Interview Q&A Carol Wilson, editor-in-chief, Telephony

Public Relations for the Broadcasting, Mobile and Telecommunications Industries

Carol Wilson, editor-in-chief, Telephony
312-595-1080, Carol.Wilson@penton.com

Welcome to PR Vibes™, created by Calysto Communications to provide you with key insights into the publications and events in the telecommunications industry. Today, we’re featuring a short interview with Carol Wilson, editor-in-chief of Telephony. Telephony delivers coverage of the news, technologies and business strategies for all communications service providers: new and incumbent, wireline and wireless.

To help you better understand Telephony’s focus this year and in the future, we asked Carol to share some of his insight on the magazine and on the future of telecommunications in general. Enjoy!

PR Vibes Interview Q&A

What is the editorial mission of Telephony? Has that changed and why?

In many ways, Telephony is going back to its roots. Since its inception in 1901, Telephony was designed to help telecom service provider management do their jobs more effectively. During the telecom boom of the ‘90s, Telephony became much more of a news/analysis publication. We are working hard now to combine daily news/analysis with more in-depth writing that, again, is focused on helping people do their jobs better.

How long have you been at the helm of this publication?

I was editor of Telephony from 1988 until 1994, when I left the magazine. I came back in 2004 and was named editor-in-chief in 2007.

Who is the key target audience?

Our audience is primarily telecom service provider executives, and we reach all segments: wireline, wireless, cable, large companies and smaller ones. We do attract readers from the industry in general as well.

What are some of the key topics you plan to cover in the coming year?

Most of the major topics we are covering can be found here: www.telephonyonline.com/editorialcontacts. We will be writing about the changing regulatory picture, the evolution of wireless networks, the ongoing push to go green, the transformation process and how that is working, and the push to find new services to replace legacy revenues.

What “value-added services” do you offer?

In addition to the Web site, which features daily original reporting and a digest of online coverage, we have regular e-newsletters, Webcasts and Webinars, podcasts and blogs. We recently launched Telephony University, which is uses Webcasts and virtual trade show to focus on one specific technology topic.

We are actually redesigning our newsletters around more specific topics – the new ones will cover Residential Broadband, Business Services, Wireless, Global, Independent telcos, Video and Next-Generation Service Delivery. The Wireless newsletter is weekly, and the others are twice-monthly.

These e-newsletters also correspond to “One-stops” on our Web site, where content specific to a market segment is aggregated and easily found by our readers.

We are partnered with Supercomm as the official show daily publisher for that event, and also host our own one-day event in conjunction with Supercomm, called Insights, which is aimed at independent telcos. We’ll have a special presence at CTIA and at the National Association of Broadcasters’ convention, both in Las Vegas this year. At NAB we are a media partner of their IPTV Pavilion.

How does Telephony try to distinguish itself from other industry publications?

We have an experienced writing staff, and we rely on our writers to bring an insider perspective to what we write. As I said above, we are much more focused on finding resources and writing stories that help people do their jobs either more efficiently or more effectively. The telecom industry is in great flux right now and we want to be offering solutions and best practices.

What do you feel is the main value proposition to your readers?

There is so much news out there – our value is in providing perspective – why should a reader care about one development or another, how is what’s happening likely to affect their company or their job? We focus on digging into the news to find what service provider executives most need to know to do some aspect of their job better – such as find new sources of revenues, understand a market trend, identify a way of cutting costs or keep up with the competition.

What is the most popular section of your product family and why?

There are a couple of things that drive the most Web traffic at www.telephonyonline.com: Our monthly cover stories, which provide an in-depth look at a particular topic, are very popular. In addition, we have produced Web stories that are individually very popular and Web series, such as our recent five-part series on surviving the recession, which drew a lot of traffic.

What do you see as the most impacting technology/trend for the next 12 months?

This is not a new trend but the collapsing of separate networks – the convergence onto an all-IP network continues to affect everyone. The combination of wireless and wireline, the delivery of data and video to multiple screens (TV, PC, mobile phone), the need for new services to drive new revenues all fit into this trend. It affects business services, which are moving to Ethernet, and consumer services, which are moving to IP bundles, alike.

What do you like most about your position?

There’s never a dull moment. This is a fascinating industry to be covering.

If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?

If I could interview absolutely anyone, I’d probably interview Jim Henson, who died way too soon. I’ve always been a fan of his work and his creative genius, and I think he would make a fascinating interview.

What is one thing about Telephony that most people don’t know?

Hmm, that’s tough because we are an open book, so to speak, but many people are surprised to hear that the magazine has been published since 1901.

If you weren’t in telecom, what would you be doing?

I started as a sportswriter, and I’d love to be a baseball beat writer today.

Who do you consider a role model or inspiration?

Ron Santo is a big hero of mine. I didn’t see him play much, but I know him as a Cubs’ broadcaster, and I’ve watched him persevere through the loss of both legs, not to mention many Cub losses and the stupidity of not making the Hall of Fame, and do it with grace and integrity. I admire his spirit and the fact he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

What was the latest book you read?

Right now I’m reading Payback: Dead and the Shadow Side of Wealth, by Margaret Atwood. The last book I finished was Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell.

If you have questions about this newsletter – or feedback, please feel free to contact me at lborgstede@calysto.com.

As you know, Social Media is taking over the marketing world. Calysto has produced a white paper on the changing role of marketing and PR in the new age of Social Media. In today’s world of information overload, there is a fundamental paradigm shift going on. As people try to sift through the vast array of news around them, they are moving away from placing their trust solely in “traditional media” and are migrating toward content created by online communities such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Digg, the blogosphere, etc. This shift has many asking how they can tap into this new form of media and the large and influential audiences that power it. Calysto is at the forefront of this PR revolution. We are starting off with a low-cost program to get companies (especially executive management) interested in Social Media. Please contact Laura Borgstede at lborgstede@calysto.com to request a copy of the whitepaper.

About Calysto

Founded in 1999, Calysto Communications is a full service public relations firm focused solely on the specialized needs of the telecommunications, networking security, and wireless industries. Unlike general technology PR firms, Calysto leverages its deep industry knowledge and intimate relationships with market influencers to deliver Calysto clients unmatched industry mindshare, analyst coverage and media publicity. Calysto has extensive experience preparing companies for a liquidity event. Calysto works with start-ups as well as public companies, helping them deploy new technologies, gain leadership positions and influence editorial opinion to positively affect their bottom line. Some of our current clients and past experience includes Broadwing Communications, Level 3 Communications, TELLABS, Telica (sold to Alcatel-Lucent), VocalData (sold to Tekelec), SPIRENT, Metasolv (sold to Oracle), Cbeyond, ADTRAN, Qpass (sold to Amdocs), Eastern Research (sold to Sycamore Networks), BroadSoft, Bridgewater, Systems Radisys, and many more. For more information about Calysto Communications, a minority-owned business and a registered member of the Small Business Administration (SBA), please call 404-266-2060 or visit our web site at www.calysto.com.

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