Our next installment of SaaS Media Perspectives features, Dom Nicastro, senior reporter at CMSWire, a well-read trade pub covering digital customer experience, martech and digital workplace. Dom discusses getting to know a publication’s audience as both the journalist and the PR pro and the double-edged sword of the AI buzz.
KIM: Tell us about your role at CMSWire.
DOM: I’m a senior reporter. I’ve been full-time with CMSWire since January of 2014. I cover technology developments and business strategies in the areas of digital customer experience and the digital workplace. I also serve an emcee at our two industry conferences — Digital Workplace Experience and Digital Experience Summit — and as a moderator for our industry webinars.
KIM: You were previously a radio host and an editor and sportswriter of a daily newspaper. How does covering B2B tech differ from your past experiences?
DOM: I still do a weekly sports radio show outside of Boston. My answer is this: it’s NOT different. The only change in my role now as a B2B tech reporter vs. a sports radio host, or a sports reporter is the subject.
Other than that, here’s the universal truth: journalism is about serving your constituent: the content consumer (the reader, the listener, the video viewer, the conference attendee). You are the conduit to the truth and something unique.
Am I presenting our reader something they haven’t already seen? Am I helping them do their jobs better? Am I helping them think differently about a topic? Am I presenting balanced content that presents diverse views? Am I avoiding presumptuous statements not supported by hard data? Am I building a trustworthy set of sources who in turn trust me? These questions are embedded in the fabric of every word I write, everything I say — no matter the medium, content subject or the audience.
By the way — you’re never done knowing your audience. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they care about? How old are they? Why do they visit you? How? Thankfully, we’ve got some great tools helping us discover this critical data and insights. Before these tools, it was gut instincts, coffee-shop talks and phone calls you’d get at the newspaper office. I love that I came from each world — good, old-fashioned, gut-instinct reporting now aided by hard data and analysis from the digital world.
KIM: How can PR people create working relationships with tech journalists?
DOM: Simple: know my audience like I do, and we can then build that “circle of trust” (thanks, Jack Byrnes, from Meet the Parents) like I try to do with my sources and readers.
KIM: What tech trends are exciting you right now and why?
DOM: AI is the easy answer, but it’s true. I’m excited because I am looking forward to see if all the promises in the enterprise will come to fruition. Will it REALLY change marketing? Will it REALLY make getting work done a better experience? We’ll be right there to cover all the challenges and success stories.
KIM: What tech buzzwords are you tired of hearing?
DOM: Same answer – AI. I’m beyond the hype stage and ready to digest the practical applications for marketers and digital workplace professionals.
KIM: If you could be a fly on the wall in the boardroom of any tech company, which would it be and why?
DOM: My own, of course. Kidding. We’re a small and super transparent company. I love it. The answer is really any company for which I’ve done recent critical coverage. Is it JUST the PR people who hate me, or everyone?