Why Every Tech Journalist Needs a Screening Bot

Insider, screening, filtering, email, chatbots, inbound, spam

Phil Chatterton
by : Phil Chatterton

 

 

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Why Every Tech Journalist Needs a Screening Platform

As a Tech journalist, you get a lot of attention. If your laptop had a door it would be sporting a “distressed” look from all the pounding, knocking, banging, door ringing and knuckle wrapping it receives. The average Tech journalist has enough PR folks reaching out every day to invade a third world country. As Holly Brockwell of Gadgette puts it “reading and responding to billions of PR emails” [1] is part of everyday life. This means a big part of your day must be spent determining who is at the door and whether or not to throw a bucket of water on them.

I know this isn’t the best way to build a likeable first impression but let’s do some math now. It takes the average person about a minute or so to read and process an email plus another minute to decide how it is worth responding to. That is if we can overcome the 8-second attention span most of us have [2].

Assuming you have 40-50 outreach emails from companies and PR folks it should take you about 2 hours worth of work just to process the inbound not including the four cups of coffee and the 30 seconds on a calming meditation app to stop you from running out the door screaming.

Let’s say that a whopping ⅕ of the pitches you receive are worth responding to. According to Tech Journalist J.J. Colao his response rate on an average day was somewhere around 18% [3]

Assuming it takes you 5 minutes to write each response that accounts for another hour of your time. We are now at 3 hours. Many of the folks you wrote to will write back (sometimes immediately) and those follow-up discussions require a phone call or even an in-person meeting. You spend another 5-10 minutes scheduling those meetings so another hour of time has passed. Now we are at 4 hours.

You have effectively spent half your day screening emails, writing follow-ups and scheduling appointments.

Now you have the other half for actual interviews right? Nope. You have a host of other stuff to do including responding to and scheduling meetings that have piled up from the previous week, internal emails and catching up on your favorite blogs, RSS, etc. Oh and now you need to eat … something. Anything. It’s no wonder that a lot of Tech journalists are stressed out and working long hours with few breaks.

So here is a disruptive question: why not automate the initial screening work?

Grammar tools are popular with professional writers because they allow you to write more in less time. This is exactly what a screening platform will do.

So what the h#ll is a screening platform?

A screening platform is a conversational interface that asks questions on your behalf, then assesses the responses and determines if the respondent (PR Firm, Budding Entrepreneur, etc.) is worth the time to meet with.

Let’s look at five ways that a screening platform can brighten your day:

  1. Annoying mass emails go poof! An auto-response with a link to your screening process will immediately take care of processing spam without your lifting a finger.
  2. Engagement is not optional. If someone reaching out does not engage with the screening process (bot) they do not get a meeting or a response from you.
  3. You train the screening platform. Every journalists screening platform will be set-up in a unique way. You determine who you meet with.
  4. Full report in your in-box. You get a full report on all engagements with notes on their responses so you can prep for your in-person meetings.
  5. Hello Automated Scheduling. When a responder meets your criteria they can grab an open dedicated slot from your calendar so you don't have any scheduling.

Let me end by once again doing some irritating math.

Avoiding spam emails = 15-30 minutes of time savings. Avoiding screening phone calls = 30 minutes to 1 hour of time savings. Automated note taking = 15 - 30 minutes of time savings. Automated scheduling = 15 - 30 minutes of time savings.

Overall we estimate that using a screening platform will save you at least 1.25 - 2.5 hours per day. That is 5-10+ hours a week or 20-40+ hours a month. So ... perhaps a new screening process is worth a try?

If you want to try Warmcall …we will give you access for a month for free. If you want our help building your first screening experience we will do that for a minimal fee. 

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Resources:

[1] https://www.look.co.uk/list-for-life/people/what-its-like-to-be-a-woman-in-tech-media-11367

[2] https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2018/05/how-to-send-email-for-eight-second-attention-span/

[3]https://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2014/10/06/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-tech-reporters-email-inbox/#3577cb5f3c69

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