By Jaime Hamilton, Account Coordinator
For EE Times, the days of thinking small are over.
Marked by an October 1 relaunch, the publication embarked down a new path that combines an aesthetic upgrade with fortified substance — all-encompassed by a new mantra: Think Big.
“We, as editors, were trained to think small as our staff shrunk and as our budgets dried up, but now we’re allowing ourselves to think big again,” Editor-in-Chief Dylan McGrath said at an industry talk hosted by The Hoffman Agency on November 5.
Since 1973, engineers and electronics experts alike have turned to EE Times as their right-hand publication. Providing engineer-crafted solutions to design problems and technical, yet conversational, reporting, EE Times has nestled itself into a coveted space in the hearts and bookmark bars of techies across the globe.
Understanding this premise, it’s safe to say that many ears in the tech PR community perked up at the mention of a complete overhaul.
Owned and operated by AspenCore, EE Times took its first pivotal step in “thinking big” by bolstering its integration with the dozens of other AspenCore properties, including EDN, Power Electronics News and Embedded. Despite an underlying focus on the electronics industry, AspenCore’s various publications have never been linked to form a cohesive network.
Dylan explained that EE Times’ “conscious, company-wide effort to integrate and provide navigation between the various publications,” is taking shape through the addition of a Network News menu. By displaying relevant articles from their sister publications, the new design allows readers to easily explore cross-network topics and global trends.
In keeping with their mantra, EE Times is also building out an editorial calendar of “Special Projects” that aims to further tie the AspenCore properties while simultaneously delving deeper into popular, multi-faceted subjects. The projects will capture a big picture perspective on popular industry topics through a series of five to eight cross-linked articles. Each series will be headed up by a different editor, with an occasional guest writer, thus spreading their wealth of knowledge, experience and perspective throughout the AspenCore properties.
Ultimately, Dylan emphasized that EE Times’ objective to “think big” applies both to the publication as a whole and on an individual article level. Rather than featuring lackluster product announcements, the publication is challenging writers to dive deeper by answering the question, “What does this really mean?” through an engineer’s lens.
To kick off this mission, EE Times’ second “Special Project” featured a guest-written piece by Peter Burrows. The article, which can only be described as the antithesis to a product announcement, illustrates the big picture story behind Apple’s successes and pitfalls over time. For each step of their journey, Burrows carefully showcases not only what was happening within the electronics industry, but how and why it was occurring.
So, what does EE Times’ new direction mean for the PR community?
You guessed it — more opportunities for storytelling.
The strengthened integration between the AspenCore publications stemming from the Special Projects and improved site navigation will leave both readers and writers with increased knowledge of trending topics within the electronics industry. By attentively following these themes, PR professionals can gain ample opportunities to cater their storylines toward the most suitable one.
When asked about a litmus test for product announcements, Dylan shed light on the variability and ambiguity stemming from the ever-evolving electronics industry. With trends changing on a daily basis, certain products may be of relevance one day and not the next — further emphasizing the importance of monitoring cross-network coverage for an opportune moment to reach out to a reporter.
Above all, Dylan reminds PR professionals to embrace and reflect EE Times’ mantra in their own storytelling. Think big. Frame your story’s bigger picture by sharing its context and implications while answering what, how and why.
P.S. If you’re mourning EE Times’ monthly cartoon captioning contest, don’t lose hope yet. Dylan said they’re hoping to bring it back.