Let’s turn the tables and give the press some love. Here are Marissa Louie’s top picks.
By Marissa Louie, January 9
I’m not a PR person. But I am a CEO who has worked directly with several reporters, anchors, journalists, and bloggers covering national / mainstream, tech, local, and political media.
Take a look at which 15 members of the press are at the top of their game for 2010:
STAR OF THE YEAR:
Kym McNicholas (Anchor / Reporter, Forbes) steps into the minds of the subjects she portrays on camera, like a top actress would do. She makes people feel comfortable: she interviewed Steve Wozniak while riding a Segway and ballroom danced with SYTYCD’s Nigel Lythgoe, for example. What makes her star of the year? Her background in sports reporting and as a local news anchor, her professionalism and razor-sharp intellect, and her ability to get to the very core of a wide variety of subjects ranging from science and technology to professional sports and entertainment. Behind the scenes: Kym wakes up at the crack of dawn every day (including weekends), prepares very thoroughly for each interview, carries around all of her own equipment, shoots videos (with or without the help of a cameraman), and edits up to 2 hours of footage into 2-5 minutes. She is superwoman! Kym on Twitter
MEET THE PRESS (and bring your A-Game):
Lea Goldman (Features Editor, Marie Claire) has taken her pedigree from Forbes (where she had some of the most popular stories and listicles) and brought it to the women’s fashion, lifestyle, culture, and celebrity magazine. She does her research – sometimes months in advance of covering a story. She also makes her interviewees feel at ease as she penetrates deeply into the thought process. The result: she reads between the lines, uncovers underlying emotions, and brings a story to life that is meaningful to her readers. Lea on Twitter
Eric Kuhn (Audience Interaction Producer, CNN) isn’t just one of the most influential online journalists in the field today, but has appeared on nationally televised CNN to bring life to his storyline. His on-camera personality is honest and personable, just like his off-camera personality. Hey CNN, here’s a crossover star in the making. No wonder Arianna Huffington calls Eric a “fearless journalist.” Eric on Twitter
David Gelles (Technology Reporter, Financial Times) goes out of his way to cover all angles of a story. In the past year since he joined FT’s San Francisco Bureau to cover technology and startups, he has amassed an impressive network of the most notable web celebrities. In addition to the articles he publishes in the newspaper and online, he also blogs for FT and has contributed to notable places including TechCrunch. He ruminates, takes good notes, digs far and wide to research, and assembles masterpiece after masterpiece. He’s the most eloquent journalist I’ve ever met, on record and off record. He’s Beethoven come to life on the salmon pages (and the web). David on Twitter
POP CULTURE AND MARKETING
Steve Hall (Publisher, Adrants, AdGabber, and ad:tech Blog) describes how he filters the hundreds of stories that fly across his desk every morning: “It’s methodical…I’ve come to just know whether a story would resonate with our readers or not.” His pop-culture spin and no-holds barred, yet cheeky approach are refreshing. At a recent panel we were on at Web 2.0 Expo, an overwhelming 40% of the audience either knew Steve personally or had read Adrants. I’m a fan, too. Steve on Twitter
Sean Percival (Publisher, Lalawag) pumps out pop culture-laced tech news that is one part adventure novel, and one part geek glory. He has sent LA-based Lalawag straight to stardom in just over 1 year, including at places like Techmeme. Sean’s quirky-cool lexicon has caught fire on the Internet: you might have seen the words kitteh, lalawabbit, ohnoez, and Caturday used all over Twitter and Facebook. This badass is a sleek dresser who rocks retro-hipster designer clothes, has the coolest hair (keep it long, Sean!) and makes any event look great together with his lovely wife, Laurie. Sean on Twitter
MG Siegler (Writer, TechCrunch) adds a refreshing and cool, tech-infused, tongue-in-cheek, Hollywood-esque spin on tech stories. And that only describes the titles of his articles at TechCrunch – his content is carefully considered and an adventure to read. MG is featured in Violet Blue’s “Top 10 Sexy Geeks” for 2010, and according to her, MG “exudes an irresistible combination of young James Spader and Don Draper.” I couldn’t agree more! MG on Twitter
Pete Cashmore (CEO, Mashable) At just 24, Pete has clawed his way from his home country of Scotland onto the top of the pedestal of the world’s technology elite. He’s brought a world class team along with him. His article titles are often hilarious and catchy, and he lead Mashable to cover Twitter extensively before anybody else was doing so. He recently started writing a CNN column about social media and networking. Plus he’s a ton of fun to hang out with in person. I know dozens of girls (and just as many guys – hehe sorry Pete) who swoon for his model looks. And he might comment or like your Facebook posts too, if you know him! Pete on Twitter
Richard McManus (Founder and Editor, ReadWriteWeb) has a thoughtful, relatable, approachable, no-nonsense approach to covering technology. It’s in his blood: his father was a renowned journalist. Richard follows up immediately, and makes sure that somebody checks out your story pitch if you give him a good lead. He crowdsources from his readership too: for example, he changed his Twitter handle from @ReadWriteWeb to @RWW after getting feedback from his followers. Richard on Twitter
Adam Ostrow (Editor in Chief, Mashable) is the sort of guy you’d like to be best friends with, and a deep introspective person. His content is fresh, thorough, charismatic, and to the point. He manages the editorial content that covers the evolution of technology and web trends. The world watches his pen (or is it a sword?): The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Times of London, The Globe and Mail, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, AdAge, BBC, ABC News, CNN, and MSNBC. Adam on Twitter
Om Malik (Publisher, GigaOM) picks up his cell phone immediately and gets right on it. He takes things into his own hands and is very thorough. His intelligence seeps through his demeanor, his voice, and even in his stage presence at The Crunchies. He gets primo placement after primo placement. It’s like he’s a highly trained intelligence agent with a sharpshooting eye. It’s no wonder that Om has led The GigaOM Network to reach an audience of over 3 million viewers. Om on Twitter
Joe Vazquez (Anchor / Reporter, CBS 5) will come out to cover your local story in the San Francisco Bay Area if you have a good spin. He puts you at ease in front of the camera (the spotlight can be glaring, and going on camera can be nerve-wracking), and makes you feel great about working with him. It’s no wonder: this pro has a local TV news career that spans more than two decades. In 2008, he won an Emmy for his 11 o’clock news coverage of the tiger escape at the San Francisco Zoo. If you do a great job and befriend him, he’ll remember you and reach back out too. Joe on Twitter
Tom Foremski (Publisher, SiliconValleyWatcher) always knows the best events in Silicon Valley. His pedigree from Forbes is very evident in his natural, insider-coverage blogging style. You can trust Tom to give you tips on what’s good – often the tips that nobody else will tell you. He teeters on the bleeding edge between technology and media, and brings you right to where you want to be on with an impeccable taste. His cool, James Bond- meets-Tom Ford-meets John Smith nature will leave you wanting more. Tom on Twitter
Maegan Carberry (Blogger, Huffington Post and Causecast, and Co-host, Wilshire & Washington) provokes our thoughts and stirs the imagination of our young, entrepreneurial, cause-devoted “”Millennial Generation.” She has a heart of gold yet a ballsy presentation that gets noticed. See her effervescence shine in her recent article “The 2020 Project: What’s your Perfect Vision for the Next Decade?” Maegan on Twitter
Ari Melber (Correspondent, The Nation, and Columnist, Politico) has a no bullshit approach to politics. He gets right down to the core issues that matter. At his young age, he has accomplished much. On the short list: he has appeared on NBC, CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, FOX News and Bloomberg News, and has served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign. It’s no wonder he’s a leader amongst leaders and knows the streets of New York like the palm of his hand. Ari on Twitter
Michael Skolnik (Editor of Politics Section of Global Grind) is very real and doesn’t sugarcoat his stories. He weaves a powerful story and relates to his subjects by providing perspective from his own life. He thinks quietly and deeply, then produces a crescendo. In person, Michael is a skilled negotiator amongst a room of diverse opinions. His background as a documentary filmmaker in countries like Swaziland, where a bullet nearly shaved the side of his head, helped him earn his chops. Not only is this man one of the most influential people in the hip hop community, but his character has deep soul. He has the respect of Russell Simmons and dozens of our mutual friends for a very good reason. Michael on Twitter
Are you not on this list, but think you should be? Drop me a line or comment below.
Marissa Louie is the Founder and CEO of HeroEx, San Francisco’s affordable 1 hour delivery service. Customers order their favorite items at heroex.com, and then crowdsourced Delivery Heroes deliver the items anywhere in San Francisco.
Contact her at (510) 375-1941, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.