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Interview with Desiré Athow (@desireathow), Editor of TechRadar Pro (@TechRadarPro)

March 19, 2014

By Rosalind Carr (@Rosalind_at_O) and Rose Ross (@Rose_at_O)

desire-athow

Following our article on Desiré’s key event advice and tips (“5 golden PR rules for events”), we chat top tech events, PR pitches and hot topics in tech for 2014…

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself.

Originally from Mauritius, been in this country for the last 10 years or so. English is my third language and my degree is in sociology. So to land in this country and to work as an editor on one of the biggest B2B websites in the UK is an absolute treat. Prior to working on TechRadar Pro, I was the editor of ITProPortal for 8 years and have been covering and writing tech for my entire adult life.

Q. Tell us a little bit about the title you write for and its interest in data storage/mobile/cloud/infosec/virtualization.

TechRadar Pro is a fairly new title, we’ve been around for less than two years. However, because it has been carved out of TechRadar, UK’s biggest technology website, we already have a significant amount of uniques, far more than more established websites. I seldom write unless I attend an event, have an exclusive or snatch an important interview. As for our areas of interest, our roots lie in computing but my team and I have been working hard on diversifying the content production to include business technology at large.

Q. What’s hot in data storage/mobile/cloud/infosec/virtualization this year?

In data storage, possibly helium, in mobile, 4G hitting mainstream (neither the iPhone 6 or the Galaxy S5 are hot IMHO), in cloud and virtualisation, the arrival of 64-bit ARM and the rise of NFV/SON/SDN. As for infosec, I guess the declining importance of traditional antivirus solutions as mobile computing rises.

Q. How many data storage/mobile/cloud/infosec/virtualization events do you attend each year?

CES, IFA, MWC, Computex and CeBIT are the big 5. Other than that we do attend (or try to attend) the likes of IP Expo, Infosec et al. plus any vendor invites we get (EMC, Microsoft etc).

Q. Which one are you most looking forward to?

All of them to be honest. For personal reasons, I tend not to cover the farthest ones but when I do, I always try to make the most out of it. Each venue and location has its own flavour and culture attached to it. From Las Vegas to Taipei, there’s always something new I discover on every trip.

Q. What types of companies are likely to attract your attention this year? 

Hardware/computing is still where my heart lies. But I often rely on serendipity and my own experience to either get exclusives or breaking.

Q. How many interviews do you do per week?

A lot. We publish around 1 a day. I don’t do interviews per se. We tend to do emailed ones because they work better and PR love them.

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a company to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail?

Email. For a number of reasons. I don’t mind someone sending emails twice or thrice just for it to be on top of my inbox.

Q. Who else is worth listening to (about data storage/mobile/cloud/infosec/virtualization)? 

When it comes to mobile, TechRadar’s Gareth Beavis and John McCann are pretty much la crème de la crème.

Q. What’s your favourite blog?

Labnol.org, the Indian equivalent of Lifehacker.

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?

My iPhone 4S, still one of the best smartphones ever launched.

Q. What do you think is the most important development in data storage/mobile/cloud/infosec/virtualization to date?

The birth of ARM. Think of a world without ARM and it would be a very miserable one.

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

I actually have 3 pieces of advice. Don’t call me if I don’t know you, please do some research prior to the pitch and by all means, manage the expectations of your clients.

Q. What was the best business trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

Worst one was one to Milan. Didn’t get to see enough of the city. We landed quite late at night and stayed there for 12 hours only. Best one has to be my first Las Vegas trip for CES. It was one of those OMG moments.

Q. What’s your favourite restaurant?

My tastes are sadly fairly mundane. I don’t have a favourite restaurant per se but tend to hop around GBK, Nandos and any Wetherspoon I can find. I even have a weak spot for KFC. I am only human after all.

Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?

I am on all three big social networks but only really use Twitter. FB is personal and Linkedin is more of a business directory. I am unfortunately not a social media aficionado. There’s not enough hours in the day for me to spare a few to Vine or Instagram.

Copyright ©Launchpad Europe 2013. All rights reserved. You may copy and distribute this material as long as  you credit the author where possible; the copies are distributed only for non-commercial purposes and at no charge; and you include this copyright notice and link to Countdown2MWC.com, the original source of the work.

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