The other week, BOCA had the pleasure of sponsoring PRSA Silicon Valley’s “Media Predicts” event. This annual pre-holiday event is a must for anyone who plays a role in the world of high-tech PR. Each year a panelist featuring high-profile reporters comes together to reflect on the past year and talk about their predictions for the upcoming year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow PR professionals and hear from the media outlets you’re striving to connect with.
The buzz word for this year’s virtual event was “fun” and fun was indeed interwoven into every aspect of the event. Curtis Sparrer of Bospar opened “Media Predicts” with drag queen holiday bingo hosted by the one and only fabulous Schwa. Participants had lots of laughs and the winners even scored a bottle of wine or bubbles of their choice. After the games wrapped up it was time to mingle in breakout rooms. Aarti Shah of PRovoke Media led a few pandemic themed ice-breakers such as “what was your favorite binge during the pandemic?” and “best and worst communicators of 2021” that opened the door to conversation.
The group was then brought back together for the main portion of the event which was a Q&A session with the media panelists led by Caroline James of Aircover Communictions. This year’s group was a fantastic one featuring some of the best in the business; Diane Brady, Assistant Managing Editor at Forbes, Lauren Goode, Senior Writer at Wired, Eugene Kim, Chief Tech Correspondent with Business Insider and Kristen Nicole, Senior Editor at SiliconAngle. Not only did we get to pick their brains, but we also learned some do’s and don’ts (and a few fun facts) from each of them.
One of the big questions PR professionals always want to know from the media is, “how can we be most successful in our efforts to connect with you and work with you?” All of the panelists agreed that persistence is more important than the channel. Being prepared with a pitch that is relevant and timed appropriately is key. Each reporter has their niche, so making sure that whatever story you are pitching to them fits within their realm is crucial. Another topic touched on life after the pandemic and what that looks like in terms of relationship building. Everyone agreed that they enjoy face to face interactions and are looking forward to resuming in-person coffee meetings – just make sure that if you invite one of them for a drink, you have a focus in mind!
Next up it was time for some crystal ball gazing to predict the news trends for 2022. “We’re looking into superclouds…I’m wondering if it’s going to be a buzzword. I feel like it’s kind of an evolution of all the things that have already been happening,” said Kristen Nicole. Diane Brady mentioned that she was both excited about innovation and the digital transformation of work, but also had some concerns with inflation, the polarization in the US, and the macroeconomic environment. Lauren Goode talked about paying attention to the ‘buzzwords’ that she tends to shy away from, but can actually end up as important trending technologies. Additionally, she touched on the integration of Wired UK and Wired US and how that will expand the breadth of their topics covered next year. Eugene Kim is looking at the continued rise of Crypto as well as retail tech. “Readers’ demand is huge, so that is something that I think we will continue to see.”
In all, Media Predicts was both incredibly successful and tons of fun. Participants walked away with invaluable, applicable insight that is sure to help us step up our game as we strive to deliver great stories for our clients. As Diane Brady said, “we don’t need more content, we need better content.” BOCA is proud to have sponsored alongside powerhouses Edelman and HP. I want to do a personal shout out to Vanessa Yanez, President Silicon Valley PRSA, and Judith Cushman for all their hard work rallying the sponsors.
Can’t wait for next year’s event!