THE TYPE BAR
On this month’s #TWJchat series, we spoke 1:1 with Lexy Savvides from CNET and Steven Aquino from Forbes, TechCrunch, and iMore. Lexy is currently a reporter and on-air presenter covering all things consumer tech. She was also a guest on Season 1 of Coffee with a Journalist where we talked about her career start, her love for technology, and the key components she looks for in pitches.
Steven is no stranger to the OnePitch team either. He is an experienced reporter covering accessibility across all of his big-name publications and was also apart of our What’s On My Desk series. We had the opportunity to check out his desk, talk about his love for Apple products, and how he stays organized (or not).
Continue reading below to get a glimpse of our chat with these noteworthy tech journalists and click HERE to follow along with us on Twitter for the next one:
What’s unique about your role?
Lexy: “The sky is really the limit. We cover how technology affects our daily lives: whether that’s reviews of the latest smartphones, or helping people get the most out of gadgets they already own. We also let you know what the most binge-worthy series are!
I’m on our video team so a big part of what makes my role unique is being able to tell those stories in a highly visual way!”
Steven: “What’s unique is accessibility is a topic, like disabled people, are sorely underrepresented in mainstream tech coverage. And it’s sad because not only is it enlightening, but anyone could become disabled at any time, and accessibility features benefit everyone.
My background is in special education and early childhood development. I’d been writing on my own blog for years, mostly about tech, and people have raved about my talent my whole life. I made the leap in 2013 and took off like a rocket, writing about what I know and who I am.
Most of my outlets—iMore, TechCrunch, MacStories—are Apple-focused, at least when I contribute. My newest one, Forbes, is where I get to “spread my wings” and comment on other tech companies aside from Apple. But of course, people know me for my coverage of them.”
How have your stories evolved since the start of this pandemic here in the US?
Lexy: “Everyone has had to shift gears to cover this situation in a way that makes sense for their readers and viewers. That could be anything from the status of your stimulus check, to how consumer wearables are being used to study early signs of COVID-19.
It also makes us consider different approaches to how we would normally cover a video story too, so conducting interviews over Zoom or Skype instead of filming a sit-down interview in person!”
Steven: “I haven’t written explicitly about the pandemic. I’m very privileged in the sense my daily life has not been adversely affected by what’s going on in any way. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m already a seasoned work-from-home vet.”
How many pitches do you receive on a daily or weekly basis? Are they targeted or do they end up in the #PRFail folder?
Lexy: “It’s a tough time for everyone, but the same tips I’d always suggest. Look at what we are covering and offer something that is relevant – not a dupe to a story we’ve already done. If you’re pitching a story to me directly, it has to make for a compelling video.”
Steven: “I’d say 95% are spam or irrelevant to me. I get a lot more pitches this time of year around Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) but it’s only one month/day. The rest of the time, it’s pretty bad sadly.
I like personable pitches—use my name, use a conversational tone especially if you know me. Also, give me context… “I read your story on…” and tell me why this should matter to me. I don’t need a ton of statistics.”
Want more insider information about what journalists are looking for in stories, sources, and pitches? Check out our Coffee with a Journalist podcast and subscribe to receive weekly exclusive insights about the tech industry’s most coveted reporters.