How to pitch me stories

I’m currently a writer at TechCrunch, focussing mostly on European Internet and mobile startups, companies and products. Here’s how to pitch or send me story tips:

1. I prefer news exclusively as I always like to be first.

2. I’m happy to hear about an announcement in advance, especially for company/product launches and similar. That way I can be well-researched and find my own angle and voice for a story. Work with me.

3. My best sources don’t just send me their own pitches but act as tipsters for other news that they know I’ll be interested in.

This can be tips and industry rumours, such as a founder at a major startup leaving to start something new, an unannounced funding round, an acquisition/exit that is about to happen or has happened but hasn’t been announced or reported elsewhere, or a company on the verge of shutting down or making a pivot.

It can be as simple as, “Hey Steve, I’ve heard [insert industry rumour or tip off], you should maybe dig into it further and see what you come up with”.

Or it could be introducing me to a cool European startup (not your own) that’s been flying under the press radar or perhaps hasn’t launched yet.

4. Help me call out the bullshit, hold bad industry players to account, or to right a wrong. My personal mission is to make the UK/European tech startup industry more open and transparent. But I can only do that with your cooperation.

Again, be a good source.

5. Related to the above, I always keep my sources protected. You can send me tips in complete confidence. In the past, I’ve handled many delicate stories, none of which have ever come back to bite the source (or me, thankfully). Ask around and people will vouch for my trustworthiness, integrity and good judgement.

6. I’ll honour embargoes if I agree to them first. But generally I give priority to stories where I’m first. See point one.

7. Get to know me and what I’m interested in or have previously covered. The best way is Twitter (@sohear). Contact me via email steve[at]ohear[dot][net].