Fearless leader submits to PR grilling.

February 2, 2006

3 Min Read
The Boss Bares Some

5:00 PM -- Light Reading's President-for-Life, Stephen Saunders, recently had a virtual sitdown with the well known experts at PR Vibes™, who peppered our boy with the most penetrating questions. The following excerpts, I'm sure you'll agree, are wryly amusing...

Could you describe your publication in one sentence?

Other than print advertising, what value-added services does this publication offer?
We don't do print. Anyone still pushing print as a B2B publishing mechanism is not doing it because they have their customers’ interests at heart, believe me. It's not really a secret that people are using this new invention called the "Internet" to do research into technology. Print? Give me a break.

Other than news, what do you feel the main value proposition is to your readers?
We’ve got a monkey. We buy our round. Our events team is pretty cute. Phil's funny when he's drunk. That's really about it.

What is the most popular section of your publication and/or Website and why?
Message boards. It's what's for dinner.

Where do you struggle to find content and how can the vendor/service provider community contribute (not necessarily contributed articles)?
We don't struggle. Ever. We don't accept contributed articles. Ever. Send them to Network World, care of John Gallant.

What do you like most about your position?
I really don't like my job at all. I was going to ask if you had any openings.

Are the industry's "worst days" over?
Hard to imagine it could get any worse unless Juniper invests in more cartoon-based marketing.

How does Light Reading try to distinguish itself from other industry publications?
We don't – they distinguish themselves by their mediocrity. Have you read Network World recently? Telephony? Case closed.

What types of features/stories are you most interested in? Least interested in?
In our pub? I like Phil Harvey's blog. I like our About Us page. That's all that comes to mind.

How do you identify potential stories and articles for upcoming issues? Are you open to story ideas from companies?
We hire journalists. And no.

What is your biggest ”pet peeve” when it comes to working with public relations professionals?
They're not easily edible.

If the publication could interview anyone, who would it be and why?
Stalin. Great motivator. Sylvia Plath, because of her way with words and her joie de vivre. Paris Hilton… all the same reasons.

So what's keeping you up at night?
My 2-year-old son. And the freestyle krumpers on the corner.

If you weren't in telecom, what would you be doing?
I'm in publishing, not telecom. If I weren't in publishing I'd probably be a freestyle krumper.

Can you play a musical instrument?
Opinions differ. I think I play the guitar. I’ve never met anyone who agreed.

Who do you consider a role model or inspiration?
None in this century. I think Eisenhower kinda had it figured out earlier with that military/industrial stuff. I've been using that when pitching our new pay-per-click service.

What was the last book you read?
"High-Impact BBQ Yoga," an exercise cookbook by Phil Harvey.

— Red Panda, Krumper Korrespondent, Light Reading

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