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Meet the Media: Alan Cane

Written by Paul Stallard
Alan Cane

Alan Cane

This week my ‘Meet the Media’ interview is with Alan Cane who has covered high-tech issues for the Financial Times since 1980. When ever I have pitched a story to him he has always asked the questions any journalist should, what is it, how does it work, and why should anyone be be concerned about it. His answers in the interview are similar to his journalistic style, straight to the point and make a lot of sense.

Paul Stallard: What is your pet hate of PR?
Alan Cane: PRs who don’t do their homework.  Suggesting , for example, that I might want to talk to a company that I’ve been covering for more than 30 years

PS: What is the best way to contact you?
AC: Email, either at home or the office.

PS: How many emails do you get a day?
AC: About 150 a day

PS: Have you ever done any PR work
AC: No, I’ve never done any and I wouldn’t  know where to start

PS: Do you think that most PR professionals read the titles you write for before contacting you?
AC: If they are professional of course they do  – but many don’t.

PS: How has the increase of social media affected traditional journalism?
AC: In my specialism, not a lot so far.  But watch this space.

PS: Is there a future long term for hard copy publications or will online rule?
AC: Yes, nothing as flexible and convenient as paper has ever been invented.   But there will be changes, probably favouring the more recognised and trusted titles.

PS: What is the worst case of PR you have come across?
AC: Nothing too terrible but I tire of PRs who try to tell me something is new and innovative but say :”Oh I’m  not  technical”  when I query their assertions – that means they haven’t understood the development or its context.

PS: Are journalists rude to PRs?
AC: Some are and for no good reason.

PS: Is being London based an advantage for PR professionals?
AC: Not necessarily.

Previous meet the media interviews:
Bryan Glick, Computing
Adrian Brigewater
Clive Akass, PCW
Guy Clapperton
Dan Oliver, .Net
John Gripton,
Alex Blyth
Christine Horton, Channel Pro
Alan Burkitt Gray, GTB
Peter Whitehead
Sally Whittle

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