Page 6 : What Should Ming Hua News Have Done?
What Should Ming Hua News Have Done?
We all know what it’s like to be young and ambitious. We all understand the desire to be part of the tech scene, to be invited to exclusive events and be amongst the first to try something new. We can all empathise with his burning desire to be accepted by tech companies, associated PR agencies and the tech media fraternity. However, Ming Hua News just did everything that no person aspiring to be a tech journalist should ever do.
Now, what should he have done? What should every aspiring tech journalist do to break into the highly-competitive tech scene?
1. Everyone Starts At The Bottom
Understand this – everyone starts at the bottom. Even famous tech journalists like Anand Lal Shimpi of Anandtech and Dr. Thomas Pabst of Tom’s Hardware started at the ground floor, and worked their way up. No one gets a free pass to the top, so stop fantasising that you will be the exception.
Don’t torpedo your fledging career by demanding access to events and products, without first proving your competence and burnishing your reputation. If you start at the bottom of the ladder, the only way is up. But if you insist on starting at the top, you can only go down…
2. Demonstrate Your Competence
In the tech media industry, competence cannot be faked. You either know your stuff, or you don’t. Tech companies, and to a lesser extent, their PR representatives, can quickly tell if you know the difference between RAM and ROM, or between the CPU and the GPU.
You demonstrate this competence not by talking, but actually writing articles. A SHITLOAD of articles. Start writing, and keep writing. If you don’t have review samples, write a guide. If you can’t write a guide, write a commentary on the latest hardware or software, or mobile device. Keep going at it.
3. Build Your Reputation & Readership
The tech industry evolves very quickly, so you must always be on top of the game. As you build your portfolio of articles and reviews, you will also build your reputation and readership. Both are VERY IMPORTANT because they are the “currency” of the tech industry.
Tech companies and their PR representatives will always look at a tech website’s stats to decide if they are worth the effort and expense to invite to an event, or provide review samples or other considerations. Put yourselves in their shoes. Which of these two websites would YOU invite to your tech event?
Now, let us remember Lesson #1 – we ALL start at the bottom. Like Ming Hua News, we were once at the bottom. But over the years, we built up our reputation and readership with sweat, tears and sleepless nights. If we can do it, so can you!
4. Be Nice To Everyone
It pays to be nice to everyone in the tech industry, whether they are from a tech company, a PR agency, or even a fellow member of the tech media fraternity. Establishing good industry contacts will help you go a long way to being invited to exclusive events and getting access to the latest products.
People also move around a lot, sometimes jumping from one side to another – I will leave you to decide which is the Dark Side, and so on… LOL! But the point is – when they move, they bring with them their opinion of you and your website. They also tend to leave behind some institutional memory. It’s not like the slate is wiped clean with a tech brand when someone leaves their team.
Okay, there will always be some folks who won’t play nice, or don’t respond to your friendly gestures. That’s okay. You can’t win over everyone, so don’t get upset if some people don’t like you anyway. That’s life. Just don’t try and be that asshole that everyone loves to hate.
5. Do NOT Plagiarise!!![adrotate group=”2″]
This is the golden rule of journalism – DO NOT PLAGIARISE other people’s work! Just because it is easy to copy and paste does NOT make it okay to do it, even if you think it just took us 15 minutes to whip up.
Since we started in the tech industry back in 1997, we have seen our hard work plagiarised on many occasions. You may think it’s an easy way to quickly build your portfolio of articles and reviews, but nothing gets you blacklisted faster than plagiarising someone else’s work.
Just as it is now so easy for you to copy and paste, it is now also easy for people to detect your plagiarism and spread the news. So NEVER, EVER plagiarise. If you find it hard to write about tech, you are in the wrong industry. Stop, and do something else.
The world is not unkind. The tech industry is not unforgiving. Everyone makes mistakes, after all. Even the most aggrieved person will find it in his / her heart to forgive.
So there are definitely second chances in this industry. The only question is – will YOU acknowledge your mistakes, apologise for them and learn from your mistakes?
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