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July 20th, 2006

Eric Lundquist Breaks Down eWeek

Earlier this week, our own Dave Black moderated a PRSourceCode “Lunch with the Editors” webinar on navigating the PR waters at eWeek with its VP and Editorial Director Eric Lundquist. You can listen to a replay here. This was the latest installment of an ongoing series of sit-downs with members of the IT trade and business press cognoscenti, see forthcoming sessions here.

Many in our universe know Eric as the central nervous system of eWeek – wielding tremendous clout over the book’s editorial direction and serving as a great litmus test for what works and what blows up on the launch pad. To boot, Eric is unflinchingly candid and seems to have a genuine respect for the role of PR. Most of the upfront discussion reviewed the A-B-C’s for all the greenies on the call – breakdown of eWeek’s target audience, tips for identifying the right editor for your pitch, the bifurcated nature of the labs and news departments, etc. More apropos for us grizzled industry vets (or aspiring war horses) looking to expand our clients’ presence in said publication, the conversation then provided a few useful nuggets:

How to deliver eWeek ecstasy: unfettered access to end-users who are deep in the trenches and smart, insightful vendor spokespeople who can speak beyond the messaging document. How to get a client into eWeek purgatory: PowerPoint deck + humdrum recitation of all 16 new product features by obstinate VP of marketing = anathema with an onset of irritable editor’s syndrome.

For most of us, getting a client’s announcement covered by eWeek’s news department is hugely important. However, Eric observed that the shelf life of these stories is fairly short compared to the durability of product reviews, which may receive considerable traffic months after their initial posting. No real shock here, but further evidence of the lasting impact of good or bad reviews. More grist for focusing a possible oscillating client.

As we all roast this summer in triple-degree heat (question: did Al Gore also invent global warming in addition to the Internet?) and gasoline prices continue to move on up into the stratosphere, alternative energy is increasingly becoming the topic de jour for us all, including eWeek. Opportunities abound for related pitches.

Eric and other top brass from eWeek will be holding a marathon round of vendor briefings this September in key cities across the country (including several West coast area codes). Schedules will likely fill up quickly, so begin reaching out early.

– JT

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