Osman covers tech and startups for Tech In Asia
1) What’s the best way to pitch you?
Email. Only email.
2) What’s the best time to pitch you?
Anytime really except weekends. I will eventually respond to all pitches that have required a bit of effort – it’s clear because those stand out.
3) What kind of stories interest you?
I love to feature startups solving problems in the travel and tourism space – there’s always a story there. Otherwise it’s always fun talking about founders who bootstrapped their way to success, or who punched above their weight. Readers love those too.
4) What tips would you give someone pitching you?
Always focus on the story and motivation behind your product. As awesome as the product/service may be, the story is what gets people to stand up and take notice.
5) What will you never write about?
Difficult to answer that question! But I usually ignore pitches I get as part of a mailing list.
6) What’s the best pitch you ever got?
One of the things founders need to understand is the art of storytelling. Your product might be a boring vanilla one, like an ecommerce marketplace, but if there’s a really cool story behind it, then I usually take the bait. The best pitches are the ones who understand this caveat and who have already lined up discussion points before I can think of them.
7) Do you prefer to receive news in a press release or a different format?
Press releases should be used only when there’s something significant to announce. I rarely ever use text from the PR itself – all writers worth their salt will try digging for a unique angle or uncovering information not already made public.
Hence, can’t say I hate press releases but they feel too formal and stifling at times.
8) How do you feel about embargoes?
Not a fan. And it’s annoying when someone breaks the embargo and then there’s a rush to make sure you do the same.
9) What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make when pitching you?
Aggressive pitches. Sometimes I don’t respond immediately and I’ll get the same email again and again or it’ll be sent to our ‘editors’ address. We’re all busy, get used to it. Trying to circumvent the writer by sending it to someone else isn’t a good approach.
10) What’s the biggest misconception/s that you think people have about the media?
We get hundreds of pitches every week. Very few people take the time to cultivate relationships, but those who do are already a step ahead of the rest. Coverage in the media depends a lot on relationship management, not many people understand that.