Posted by Richard ● 04-Dec-2015 12:00:00

When a B2B tech interview goes well


Oscar Williams-Grut, Business Insider

Oscar Williams-Grut, reports on the market desks in London for Business Insider UK. He has become one of my favourite journalists to follow, not just because his topics include London's technology scene, technology in general and fintech, but because he creates editorial as a result of his relationships with B2B Tech Innovators and others, that combines human interest and valuable business information.

Oscar met with Obama's tech guru, Harper Reed, recently. They apparently hit it off and, as a result, there are currently three articles that Oscar has published, which I presume came from the same interview. As a B2B PR agency and Inbound Marketing consultancy in London, this is the dream. A spokesperson inspires a journalist, and this leads to the creation of compelling content that drives awareness, consideration, decisions and ultimately delighted customers.

To achieve this, a spokesperson needs to have the right stories. And the journalist needs to be able to draw them out of him. The role of the PR is not just to get the individuals in the same room, but to lay the foundations for the conversation that will follow.

Reed, who was Obama's CTO for the 2012 election, came fully loaded. He talked about the Democrat's strategy for using social media in the upcoming election:

"Reed is predicting...a rise in interaction from candidates on various social media platforms, rather than just using the sites as megaphones.

He says: "You already see that now, Hilary’s campaign is interacting with other candidates, whether it’s Jeb and talking s**t or just other candidates.

"In 2012 it was a lot like display advertising — I would say something on Twitter, and you would look at it. Now, if I tweet something, someone might reply to it, and I might reply to that. That’s really where the magic is.

"It used to be that the only person who would make statements were the press secretaries, but now they’re writing whole articles about Twitter streams."

In a separate article, Reed is invited to share his tips on handling the high-pressure job of being Obama's CTO, during an election that many argue was the social media election. His advice?

"The advice I used to give to engineers I hired, don't eat the pizza," Reed says. "Sometimes when you walk into these high-pressure environments, it’s like doughnuts everywhere and all these little cakes."

"If it was just a month, maybe pizza month. But when you’re there for 18 months, you just can’t do that. It really is the difference between a sprint and a marathon."

The point he's making is that you've got to look after yourself so you can bring your "A-game" to work. Too often, it's easy just to grab a snack instead of having lunch, or do crazy long hours that run you down. But often it can be more productive to call it a day, go home and have a healthy dinner, and come back tomorrow to attack the problem fresh."

Great advice for anyone in the UK B2B Tech space, as well as any other high-pressure role. Especially at this time of the year when offices are full of chocolates, mince pies and Christmas drinks.

And finally, in the third article, Reed was asked about hackers. Oscar asked him what he thought about the recent TalkTalk hack:

"A giant corporation probably shouldn't be being hacked by teenagers. I put that on the corporation, not the teenagers. Teenagers are going to do what teenagers are going to do — rebelling. But if they're able to hack a big corporation, that seems like the corporation should be better at security."

Great spokesperson. Great interview. Great editorial.

If you want to build the profile of your spokespeople, you may find the following post to be of interest. 

And don't forget, the holiday lull is a great time to get those award entries sorted out. 

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Topics: B2B Tech PR, Journalism, Security