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Bay Area Outlook: Reporters to Follow for Earned Media Outreach

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Emily HubbardAccount Supervisor
bay area earned media outreach

In the late 90s, along with the dot com era, San Francisco and the surrounding Silicon Valley made a name for itself as the hub for tech innovation. At one point, the region accounted for more than 230,000 tech jobs – 40% of California’s total workforce.

Whether it be health tech, startup incubators, or your favorite social media platform, the Bay Area has earned it’s place in history as the birthplace of cutting-edge technology. Such accolades also ushered in a new wave of media reporting on these tech trailblazers. With no shortage of Bay Area-based reporters covering the exciting advancements and the organizations leading these efforts, here’s a few we should all keep on our radars and why I think you’ll want to keep up with their stories throughout 2021.

PR Pros: Bay Area Reporters to Watch

Rosalie Chan, Business Insider (@RosalieChan17)

bay area reportersRosalie has been a senior reporter at Business Insider for just about three years, with a major focus on Bay Area enterprise tech companies. Covering topics like cloud computing, developer communities and open source, Rosalie specializes in feature pieces which break down company funding rounds, market exits, major hiring moves and more.

Keeping up with Rosalie’s coverage is a great way to stay up to date with West Coast moves in the enterprise space, and to always know what company is changing the market landscape. She asks the important questions and helps explain how these companies are making a difference, even if the average consumer aren’t experts in “containers” or “open source.” Rosalie has covered a variety of PAN clients during her time at Business Insider, like ManageEngine here.

TIP: These reporters get hundreds of PR pitches a day, so make sure to find a way to stand out or connect with someone who’s had success with these reporters before. If they have a good relationship, they’ll introduce you – that way, your foot is already in the door!

Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post (@GerritD)

bay area reportersThe Bay Area has largely been known for developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in recent years. While that doesn’t come without its share of controversy, it also comes with a huge amount of innovation and exciting experimentation. Gerrit De Vynck, who recently made the move from Bloomberg to The Washington Post (also from New York to San Francisco), is a tech beat reporter focusing on Google, Alphabet, and the power of AI algorithms.

Gerrit not only covers news coming out of these companies, but how they fit into the larger global tech/AI landscape, and other interesting algorithms topics like NFTs, social media ad revenues, and more. You can see an example of PAN-earned coverage here.

Ben Pimentel, Protocol (@BenPimentel)

bay area reportersThere’s no shortage of cash flow being generated in and out of the Bay Area tech scene, and thus, there are bound to be companies whose goal is to simplify the way we invest and handle money.

Ben Pimentel, part of the fintech team at relatively new outlet Protocol, is covering the companies doing just that. Whether it be covering the companies who build these innovations, the M&A activity in the space, or what the billionaire fintech CEOs are doing with the money, Ben hits all the corners of the fintech industry.

Suggested Read: A Creative Approach to Storytelling for B2B FinTech Brands

Sheera Frenkel, New York Times (@SheeraF)

bay area reporters2020 was a huge year for cybersecurity, with millions of companies sending their employees home and having to pivot their business strategies. With a new presidential administration to nationwide vaccine rollouts, cybersecurity threats are on the ride and Sheera reports on just that.

Covering cybersecurity for the New York Times, Sheera dives into a variety of topics- the security of the hottest apps, the role that security plays in verticals like healthcare and hacking attempts on vaccine research, and many more topics that will have you installing more security measures and maybe not clicking “accept all cookies” for every website.

Suggested Read: Cybersecurity in the Spotlight

TIP: A majority of these reporters have their Twitter DMs open, and can often be more receptive to pitches via Twitter. Take a minute to shorten your pitch down to the absolute key points, and see if they’re willing to chat that way!

Biz Carson, Protocol (@BizCarson)

bay area reportersAnother key Bay Area reporter who made the move to Protocol is Biz Carson. Biz came to Protocol from Forbes, and specifically covers Silicon Valley, with a focus on startups and venture capital.

Biz’ stories provide a more technical look at money than her colleague Ben, with a deep dive into the companies that are investing in tech- think PE, VC, IPO, SPAC, all the abbreviations. Additionally, she covers the newest disruptors in Silicon Valley tech, and how they’re on track to disrupt their industries. Biz is on maternity leave until mid-April, but then she’ll be back at the helm of the Pipeline newsletter and giving you all the #BizonBiz you’ve missed since January.

Honorable Mention: Peter Hartlaub, SF Chronicle (@PeterHartlaub)

bay area reportersAs someone who was born in San Francisco but not raised, I love learning more about quirky SF traditions and history. Peter’s stories provide just that, like a recent story on the history of moving Victorian homes throughout San Francisco or his case for the tackiness of Pier 39. Not a tech reporter, but worth a read if you like to learn more about the culture side of San Francisco, and not just the flashy new stuff!

The San Francisco/Silicon Valley tech scene is constantly evolving, and there will always be more reporters moving to cover the companies and innovations driving that evolution (hopefully! Save journalism jobs! They’re important). This list is by no means exhaustive, and many of these reporters still remain dream targets of mine for landing earned client coverage. However, they provide a great view of the tech scene in the Bay Area, and if you’re looking for a place to start following the conversation, these reporters are it!

Curious how to use earned media to tell your brand story? Download our Guide to Storytelling.


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