For our first episode of season 6 of the ConnectThe2 podcast, we are joined by Joe O’Halloran. Joe is the Editor in Chief of Rapid TV News and Networking Editor at Computer Weekly. He has been a writer and business analyst for over twenty years with additional experience working as an automotive systems engineer for Shell UK. We discuss his career in journalism, tips for PR specialists and his experience lecturing at the Academy of Contemporary Music.
Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation. If you like what you’re reading, be sure to listen to the whole episode, linked at the bottom of this page.
How an engineering background and analyst role prepared Joe for a long career in journalism…
Joe’s first job as a writer was just going to be a stopgap that got him back to where he wanted to live. It was a complete accident that he ended up in journalism, but 32 years later he is still writing. And now looking back, he said having an engineering degree gave him an advantage when covering technology.
“I think knowing how to break something has really helped me. No matter how much money a company may have to invest in tech, things break. That’s what technology does. Software fails. Things crash. In terms of what I do, I think judging things correctly has certainly helped me. I have always believed in the saying, ‘Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’ Technology isn’t perfect. See technology fail and find out why it failed. That really has helped.”
Joe noted his role as a business analyst made him a better writer. In the early 2000s, Joe worked as an analyst at the Stanford Research Center’s Business Intelligence Consulting division.
“It really gave me a shake-up as to how to assess the bigger picture. It was an absolute delight to work with people whose knowledge base was way outside of mine, such as material science, energy, chemical engineering, etc.”
Watch out for the disgruntled channel partner…
We were curious to know what Joe’s biggest scoop was. Early on in his career, Joe received a phone call from a contact in the Netherlands who was a reseller for a really expensive workstation for engineers.
“I was handed a story about a massive fault in a monitor. I was hugely suspicious about being played and really worried about the legalities of what I wanted to say. I was handed the story by a disgruntled channel partner.”
Joe’s editor was also suspicious about the content, and since they could not back up the story outside of the technical details, they decided not to run the piece.
Podcasting and battle of the networking bands…
We discovered that over the course of this podcast, we have interviewed at least four journalists who play in bands. While Joe is not in a band currently, he would like to start playing the piano again. We hope that one day he will be able to join our virtual battle of the networking bands.
Back in 2007, Joe actually lectured at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Surrey, England. The irony, however, is that he was asked to lecture about podcasts!
“That was funny. It was 2007 and I was teaching them about this thing called podcasts. I used to play bass guitar as a teen and began piano lessons in 1997. I will be looking to take up the latter again with more time.”
How to reach Joe for news tips…
Joe shared with us that he does not mind holding news under embargo, especially if it is about long bits of data based on research. However, Joe thinks it’s best for PR folks to call the journalist or editor if there is an established relationship and there is big, significant news to share.
“In trade journalism, the PR specialists should know the key desk editors they should be dealing with to phone up to advise of something they know is of particular interest. Day to day stuff is fine by email.” Hear more...
If you've enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview, linked below. Also, be sure to list to, rate and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeartRadio or Soundcloud.