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May 07, 2004

How to Guest Star on the Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show

SUMMARY: 8,5000 listeners tune in to each Computer Outlook Show. Want to be a guest star? Here's how. Plus it's worth noting, if you're new to pitching, this is a softie:
John Iasiuolo, Host
Computer Outlook Radio Talk Show
2020 Sunland Ave.
Las Vegas, NV, 89106

-> Reach

8,500 listeners per show, via either the radio or online. The show is also archived online for approximately six months.

-> Iasiuolo's background

At 57, Iasiuolo has been "an entrepreneur all my career," he says. "I've never really worked for anyone." Among his many different ventures, he has studied aviation, owned his own recording studio in New York City, owned and operated restaurants, and been a member of a think tank.

Iasiuolo moved to Las Vegas 13 years ago from the New York/New Jersey area. "I like to be with my family and relax, I'm a make-believe chef, and my only means of relaxation is to watch videos," he says. "It's the only time I can turn my brain off."

-> Current editorial coverage

Two years ago, Iasiuolo saw the need for a computer show that would break high-tech language down so that the average person could understand -- with no techno-babble. He started Computer Outlook in December of 2002.

The show currently airs on Fridays and Mondays, but will add shows on Wednesdays beginning June 2. It's geared towards both consumers and small to mid-size businesses, and each show encompasses a theme. Some of these themes include:

o Point-Counterpoint: This takes leaders from two competing products or businesses who can talk about pros and cons of each. For example, Iasiuolo recently had a rep from a DSL company and a rep from the cable industry on the show.

o Safe Computing: viruses and securities

o Wireless Networking

o B-to-B Panel Discussions

o Mobile Communities

Some recent guests include Michael Millikin of MediaLive International, Leslie Adams of Netgear, Jackson Lan of the PC Club, and Richard Rabins, Co-founder of Alpha Software.

Iasiuolo wants his guests to be able to offer interesting facts and bits of information listeners might not learn anywhere else.

-> Best way to pitch Iasiuolo

Send Iasiuolo an email to, and include any information on your product or company that shows how it will impact the business or consumer tech community.

Always include a link. "I like to look at Web sites to see how people created them and the thought-processes that went into them," he says.

If you don't hear back from Iasiuolo or someone in his office within a few days, call to follow up. "The majority of the time, I answer the phone myself," he says. "My sales department hates it, but I like dealing with people, I want to stay in touch with people."

-> What Iasiuolo looks for in a story pitch

"It has to say to me, this is new, this is different," he says. "It can't be someone trying to recreate the wheel all over again." Iasiuolo tries to line up interviews from both established and new companies.

Give Iasiuolo a subject line that has anything to do with technology and the IT field and he'll open the email. "I won't throw anything away," he says. "Most of the time, I'll write back to every email I get, to give my reason for selecting or my reason for not selecting the interview."

Iasiuolo looked through some emails that came in as we spoke, and talked about what made four of them interesting:

o A pitch on doing a KVM switch -- "This is where you can hook up multiple computers to one screen, one set of speakers… what I like about it is they're saying it can be done remotely. But they don't tell me how. I'll write back and say, send me a Web site where I can see more."

It would be a great story for a B-to-B focus, he says, because, "if we're talking about multiple locations across the country, it can reduce travel time and costs," he says.

The email was asking Iasiuolo to meet with the company at an upcoming show, and the subject line read: Request for appointment.

o A pitch on computer security -- The subject line read: Quick question: Is your security good?

"I have to look at something like that," Iasiuolo says.

o A pitch on Wi-Fi from a company that enabled wireless access for a number of airports -- "That's interesting because it's useful for people who are traveling for business," he says. "If I have to have a layover, I can make a choice. I'd rather lay over [at this airport] because I know I can work on my laptop."

o Security pitch -- Subject line read: Do you have time for us at [X conference]? Following copy read, "Just a quick email to let you know we'll be at X conference." It went on to say, "I'm sure you're aware of the security issues surrounding Wi-Fi," and to explain the product.

"This one intrigues me because it can help a person who's vulnerable," Iasiuolo says.

-> Pet peeves

When asked if he has any pet peeves on pitches he gets from PR folks, Iasiuolo answers, "No, no, no. Everybody's home is their castle, and everybody's product is their baby."

He'll always listen to people or read the emails. "Then I have to do an evaluation. Is this what my listening audience wants to hear? What theme can I put this into? Or does it deserve a show of its own?"

-> Where you can meet Iasiuolo

He tapes interviews at conferences such as Comdex, CES, and NetWorld+Interop, among others. He walks the floor and is always willing to set up meetings with people or just to stop and chat.

-> Favorite professional publication

Smart Computing magazine. "They cover it all," he says.

-> A final word

Iasiuolo has been told by guests, "This is the most relaxed I've ever been on the air," and after speaking with him, it's easy to believe. He has an easygoing, friendly manner that can make pitching him a pleasure.

If you're working with a new client and want to hone your pitch, Iasiuolo's a great guy to practice on.
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