After 7.5 years of writing, reporting, goofing off, scouring trade shows, and generally feeling fortunate to be in a position to both inform and entertain folks at Engadget, I’m starting a new chapter this week. A wild, multifaceted, and in some ways still-to-be-determined chapter. I’m taking on the role of Senior Vice President of Editorial Strategy at Weber Shandwick. It’s a tremendous honor to be sliding into a team that’s invigorated, excited, and massively talented. In my visit to the group’s headquarters in New York City a few weeks ago, I was immediately impressed by just how hungry the group was to innovate. Its leaders want to make a positive impact in this technology space that we call home, and so do I.
I’ve always believed in the power of communication, and the incredible impact that a well told story can have. Stories are everywhere: they unfold in the course of a college football season, and they build in tension as expectations rise and companies react. Technology has evolved in the years that I’ve been covering it. While people previously accepted all manners of technology just because it improved their lives in some small way, today’s society expects much more from their watches, phones, computers, cars, and kitchen appliances — it’s no longer good enough for a gadget to work, it has to work well. Society has become numb with hearing about what technology can do; the only message that matters is why. Few companies understand how to tell the increasingly vital story of why.
I’ll be working with the MediaCo team to build workflows and strategies that resonate in the world of brand publishing and communications. The core of all that we’ll do is genuineness. If a story isn’t genuine, consumers will see through it, eroding trust and potentially destroying everything they’ve earned. I’ll get to work with designers, editors, writers, marketers, and all manners of clients. It’s a challenge that I’m very much looking forward to, and there are a few companies that I’ll be consulting with very soon.
As the title implies, I’m keeping my soul in editorial. As time allows, you’ll be able to find my product reviews and musings on the tech industry at BGR, within The Loop Magazine, on Weber Shandwick’s Tumblr, and who knows where else. I plan to keep traveling, too, and hope to find time to share knowledge on that front in the future.
You can find me on Twitter as @darrenmurph, or drop me a line at darrenmurph *at* gmail *dot* com. Here’s to what’s next!
*Photo taken in the ghost town of Boundary, Alaska, a mile east of the northernmost border crossing between the United States and Canada.