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The Difference Between San Francisco and Silicon Valley Media

Kristina Lazarakis

Working in the tech capital of the world has its perks – you’re constantly surrounded by innovative thinkers, companies and next-gen software. But, for someone who doesn’t live and breathe San Francisco or Silicon Valley media and culture, understanding the subtle nuances can be tricky. I always chuckle when an out-of-state colleague asks their friend in LA or San Diego to meet up when they’re visiting San Francisco. Many don’t realize that they are 6 or 8 hours away. While it’s easy to overcome that hurdle with a map, knowing the media landscape doesn’t often come with clear direction.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked several times for local media recommendations within Bay Area. Most lump the Silicon Valley pubs and San Francisco pubs together, thinking the reporters will be interested regardless of where the companies are located. But whether they are in San Francisco proper or one of many cities that make up Silicon Valley can make all the difference.

Media and PR Landscape

Image from Under CC License

Let’s start with what makes up Silicon Valley. According to Wikipedia, “Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology, innovation and social media. It corresponds roughly to the geographical Santa Clara Valley, although its boundaries have increased in recent decades. San Jose is the Valley’s largest city, the third-largest in California and the tenth-largest in the United States. Other major Silicon Valley cities include Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Sunnyvale.”

If your company is headquartered in any of the cities above, your best shot for coverage is the Silicon Valley Business Journal or The Mercury News. They are the two biggest publications in the Valley.

San Francisco has a wider variety of publications, but they aren’t always interested in Silicon Valley-based companies. This is especially true of the San Francisco Business Times, a sister company to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. It’s important to know where your company is headquartered and reach out to the one that covers your company’s region.

Other San Francisco publications include San Francisco ChronicleThe San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly. Not all cover tech, so they likely won’t be interested in your client’s next product announcement, but if your company has a CSR initiative or is partnering with a local San Francisco-based organization, these are good targets to drive awareness among the local community.

Location and relevance are everything. Just as we pitch every other member of the media based on their beats, local press is no different. When reaching out to them, make sure you call out the connection to their readership and audience, and why it will matter to their community.


Topics: Industry Expertise

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