I recently caught up with ProfNet member, Dana Manciagli, a global career expert, speaker and author of "Cut the Crap, Get a Job." Manciagli recently quit her 30-year career in sales/marketing to embark on solopreneur venture. Within the first months that she has been in business she has received hundreds of thousands of impressions in top-tier and trade publications such as The Fiscal Times and Forbes – all with the help of ProfNet.
“I started my own business about 17 months ago as a solopreneur. I have a business plan and ‘securing PR’ was certainly a critical component to raise the awareness of my business and to gain credibility as an expert. However, I could not afford a large or small PR agency. When I learned about ProfNet at a speaker conference, I joined immediately. Within months, I had placements in large national and regional publications such as Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Times, The Fiscal Times, Investor’s Business Daily and more.”
I wanted to hear some tips for how to successfully respond to reporters’ queries straight from the source. Here’s what she had to say:
How do you choose which ProfNet queries to respond to each day?
I glance at each one in my genre and, while it’s tempting to respond to some outliers, it’s pretty clear which ones I am a true expert in. I also put myself in the shoes of the writer or requestor and ask myself if my insights will be great or simply more blah, blah, blah.
What do you include in a typical response?
I always build two core sections. Naturally, the subject always says “Profnet -
I close with, “
Do you have tips for experts who are responding to ProfNet queries?
Absolutely, I have six tips:
1) The “Law of Threes”: Only provide three main reasons why you (or your client) is an expert in this field and only three main pieces of insight. Otherwise it’s too long. However, if they ask six questions, use numbers to break each one apart.
2) Don’t ramble: Even after three insights, you should make no more than three short back-up statements or real life examples. Make it real for them, but don’t try to teach them about every little detail.
3) Research: Although speed with your response is critical, when they tell you the website or publication and you are not familiar with it, go there! Know their audience and read some articles in the same genre.
4) Use good grammar and proof it before pressing “enter.” The last thing they need is sloppy grammar.
5) Paste their request below your signature block: I copy and paste the entire request below my signature block (which has my phone, city, email address and website). That way, when they call or write back, I am quickly able to read their request vs. saying “what publication? What type of article to whom?”
6) Thank the writer after you are placed. Tell them what a great job they did and how much you appreciate being included. Ask to be on their short list of resources and commit to being super responsive.
Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org