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Featured on Apr 19, 2011

Ed Zitron

"Never stop learning."


After a tenure of around five and a half years in games journalism in London, England (and my life there before that , I suppose), I eventually decided it was time for a change - of locale and career. I fell into PR - partially as a means of moving to New York - and within a year had broadened my knowledge from pure gaming and light tech to full-scale immersion in all aspects of technology and the media.

In 2009 I was introduced to Richard Kain, the General Manager of TriplePoint PR, and started working there shortly thereafter with clients ranging from big corporations to social startups to a men's clothing brand. It's an ever-changing, genuinely exciting 'thing' to do, and I'm given plenty of license to read and understand the media we work with. I also write a Forbes blog and it helps a great deal to cross and understand both sides of the PR-writer divide. I'm technically a professional photographer too.

It's a wonderful life - I constantly get to work with and meet wonderful, talented people from all walks of life. The reaction to my accent remains amusing.

  • Title: Senior Account Executive, TriplePoint and Blogger, Forbes
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Brooklyn
  • Contact: @edzitron

You were a games journalist for a long time... what was that like and what are your favorite games?

It was one of the most enjoyable jobs a person could ask for, but not as enjoyable as many expect. While you spend your time playing a lot of games, you mostly have to play a lot of mediocre games. In fact, it was actually quite rare that you'd play something truly awful or truly good - more commonly you have to play something dull and elaborate upon that.

Overall, though, I got to work with awesome people and write about a subject I truly enjoyed for many, many years. I also got to learn one of the most valuable skills in life - the ability to distill a large subject into a few sentences, predominantly because I mostly covered the detailed world of online gaming. This meant I had to find a way to put 40 hours of playtime into 500 words.

I also got the chance to be trained by and work with some truly fantastic writers. In particular, two that stand out are my Editor of the time Will Porter, and fellow writers Steve Hogarty and Jon Blyth. All three are phenomenal, and were a pleasure to work with at PC Zone, but Will helped me hone and tailor my style.

My favorite games are currently Crysis 2, Sword and Poker 2 and Infinity Blade. Yep, two iPhone games.

Any good stories about incensed gaming fans who didn’t take kindly to your reviews?

I reviewed an MMORPG - a game like WoW, but qualitatively less engaging. They said I never played it. I was beset upon by fans, received a barrage of insults via email, my (then existent) MySpace was predominantly made unusable, and someone called my place of work and very half-heartedly threatened my life.

Otherwise most gamers have kept to forums mostly just to say, when they disagreed with me, that I had no idea what I was talking about. C'est la vie.

A lot of people have or would like to pivot into the emerging tech/media space. Could you tell us about your experience transitioning from gaming to your work at TriplePoint PR and freelance journalism?

I worked at a PR agency before TriplePoint - my first job since leaving games journalism - and that was predominantly a technology firm. It was a case of learning PR while also learning about the larger tech space, which was easier as I've always had an interest in gadgets, gear and such. I'd say working there helped broaden it to the social web, payments, mobile technology and frankly the media itself. I'm still fascinated by journalism, and I think that really helps with the world of PR. Furthermore, continuing to write keeps me sharp, and helps me understand how journalists work, what their highs and lows are, and generally how I can interact with them more pleasantly.

We hear you know a thing or two about American football. Tell us about that?

I spent my second year of college (the exchange year of my three years at the University of Wales: Aberystwyth) at the main campus of Penn State University. Saturdays were gameday, and not going meant doing nothing for the rest of the day, as nobody was around. As a result I, knowing nothing of American football, would go to these games and slowly but surely through surly, loud osmosis would begin to understand the rules. By one of the later games - Wisconsin, I think - I was a full-blown "We-Are" Penn Stater, screaming about defensive pass interference and lamenting the fact that Michael Robinson was not a dyed-in-the-wool quarterback.

After returning to the UK for my third year, I joined a Fantasy Football league with a few friends of mine who remained stateside. Naturally, I was schooled - 7th in a 10-player league. I was mercilessly teased for my lack of understanding and bone-headed picks, and I, irked, declared that I would "school these fools," (I quote) next year. I spent the entire off-season learning everything I could, going as far as to watch the combine and the draft and take notes. I have been first or second in every league I've played every year since.