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5 Minutes with Geoff Quattromani

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Juggling freelance across a wide range of outlets and formats while running a podcast alongside a day job in digital transformation? That’s Quattromani’s routine and we’re catching up to find out more in today’s 5 Minutes.
 
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I'm heard on numerous radio stations across Australia, in Singapore and Malta. I appear on Sunrise and Studio 10. I write for The Australian, Men's Health, Car Expert and News.com.au regularly and other websites from time to time. I also host my own podcast, Technology Uncorked, with two episodes per week (interviews and news/reviews). Outside of all of that I am the Digital Transformation Manager at Johnson & Johnson.
 
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
I run a yearly tech program at my old high school to encourage STEM with prizes and awards as my own way of giving back plus, encouraging our future tech leaders.
 
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
It's always been tech for me, at 14 I was probably thinking I'd build and repair computers for the rest of my life. Kinda glad that isn't the case.
 
Which story or stories are you most proud of?
It's probably cases where I have an opportunity to break the news on something and line things up to go live in one day across TV, radio and online. The Kmart AR shopping experience was one example. It's a mountain of work behind the scenes that later fires off like a countdown on NYE.
 
What's your secret superpower?
Probably juggling my tech commentator life with my day job and family while hopefully making it appear like I have it all under control. I don't.
 
What are three top tips you can give PR pros for working with you effectively?
Please look at who you're contacting before doing so, find out a little about them to ensure your pitch is relevant.  
 
Understand that while you or your client thinks it's a great story, it might not be up my alley.
It's been said very often here but having a link to images (that doesn't expire) is critical when stories are time sensitive.
 
How do you like to start a PR relationship if you've never been in touch before?
Email every time and if possible we'll do virtual coffee to learn more about each other and how we can work together.
 
What's the most important lesson you've learned about journalism?
Serve your audience, not the PR or brand.
 
How do you hunt for good stories?
I like to look at trends and who the players are in those areas. And then, instead of waiting for press releases or a PR firm to do your work, I try to build relationships with brands and learn about their roadmap, their insights into the market, case studies etc.
 
What's been the biggest change in the industry over the past decade?
I went from being a YouTuber to community radio to working on a blog to TV/Radio/Freelance/Podcasting. Over that time the biggest change I am seeing is "access". Whether it is access to brands/PR or how you produce content. Some brands engage regardless of your audience size and some stop engaging because of a negative review. From a content perspective you don't have to have a website to have a voice when so many other mediums are now available.
 
What do you think is the most important issue facing the tech industry today?
It worries me that a handful of tech companies can make someone or something vanish from the internet in a click without any debate or appeal. Whether it is an image, a book, a movie, an app etc, we're seeing some major power plays happening in recent times and it shows how powerful they really are.
 
What's the biggest issue facing journalism?
Transparency. I find it appalling that you can disguise advertorial content as journalism, whether that is on TV, radio or written content. It is extremely misleading and unfair to the audience and the message they are hearing.
 
Exclusives are everything. Discuss.
They certainly help you in a pitch for a story to a publication but if I don't think the "exclusive" offers value to the readers/viewers/listeners then I don't want it.
 
What do you wish you'd never have to explain to readers ever again?
That a speed test of the NBN from your smartphone from your backyard is not a real reflection of your actual internet speed.
 
Name a recent story you wish you'd written.
Aleksandra Bliszczyk wrote a piece for the Guardian looking into the refurbished smartphone marketplace and really researched the pros and cons of each provider. Many other publications simply wrote what came to them in a press release from one provider. 
 
Who do you admire most in journalism today?
Roma Christian for her passion and drive in tech journalism.
Tegan Jones for her integrity in journalism.
Alice Clarke for her unique stories and angles.
Chris Griffith for his support and opening the door to freelancing.
 
Which industry publications, podcasts or other productions are on your unmissable list?
I'll listen to Queens of the Drone Age and The Wrap, read Pickr, Giz, Channel News and get everything else from the amazing people I follow on Twitter.
 
How do you keep up with what your colleagues are writing?
Twitter and the Epitome newsletter.
 
Which app has changed your life more than any other?
Google Photos and Drive. If it's important, it is backed up, and accessible from any device. 
 
Favourite screen-free hobbies?
Time with family, seeing my son grow up is absolutely incredible. 
 
What's your best party trick?
I could probably blind taste a wine and tell you which region it is from. Usually makes me just look like a wanker though. 
 
What’s your go-to song at karaoke?
Right here waiting for you - Richard Marx.
 
Favourite sporting moment?
November 16 2005. Australia beats Uruguay to qualify for the first World Cup in 30 years.
 
Have you ever been said to resemble a famous person or character? If so, who?
I once heard I look like Bert from Sesame Street, it's the nose I think... 
 
What's your favourite game of all time?
Not a huge gamer but it would be between GTA and Forza Motorsport.
 
Name five discs you'd want to be stuck with on a desert island?
Lord of the Rings trilogy, John Farnham Greatest Hits, Encarta 96.
 
What was your favourite TV show of the 2010s?
Suits
 
What vices do you lean into when you're chasing a tight deadline?
Double espresso
 
What's the most ridiculous buzzword in the industry?
Artificial Intelligence 
 
The PR fairy calls saying you can have the interview of your dreams. Who's it gonna be?
Jerry Seinfeld

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