6 questions with Samantha Murphy Kelly from CNN Tech

6 questions with Samantha Murphy Kelly from CNN Tech

PR pros love a peek inside the minds of the journalists they pitch and work with on stories. 

Muck Rack had the opportunity to chat with Samantha Murphy Kelly, editor at CNN Tech.

Read on to get to know Murphy Kelly a bit better -- we asked her six quick questions on her beat, how the CNN team collaborates and what's next in the world of technology.

1. Give us a brief Twitter-sized (280-character) history of your journalism career.

I had a billion college internships (Billboard, Universal Records, ABC News, to name a few), joined Court TV as a reporter, wrote about digital for trade magazine, switched to a consumer tech news site, worked at Mashable for nearly 5 years and then eventually joined CNN as Tech editor in summer 2016. 

2. You cover tech at CNN -- that's obviously a pretty large niche. Can you tell us a bit more about your day-to-day and the types of stories you love covering?

I oversee the day-to-day flow of CNN’s tech coverage, assigning stories and working on edits with reporters. With a background in reporting, I write when I can too. Our approach to covering tech is telling stories that make an impact on everyday lives.
We’ve been following a lot of important topics in 2017, from advances in innovation, sexual harassment and gender pay issues in Silicon Valley, major security hacks like WannaCry, to the role of social media platforms like Facebook in the 2016 election. We not only break down the news but explain why you should care.

3. Can you point us to a recent piece from the team you’re particularly proud of? Tell us about the process -- how did this story idea come about?

I’m particularly proud of the work my team led last summer with Money, Power and Sexual Harassment.
Reporters Sara O’Brien and Laurie Segall told the stories of what some female entrepreneurs faced in Silicon Valley. Uncovering story after story about sexual harassment, our team -- in a manner of days — continued to speak to more women who discussed mistreatment in the industry. Their work furthered the conversation and have since published more articles and videos on the topic.

4. Where do you see the future of tech (and tech coverage) heading in 2018 and beyond? Any trends we should be aware of?

A lot of the big trends expected for 2018 are topics we’ve seen a bit already: artificial intelligence, augmented reality, electric vehicles. But they’ll take on a bigger role this year, intending to make life easier and more efficient. Companies will use AI to serve up better experiences for customers, brands like Ikea are already letting shoppers try out virtual furniture in their homes with AR and we’ll see even more advancements around vehicles and transportation.
Another big topic: Online privacy, security and the social responsibility of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, will continue to be under the microscope.

5. How does the CNN team collaborate with reporters all over the country and world? Can you share any tools you use on a daily basis to stay in touch?

As a part of CNN Digital, I get to work alongside editors and reporters from bureaus all over the world, from London to Hong Kong to New Delhi, and those reporters spread out across the U.S., too. We use all sorts of chat platforms to stay in touch throughout the day. It’s a fantastic way for the team to stay connected, and it’s fun to react to news by sharing with GIFs and customized emoji.
Of course, we pick up the phone to chat about the right approach to in-depth stories.

6. Walk us through your email inbox. How many emails do you get a day?

Oh, it’s a lot. In addition to pitches, I receive traffic reports, news alerts about stories and tweets picking up viral steam, programming/planning emails and more. I can get about 700 emails a day.
The tricky part, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate, is weeding through what’s noise and what’s important. In such a quick-paced environment, what’s relevant now may be stale in a few hours. The pressure is on to handle your inbox.

Our thanks to Samantha Murphy Kelly for taking the time to chat with Muck Rack! Have a journalist you'd love to hear from? Let us know on Twitter!

Curious to learn more about how Muck Rack can help you improve your public relations success? We’d love to tell you more.

Jessica Lawlor is the features editor for the Muck Rack blog and handles PR and social media for Muck Rack.

Photos via Samantha Murphy Kelly and CNN

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