555 Airport Boulevard
Burlingame, CA 94010
-> Circulation as of 4/01:
907,266 subscribers, most pay $65 per year. The publication is
-> Dillon's background:
Pulitzer-winner Dillon initially dreamed of being an architect,
but admits he "could not do the math." He wasn't sure what to do
with his BA in social psychology and communications from the
University of Washington, until he became inspired by the "big
thinkers and writers" of his time (the 60s). He then pursued a
Masters in Communication from Boston University and began his
journalism career shortly after.
Dillon worked night shifts at the Associated Press, various
newspapers, and eventually moved to the west coast to join Knight
Ridder. There, he served as a writer and editor at the San Jose
Mercury news for 17 years and even shared a Pulitzer Prize for
the 1989 earthquake coverage. He also wrote a non-fiction book
about Silicon Valley entitled 'The Last Best Thing', and was one
of the founding writers for Fast Company magazine.
Dillon decided to leave journalism briefly in 1999 to startup
Quokka Sports, an online extreme sports site that primarily
featured streaming video events. The company officially folded
last year, but Dillon noticed Quokka was "headed towards a cliff"
prior to that and returned to journalism. He has been editor of
Forbes ASAP since last May and feels quite at home there.
"I've had a long admiration for the Forbes family and always
thought Malcolm [Forbes] was a genuine American character,"
Dillon says. "Now I work under Tim [Forbes] and enjoy being part
of that family and long-standing tradition."
-> Current editorial coverage:
Dillon refuses to see Forbes ASAP as a typical tech magazine,
even though technology is at the center of what they cover. He
says the magazine's stories are designed "to make businesses and
people look beyond gadgets and gizmos to see how technology has
and will have an impact. We are harnessing some of the best
voices in the country to do it, we've even had the Dalai Lama and
Tom Wolfe write for us."
Dillon says the idea that something is 'cool' or 'new' really
doesn't impress him, mainly because he has "worked in uncool" for
so long. He would rather write about technology from the
perspective of "what is about to happen and can give a bigger
overview of business." He says the magazine will also "scan the
real world and ask 'how does this affect our lives?'" In this
sense Dillon is happy because he gets "to be a social
Dillon also says Forbes ASAP will "take technology apart and put
it back together" so that readers not only understand how it
works, but why it is important. This includes everything from
search engines to digital cameras. "We are not a product pusher,"
Dillon says. "If there is something that is elemental to our
lives, but no one understands how it works, we'll do a story on
-> What Dillon looks for in a story pitch:
Dillon likes case studies, though his writers do them in their
own way. Most importantly, know the magazine. Dillon admits it is
not something that is easily explained, but all too often his
magazine is placed on technology magazine pitch lists and he
receives "tons of junk that have no bearing on our publication."
"Clearly the way to come at us with a technology story is to say
'here is a proven example of something," according to Dillon.
"Give it to me in two paragraphs and you've got my attention."
Dillon also likes it when a company approaches him with real
examples of how they differ from their competition. It is also
not a bad idea to give a clear definition of what segment of the
market you are playing into. "Don't tell me you are a Web-based
services company, that won't cut it with me, it doesn't say what
you do," Dillon says. "And by the way, 'new' is not so cool any
more, 'proven' is better."
So what else should you avoid? "I don't like the [pitches] that
talk about their company, boasting they are the answer to your
prayers. I pray they go away," Dillon says. "Some of these so-
called solutions companies would be better off if they had case
studies rather than boast how they will do something. A good
[press] release has to anticipate my healthy skepticism."
If you do want to pitch Dillon, email is best. He finds the phone
annoying, unless he knows you, and he throws most PR postal mail
away. You can also try sending an idea to email@example.com
Dillon advises you contact Josh Kruter in the marketing
department at 212.620.2304. He should have a good sense of what
is coming up on the editorial calendar. The calendar is
proprietary, so you will need to go through Kruter to get it.
-> Submitting pre-written contributions:
Simply put, due to less ad pages Forbes ASAP "isn't begging for
copy as much these days" and is very selective about what they
run. That said, you can try to send a pre-written contribution
but it will probably be tossed. Dillon also says if you are in
public relations and you are representing someone, email him and
follow up with a call, but make it good.
-> Becoming a regular columnist:
"I have room for someone provocative, but I would probably have
to rotate them in," Dillon says.
-> Where you can meet Dillon:
Dillon tends to make it out to the "big tech events" like the
worldwide broadband conferences, Comdex, etc. He'll also go see
your company "if something is worth it for me to travel."
-> What does Dillon prefer to see in a press kit:
Dillon looks for kits to be "appealing" and "informative" and
likes companies to make them "very tactile." He also feels they
are a good reminder for him to follow up after an initial
--> What Dillon looks for in an online pressroom:
He often checks them out and likes to see "solid, breakthrough
indications that a company is real" such as a good list of
partnerships, mentions of viability, expected revenues, and what
the company hopes to capture. Dillon admits, "these are very
basic, but they are something that tells me the company thinks
-> Dillon's favorite business publications:
WSJ, NY Times Circuits and Business sections, CNN online, and of
course Forbes. He also likes the way the New Yorker approaches
1. 199 Publicity Tips
Want reporters to call you for quotes? Want magazines to write
about your company? Want to get on TV or radio? 'Media Relations
Power: 199 Ways to Get Free Publicity' tells you how.
Includes how to jump-start any consulting business; and, how to
avoid common mistakes even expensive PR firms make. Click to
save $50.00 -> http://sherpastore.com/page.cfm/1955?a=web