Meet the Media: Drew Prindle, Senior Features Editor – Digital Trends
Drew Prindle has appeared on our radar as one as the top 10 tech journalists to follow. He is the Senior Features Editor at Digital Trends, an independent premium technology publisher. His passion for technology has merged with his talent for writing to create interesting, informative, and witty content. Check out some of his recent articles here.
When did you become interested in technology?
As a kid, my parents always had awesome magazine subscriptions. I grew up reading things like Discover, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American, and National Geographic, so that probably played a big role in developing my interest in tech. I didn’t realize it until much later in life, but I kind of always wanted to work at a tech magazine, so landing a gig at DT was a dream come true.
How has your writing grown since you started at Digital Trends?
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but after nearly a decade in online media, I like to think I’m damn good at writing headlines now. Distilling an entire story down to less than 80 characters — while also holding back and weaving in enough mystery to get people to click — is an art.
Where do you do your best work?
Anywhere where there isn’t an internet connection. At least for writing, that is.
What music genre do you work best to?
It depends on the mood of the day, but generally speaking it’s mostly stuff where the lyrics are either unintelligible or non-existent. Low stress days are classical or dancey EDM. Crunch time is all about exceedingly heavy death metal.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I….
Am a cyborg. For real. I have RFID implants in my hands. Both are reprogrammable. My left is currently a copy of the keycard I need to use the elevator in my office building, and my right holds a digital version of my business card and contact info, which I can share by tapping my hand on almost anyone’s smartphone.
What is the best way to work with you?
Hit me with well-targeted pitches that are actually relevant to me and my readers. An ounce of research is worth a pound of email replies.
What do you think is the maximum # of pitches a PR pro should send you a week?
One. Be a sniper, not a shotgunner.
What is your top pet peeve with PR people?
90 percent of my inbox is filled with general-purpose pitches from senders who have absolutely no idea what my beat is, and have made zero effort to figure out what kinds of stories I would actually be interested in pursuing. I understand that PR is often just a numbers game, but there’s something to be said for making every email count, and really making sure you’re targeting the right people with the right pitch.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
We have a robot that makes coffee on-demand.
What is a day like at your job?
It’s basically an increasingly hectic series of interruptions and asynchronous correspondence that reaches a crescendo at 2pm and then tapers off by sunset. Occasionally I get to do fun things like fly planes and roast stuff with Elon Musk’s flamethrower, but to be perfectly honest it’s mostly just a lot of staring into a computer screen like everyone else does.
I swear I’m not usually this misanthropic. I’m just writing this on a Monday in Portland. The gloomy weather is clearly getting to me, lol. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go take some vitamin D supplements.
“We did this ridiculous photoshoot after we got our hands on one of the first Boring Company flamethrowers that Elon Musk sold to consumers. Oddly enough, the exceptionally stupid article I wrote to accompany the photos ended up being the first article I’ve ever won an award for.” photo credit – Levy MoroshanDigital Trends
What do you look for in a story?
Narrative arc. Usually the thing people pitch is “hey check out this new thing!” — but that’s not a story; that’s an announcement. There’s no tension. There’s no intrigue. And that’s what makes something fun to read. As such, the best pitches are the ones that highlight some sort of underlying struggle or dramatic tension, or at least make it easy to pinpoint those things.
Which of your stories are you most proud of?
I’m pretty stoked about an article series I coordinated (and contributed to!) back in April for Earth Day. It’s called Troubleshooting Earth, and it’s a series of in-depth stories about the biggest, craziest, most ambitious projects aimed at un-doing the damage that climate change is causing. It’s currently up for a Folio award, which I’m super jazzed about.
Without giving away any secrets, can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
Digital Trends’ big thing right now is “Tech for Change.” We’re really trying, as an organization, to zero in on technologies that are actually moving the needle, solving human problems, and truly making the world a better place — not just new iPhones and the latest Twitter drama. Pitch me stuff that actually matters and we’ll probably do a story on it.
Who do you most look up to in the industry?
MIT Technology Review, The Atlantic, and Motherboard. Top-notch journalism happening in those places, and as media organizations, they all have extremely strong and cohesive editorial voices.
If I could interview anyone, it would be… Michael Pollan. Dude is kinda my hero.
What is your favorite news outlet? Damn. Tough question, but I think my favorite all-around news outlet (not necessarily tech-focused) has gotta be NPR. They can make damn near any topic interesting, and it’s all because they rock at storytelling.
If I am not reporting, I am… Cooking, baking, eating, buying ingredients, or just generally thinking about food
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? If you want something, you should ask for it
Author: Megan M. Heater