Protocol president Tammy Wincup on applying the Politico playbook to tech coverage

Digiday Podcast


Welcome to the digital podcast Brian. Marcy and today I'm joined by Tammy link-up Tammy is the president of protocol which is a new tech publication which is from the publishers politico. Tammy welcome thank you. Thanks for coming in so explain a little bit. This is not the politico go for tech. It is not good We're super excited to have launched protocol yesterday and it is coming coming from the publisher of Politico Robert Alberton But it has a very very different focus. And so you know I I love to dive into what you know. What what are those one of those pieces you know? We are focused exclusively on technology on the people the power and the politics of Technology Eh. And this idea was generated by Robert over a year ago and really made a decision to actually make it they separate and bring a separate leadership team in a different ethos and focus but build on you know the the spectacular reputation and spectacular spectacular journey. That politico has had and that we are really lucky to kind of be able to build on that brand. But it's it's a separate view on the world suffered audience audience so explain why that even matters like that. It's not just the spin off from politico because there's look there's a lot of advantages to having a new publication that comes out of publication with a reputation Track record and a lot of other things going forward so why does it. I don't know what does it make sense to. It'd be like this is a different company. Well I I get the best of both worlds right. I have the ability to To look at the amazing track record and the amazing using could've story that politico has built And some of that DNA. I absolutely hope to replicate. You're not like recreating the technology stack and all the stuff right. I mean media's heart already why why why. Why would anyone duplicate this stuff? Well I think some of the pieces the best. Look I come from an industry that says you so you take the best of what others having you build upon it and some of that tech stack is just absolutely brilliant and others. You know it was You know it's a thirteen year old old company so we're looking at tools and opportunities and frankly services down the road that we're going to be able to build on. I think that that is actually you know as frankly. Frankly an entrepreneur in this That's actually really exciting to be able to be told that you can you know you can build using all of the muscle muscle memory of being building a really successful digital media company politico and then go and actually focus on a new audience that I now so just to to to stay on this for a little bit the structure so it's not like the editorial team is different but then all the other services are the exact same from politico like it's not like a shared sales force correct nothing short business and there's more advantages because there are a lot of I mean look media is you know particularly subscale media You know that eats into all the margins so explain why it's it's worth recreating a lot of stuff. I get thirteen years old. And maybe some of the Ad Tech Stacks not the best at this point because there's just a lot of style they've invested a lot in I. I believe that there's this top notch and look my sense is that we will. We will use a lot of what they have from a best practices perspective I think you actually have to start not with if You know not with the operation itself you actually have to start. I believe with what we're trying to accomplish. Which is the business in Tech Community that insider cider community is very very different than politics and policy insider community What they care about what they wanna read? Every day it's very business and industry industry focus piece And so you know my belief. Is that the vision of what she wanted. Accomplish has to start with that and then build both the editorial side and the business side for the audience and customer. You know I come from the tech world and come with viewpoint that you have to start with your customer career audience first and then build the editorial the content of the services that you want for that And so some of that is a playbook that politico GEICO has and has deployed wildly successfully and You know we will. We will take that and try and do the same but there are pieces of it. That technology the executive actually wants different. So you say technology executive do you mean an executive at a technology company or an executive at a non quote quote Unquote Technology Company that is dealing with the after effects of technology which is every executive absolutely that is precisely why we know the moment is right for new publications Pacific. lyod tack you. You just nailed it right there. Is that the intersection. It is no longer my adult lifetime. Having spent spent a good chunk of my career in technology it is changed to your point rent of being an industry. Vertical Call Technology L. Story to truly infiltrating and being a part in a Matrix Organization of other industries. Right so having come from Fintech or attack look at health check and so we actually really feel like. There's a gap of where we can go in terms of bridging this kind of tack and mainstream industries and and again from my viewpoint You know there are two book ends of what's out there right now. There is You know you're a business business either attack on enterprise and consumer tack or you're in a big vertical as leader trying to innovate with tack and you're trying to figure out on a daily basis. What's going going on? You either have things that are written for a mass audience for which on the topics that I care about on on. Ai and five G.. Gee and quantum and what's going to happen in Fintech in terms of payment services and things like that you don't get the depth necessarily that you need to actually make decisions for Your Business MHM on the flip side having come from venture backed businesses. It was very very difficult if you weren't a Unicorn or if you're not you know. Thank Company Day to actually find yourself being talked about in the media Unless you're raising money or unless you are announcing some widget okay and so it's not going to be product driven. Obviously there's a lot of quote unquote technology publications over the years where really venture capital Publication correct There's no shortage of people writing about the latest air pods or whatever So you're GonNa leave that aside And obviously technology is now now I. I think it's sort of moved into a few different. I mean it's obviously it's a horizontal story within the changing nature of all industries On the it doesn't side and then there's there's Society Angle And then obviously the government angle which I know you're still going to be covering has a great intersection You you know with with political on that piece. I think he'll you know you'll see us. So there's overlap there's absolutely I the article about California Privacy Law and people scrambling. Yeah try to get rewritten. I mean that could easily be employed right. I think it's interesting like that's a perfect story or even if you look at Linda stories yesterday around ethicists in salesforce. Right I think that's well first. Let's talk about the policy piece rate. That's a story that has policy implications. Has You know state implications. I think the story was very much could be seen on in either publication potentially uh-huh. I think what's fascinating about some of the stories that you saw yesterday on our launch day like Linda Story. Now this is You know those are thorny topics. Those are not bullet point topics. Those are bullet points to we occasionally since I like this You know that's a story that mark. Benny off retreated yesterday. And it. You know it was a story about salesforce but it wasn't necessarily you know it's a tricky issue and I think that that's that's the point on tech right now tech is no longer in in its infancy where we have the promise of kind of all it. Could you know could be. It is a full blown adult and it's it's messy and I think to talk about you know we have to actually go into some of these details around the people Around the politics because suddenly mature quote quote Unquote Power Center. That's having unintended consequences. That of course it is like that. That's that's where it is but we want to. Actually we WANNA hang in those issues and and and and cover them up and you saw the gaps. I guess because I think when you came out Obviously a lot of people say. Oh there's a lot of tech publications and understand Dan and honestly a lot of the stuff I just ignore. Because it's like it depends on how you execute like really like I mean there's always room for new media brand. I feel like I can't think of an area where there are is an room for one. You just have to do better right at the end of the day. We got to have a different Lens so the Lens. That protocol is bringing to this massive Asif issue like how would you sum it up. Yeah I think it's about audience focus and scope Were not writing for everyone right. Just like politico doesn't right or you know is really focused on the decision-makers now if I'm a decision maker in a C. Suite You know are. Are you trying to explain that a little bit. So you're are you. Are you writing to help them do their jobs better or are you helping them. Sort of unpacked these gigantic thorny societal governmental whole like Issues my belief is that if we do that second one right you are helping them do their job better particularly if you're if you're taking If you're taking topics and not just giving them cursory looks so for example. The today we launched a new product called braintrust The question of the week where we go out and actually ask experts parts around that topic That is actually really important because at the end of the day technologies nauseous about the product right. It's about the people making decisions visions in terms of that and the breath of that conversation. If you're sitting in a thin services company or a healthcare company and you're trying to deal with. How am I gonNA use a to better to better look at an issue in the house? You don't necessarily have that network and so how does protocol bring that network to you in a way. That's not a cursory kind of two lines trying to define a Is So our goal is to our newsletter in source code to be able to have that daily actionable invoke kind of start my day knowing at the big level at the high level. What's going on but then to be able to find those in depth You know those in depth conversations which I think you'll see a you'll see us have as well so you get income from politico. You didn't come from the media. said he came from the tech industry and then under this crazy I mean why would you go home to the media industry. This is crazy. Hazy decision explain this. What did you see? I mean because I think it's interesting people There's a lot of advantages that coming in with fresh eyes to an industry and I think a lot of people you know. They think they sort of they know media. Because media's like very tangible I think on one level but then up-close it's like wow a lot of this doesn't make sense right or was it not though. Well I'll tell you soon right Kanye Day then you officially say none of you know. Look I think there are lots of things both personally and

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