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  • Richard M. Williams

ConnectThe2 Podcast Season 6: Ep 5 - Monica Chin, The Verge

Updated: May 6, 2021

Our special guest this week on the ConnectThe2 podcast is New York-based writer Monica Chin. Monica is a reporter covering computers and education at the Verge. Prior to the Verge, she was a staff writer for several consumer technology publications like Business Insider, Tom’s Guide and Mashable. In our conversation with Monica, we discuss her appreciation for laptops, telling human stories and her love for ice cream. We also learn new details on some of the stories she’s written like this a cappella group that can imitate Windows sound effects and check to make sure your professor is alive if you're starting an online course.

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.

The human impact… Monica started her first paid internship at Moneyish, a personal finance and lifestyle publication. We often ask reporters if given the opportunity, would they cover one of their stories differently, and Monica was no exception. She recalled the time she spent drafting her first story for Moneyish on a study that came out in 2017 about the high percentage of Americans that don’t have health insurance because they can’t afford it, or they don’t qualify for Medicaid. Monica covered the study as a news hit, but she often wishes she had the opportunity to go back and add the human aspect to the piece.

We must remember, as PR professionals, to do the same. It’s our responsibility to help clients uncover stories that have a human interest whenever possible, as those stories are oftentimes the most compelling to readers. Rich shared a great example of this point during our conversation with Monica about a client of his that made LTE routers, and these routers were used as Wi-Fi hot spots in a remote California school district’s bus system, which allowed children to complete their coursework online in an area that had little to no broadband. The story was later picked up by the BBC: Using School Buses to Democratize Wi-Fi.

If you’re interested in learning more about Rich’s take on the human side of tech PR, check out his recent interview with PRovoke Media.

Favorite interview… Monica was working on a story last year about which laptops she would recommend for students. Instead of sourcing the usual suspects, she went to the students themselves. She spoke with kindergartners all the way up to college students, and she was surprised when they would start talking about the importance of RAM, processors and how many ports a laptop should have.

“It was very heartwarming to see the passion these young people had for the laptop market, as it is still considered an adult enthusiasm space.”

When asked about whom Monica would like to interview next, she mentioned that she would love to talk to the people that make computer chips. Monica usually speaks with CEOs and managers from companies like Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., but she would like to hear from the people actually creating the microprocessors and learn more about what it’s like to have your day revolve around building something that is millimeters big.

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.

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