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Troy, Michigan 48098
Hello! I’m Craig Cole, senior editor at EV Pulse, a site dedicated to covering electric and electrified vehicles as well as alternative fuels and future automotive technology. I’ve been in this position for almost a year now, though I have been a full-time automotive journalist for 16 years. In this role, much of my time is dedicated to video work, preparing scripts and presenting, though I perform myriad other tasks, from reviewing vehicles to writing news and feature stories.
Can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
The topics that pique my interest the most these days usually involve alternative fuels, future battery designs or hands-free driving tech. Obviously, there’s a lot more going on in this industry, but these are the big ones for me.
As for trends, the most important ones I see in the automotive space are vehicle pricing (cars and trucks are becoming increasingly unaffordable), whether or not auto manufacturers are pushing the electric vehicle transition too aggressively before supply chains and infrastructure can catch up, and the unending computerization of our cars. As something of a Luddite, that last topic is a big one. Don’t get me wrong, I like having driver aids and other convenience features, but it often feels like this stuff is getting out of hand. Not everything needs to be computerized, not every interior surface needs a screen.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you have produced.
Probably the most fun thing I’ve worked on at EV Pulse is my video review of the Kia EV6. This feature is chockablock with gags and other jokes. This was a lot of work, like, a lot, especially for our executive producer, Ben Sanders, who shot, edited and created the graphics for this review, but I’m super proud of how everything turned out (https://youtu.be/TfK1H-IQhyU).
What story or stories are you most proud of?
The stories I’m most proud of are probably the videos in our EV Basics series, a run of six features (more are on the way!) teaching drivers the essentials of electric vehicle ownership. I think these videos are beautifully produced, informative and entertaining. Check out the YouTube playlist for more information.
What elements or characteristics do you look for in a story, and why?
For the stories I cover, I always look for a clear, easily articulable message. What is this topic about? How does the technology work and what benefits does it provide? When will this innovation reach the market? If these questions are hard to answer or overly vague, the story will be difficult to write and likely of limited value to readers. When reporting, I absolutely loathe buzzwords like “mobility” and “software-defined vehicle.”
How long have you been in journalism and how did you get started?
I’ve been a full-time automotive journalist for 16 years. I started at Autoline, then moved to AutoGuide.com, did a couple years at CNET Cars (née Roadshow) and now I’ve been at the Wrecked Media Group/EV Pulse for just shy of a year. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in political science. During college, I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, but since I’ve literally hated math since kindergarten, this was an obviously misguided venture. I wised up after failing calculus and pursued a field more in line with my interests and capabilities.
Finish this sentence: If I am not reporting, I am …
If I am not reporting, I am likely in the garage working on one of my classic cars or out in the vegetable garden tending to my plants.
What advice do you have for PR people that want to pitch you?
My advice to PR professionals is think before emailing pitches. I work for an automotive website, so chances are I have zero interest in covering your latest Bluetooth-enabled breast pump, list of states with the highest retirement costs or the announcement of a new CEO at a pet food company.
Any pet peeves with PR people?
PR people are usually very reasonable, so I don’t really have any pet peeves, per se, though I will mention some are very eager to give an answer and then are proven wrong shortly thereafter. This tends to happen a lot at events or drive programs. For example, if you ask whether there’s extra time to shoot video, a company rep might immediately say, “Sure, you have all afternoon,” but then they’re contradicted 5 minutes later when someone else on the team says you have to be back at the hotel no later than 3:00 p.m. This also happens frequently when it comes to receiving press releases and photos or b-roll. Media are told they’ll get these assets at a certain date and time, and probably 90% of the time that estimate is flat out wrong, and it’s never the case when you get the stuff early, either. I get it, things are complicated and can change on a dime, but if you don’t know something for certain or the date is up in the air, just say so. You won’t hurt our feelings, I promise.
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, hobbies, background, etc.)
As mentioned earlier, my hobbies include working on cars and gardening. I have a 1936 Ford V8 sedan I fully restored several years ago, and I’m currently reviving a 1951 Ford Crestliner. If you’ve ever noticed I sometimes have busted knuckles or dirty fingernails that won’t come clean, this is why, LOL!
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