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Coffee With A Journalist: Peter Adams, Marketing Dive

Coffee with a Journalist: Peter Adams, Marketing Dive

In episode 28 of Coffee with a Journalist, Beck sits down with Peter Adams, Reporter at Marketing Dive. Peter breaks down what it’s like working for a daily newsletter publication covering the marketing industry, impactful digital transformations within the space, and game-changing advertising and marketing tech. During their conversation, Peter discusses the type of content he looks for in a pitch, how his role affects his perception of media and life, and his view on the invaluable aspects of journalism.

Click below to listen to the full conversation and read below for highlights from the interview:

His Work Inbox

Beck:

Yes. Tell us, how’s your inbox looking these days? Is it filled with pitches? Is it mostly crap? What’s going on?

Peter:

This is definitely a quiet period of the year.

Beck:

Oh.

Peter:

August, early September always is. I think a lot of people are still out on vacation. Maybe some of the Fall plans haven’t ramped up as much. We’re starting to see some more of a trickle in, but I feel like the combination of it being a slow period, and also everything else that’s going on, to hit some bottom lines, the peeling back on some marketing budgets, it’s quieter than it usually is. Just as a personal thing, I tend to keep my inbox pretty clean.

Beck:

Now, are you one of the zero inbox people?

Peter:

Yeah. I try to be. Sometimes I will put things off. I am a habitual procrastinator. Inevitably I have one or two that I need to get back to, and don’t in the near term, but in my ideal world, yes, I don’t like the numbers being there. I don’t like the little red notification.

Beck:

I do not like that.

Peter:

Which is bad because on a long weekend, like this past Memorial Day weekend, I was checking my inbox because I don’t want there to be like 70 emails when I get back into work the next day.

Beck:

Oh yeah. Because then you’re like, “God, I’m already in the hole.”

Peter:

Yeah.

Beck:

I’m already in the hole. Yeah. I don’t like that stress. I’m on the same page with you. I’m always inbox zero every 48 hours. I can’t do it every day, but it’s got to be pretty clean.

Peter:

Yeah.

His Thoughts on Pitching

Beck:

Now, how many pitches do you get though, would you say, on a weekly basis?

Peter:

On a weekly basis it’s probably close to 100 I would say.

Beck:

That’s not crazy.

Peter:

I don’t know. That might be a little farther north. Yeah, I don’t actually quantify it that much. It’s a lot. It’s a lot to sort through, for sure. That’s one of the reasons why I get a little anal retentive about making sure it’s cleared out, so I really only focus on the ones that I need to respond to in the near term.

Beck:

Is there any subject line that particularly grabs you?

Peter:

Yeah, if there’s a breaking piece of news. We’ll cover most things that impact marketers. But we have a very servicey model almost. Like I said earlier, we want to make sure the stakeholders in our industry are getting the news that matters to them and thinking about actionable takeaways they could have on it. If I get something that’s like, “TikTok could be acquired by Microsoft or Walmart,” the broad landscape stuff that’s, first of all, going to be covered everywhere, but it also doesn’t serve as much value to our readers. But if you can come to me and say, “We have an agency expert who works in social media and knows how this will affect our marketer’s strategies,” like day of, when it happens.

Beck:

That’s helpful.

Peter:

That’s something that I will at least read. There’s no guarantee I’ll use it in a story.

How He Writes Stories

Beck:

Yeah. Then, for when you are writing a piece and you’re doing this brief, what gives you the kernel of an idea to do a story? Does it ever come from a pitch, from example, for example?

Peter:

Yes and no. You can get a story idea anywhere. Some people sometimes come to you and they say, “We have a brand that’s working on a really interesting campaign or with an interesting technology partner.” We try and focus on brand side activations. Those are things I will definitely look into. Case studies as well. But for the most part, again, looking at the servicier side of journalism and what we do, if I write three briefs on a particular type of campaign, using a certain technology or a type of platform, within a week of each other, and it all kind of looks the same, that’s a story idea for our readers. Why are all these companies jumping on a trend at a particular time? Why do these all look the same? Is it worth getting in on that? How can you kind of activate it in a unique fashion?

Beck:

Are you ever out taking a walk, drinking your crazy coffee, and you’re like, “Oh, something just pinged me”? It’s from the ether.

Peter:

Yeah.

Beck:

And you’re like, “Yeah. I got to do something on that.”

Peter:

For sure. I think part of that also is the way I’m into TV, I’m into movies, I’m into pop culture. A lot of that stuff is ad supported. I’ll just be browsing platforms and see something and say, “Oh, wow. That’s new,” or, “That’s interesting.” For sure, I’ll have those just sort of thinking about something, because I’ve been doing this long enough now that my brain is wired to think, “Oh, what’s the implication for marketers?”

Beck:

Yeah, exactly.

_______

While many journalists, like Peter, became inspired to go into journalism from a young age, others entered the field by accident and happenstance. Learn how journalists from PopSugar, Ad Age, Obvious Magazine, and Quartz got their start in our article “4 Journalists on Breaking into Journalism”. To stay up-to-date on our latest podcast episodes and blog releases, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and follow us on Twitter!

Mathew Cruz

Mathew started at OnePitch in January of 2020 as a Marketing Apprentice. He currently serves as the SEO & Content Marketing Specialist handling content creation from social media to the OnePitch blog. Mathew studied Integrated Marketing Communications at San Diego State University. In his free time, he loves creating art, visiting museums, and traveling.

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