conferences throughout the year. He's also up to getting together for coffee, lunch, etc. "I love sushi," he says.

-> Favorite professional publication

Wired and Hollywood Reporter

See Also:

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