Anna Jasinski's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo 6 Ways to Localize 2016 Presidential Campaign Coverage For Your Audience

See original post on Beyond Bylines.

It’s an all too common tale for today’s media.

Newsrooms are changing. Technology is being pushed to the forefront. All the while budgets are tightening.  

So for those covering the 2016 election, finding the funds to send front-line staff may be out of the question – especially for smaller news organizations. 

But just because you’re not on the campaign trail doesn’t mean you don’t have an interesting story to tell. If anything, telling the untold stories of your community may be the most distinctive – and most relevant – to your audience. 

During a recent Poynter seminar, Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith shared some of the key ways local news organizations can plug in to the conversation without being embedded in the national stumping tour.

Here are six ways to give your audience smart and meaningful coverage from your home seat.

1. Find local players advocating for the candidates.

The much-anticipated Iowa Caucus is on Monday, followed shortly thereafter by New Hampshire. These critical, first-in-the-nation caucuses are known to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

To tap into the conversation locally, find the people in your city or state that are most passionate about the candidates. Who’s making phone calls late into the night? What issues are they most connected to? Who’s being dispatched on behalf of the candidates? How will they drive conversation after the first set of results are in?

Human-interest stories from behind the scenes can help personalize the news and attract readers.  This is especially true for deep red or deep blue states that usually don’t get attention for their campaign efforts, said Smith.

2. Follow the money trail.

Campaign donations are always a hot-button issue. Dive in on local money to see who’s giving from your area and how much they candidates are raising in your city or state.

To get hyperlocal, use sites like FEC.gov and OpenSecrets.org to find donations by zip code. To dig in on the power donors and campaign bundlers, check the sites of the campaigns themselves. You may be able to identify local names and explore their vested interests in the candidate.

If you want to see where “politicians are breaking bread and sipping cocktails with donors,” the Sunlight Foundation’sPolitical Party Time provides the scoop on the latest fundraising events.

3. Drill narrow and drill deep on the issues.

“All politics is local,” Smith said, riffing off an old quote by AP Washington Bureau Chief Byron Price from 1932. Even broad issues like immigration, fracking, and defense cuts resonate all the way down to the neighborhood level.

For example, said Smith, we know what Donald Trump’s talk of building a wall means for Texas. But, what does it mean for your city or state? Or, say a local military base is rumored to close. What’s the potential economic impact to your town’s residents and businesses?

The key is to drill down to see how proposed policies might affect your reader community. Find clips of the candidates speaking about the issues and plug in local voices, said Smith.

4. Investigate the strange bedfellows.

One of the most interesting ways to get local may be tracking down the unlikely companions or allies of the candidates from your state. To find them, sniff around local fundraising parties and donor lists, said Smith.

Is the Mayor of your town on the invite list for a local Hillary event? Who did he or she support in the past? What’s changed? You may find that a local politician or lobbyist has changed their tune – and the reason why could make for an interesting story.

5. Use social apps to follow the buzz. 

Social media and live streams can put you on the scene virtually. They also allow you to see what people are talking about, providing you with an array of potential sources and story ideas. 

Facebook and Twitter can help you find local groups, how and where they gather, who’s involved, and what they’re talking about. To go a bit deeper, try ban.jo to get an all access pass to a live event to see first-hand photos, videos and reactions from people nearby.

With any luck, you may come across a quick-witted response, like this one from the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida., that could drive your coverage locally – and perhaps even thrust your local outlet into the national spotlight.

6. Pay attention to the polls.

Finally, explore the polls. Compare the upcoming exit polls to both the opinion polls and that of past elections, said Smith. You can find 2012 voter data by state here.

To tune in to opinions on a hyperlocal level, conduct your own informal poll. Insert yourself in to the conversation by attending a local event or debate watch party. Aside from social media, Meetup.com is good resource to use to find the action.

Want to know when an official poll is set to come out? Sign up on Real Clear Politics and HuffPost Pollster for email notifications. 270 to Win keeps tabs on public opinion around potential match-ups, too.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political campaign news for you. It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what’s being said about the race.


Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her team’s curated feed of election news at @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing media news at @annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

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Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:26:33 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/28/6_ways_to_localize_2016_presidential_campaign_coverage_for_your_audience http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/28/6_ways_to_localize_2016_presidential_campaign_coverage_for_your_audience

See original post on Beyond Bylines.

It’s an all too common tale for today’s media.

Newsrooms are changing. Technology is being pushed to the forefront. All the while budgets are tightening.  

So for those covering the 2016 election, finding the funds to send front-line staff may be out of the question – especially for smaller news organizations. 

But just because you’re not on the campaign trail doesn’t mean you don’t have an interesting story to tell. If anything, telling the untold stories of your community may be the most distinctive – and most relevant – to your audience. 

During a recent Poynter seminar, Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith shared some of the key ways local news organizations can plug in to the conversation without being embedded in the national stumping tour.

Here are six ways to give your audience smart and meaningful coverage from your home seat.

1. Find local players advocating for the candidates.

The much-anticipated Iowa Caucus is on Monday, followed shortly thereafter by New Hampshire. These critical, first-in-the-nation caucuses are known to set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

To tap into the conversation locally, find the people in your city or state that are most passionate about the candidates. Who’s making phone calls late into the night? What issues are they most connected to? Who’s being dispatched on behalf of the candidates? How will they drive conversation after the first set of results are in?

Human-interest stories from behind the scenes can help personalize the news and attract readers.  This is especially true for deep red or deep blue states that usually don’t get attention for their campaign efforts, said Smith.

2. Follow the money trail.

Campaign donations are always a hot-button issue. Dive in on local money to see who’s giving from your area and how much they candidates are raising in your city or state.

To get hyperlocal, use sites like FEC.gov and OpenSecrets.org to find donations by zip code. To dig in on the power donors and campaign bundlers, check the sites of the campaigns themselves. You may be able to identify local names and explore their vested interests in the candidate.

If you want to see where “politicians are breaking bread and sipping cocktails with donors,” the Sunlight Foundation’sPolitical Party Time provides the scoop on the latest fundraising events.

3. Drill narrow and drill deep on the issues.

“All politics is local,” Smith said, riffing off an old quote by AP Washington Bureau Chief Byron Price from 1932. Even broad issues like immigration, fracking, and defense cuts resonate all the way down to the neighborhood level.

For example, said Smith, we know what Donald Trump’s talk of building a wall means for Texas. But, what does it mean for your city or state? Or, say a local military base is rumored to close. What’s the potential economic impact to your town’s residents and businesses?

The key is to drill down to see how proposed policies might affect your reader community. Find clips of the candidates speaking about the issues and plug in local voices, said Smith.

4. Investigate the strange bedfellows.

One of the most interesting ways to get local may be tracking down the unlikely companions or allies of the candidates from your state. To find them, sniff around local fundraising parties and donor lists, said Smith.

Is the Mayor of your town on the invite list for a local Hillary event? Who did he or she support in the past? What’s changed? You may find that a local politician or lobbyist has changed their tune – and the reason why could make for an interesting story.

5. Use social apps to follow the buzz. 

Social media and live streams can put you on the scene virtually. They also allow you to see what people are talking about, providing you with an array of potential sources and story ideas. 

Facebook and Twitter can help you find local groups, how and where they gather, who’s involved, and what they’re talking about. To go a bit deeper, try ban.jo to get an all access pass to a live event to see first-hand photos, videos and reactions from people nearby.

With any luck, you may come across a quick-witted response, like this one from the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida., that could drive your coverage locally – and perhaps even thrust your local outlet into the national spotlight.

6. Pay attention to the polls.

Finally, explore the polls. Compare the upcoming exit polls to both the opinion polls and that of past elections, said Smith. You can find 2012 voter data by state here.

To tune in to opinions on a hyperlocal level, conduct your own informal poll. Insert yourself in to the conversation by attending a local event or debate watch party. Aside from social media, Meetup.com is good resource to use to find the action.

Want to know when an official poll is set to come out? Sign up on Real Clear Politics and HuffPost Pollster for email notifications. 270 to Win keeps tabs on public opinion around potential match-ups, too.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political campaign news for you. It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what’s being said about the race.


Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her team’s curated feed of election news at @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing media news at @annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

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Live Tweeting The State Of The Union: 12 Tips To Win On Twitter

It was a case of “come for the speech, stay for the spectacle,” at last year’s State of the Union address.

From President Barack Obama’s #YesWeTan suit controversy to the “time traveling” energy secretary, there was no shortage of entertainment on Twitter.

But with a whopping 2.6 million tweets sent worldwide related to the address, it’s clear there is real value for journalists and news organizations to participate in the real-time conversation – especially coming on the heels of Obama’s big speech on gun safety measures. This also is his last one, so it’s bound to garner extra attention. 

Last July, we rounded up our top tips for live tweeting events covering the before, during and after. Here are 12 more for winning the night on Twitter for #SOTU and thinking ahead to #election2016.

1. Set up your own personal live tweet station ahead of time.

There’s nothing more nerve wracking than worrying about setup ahead of covering a major event like the State of the Union.

Set up your tweet station ahead of time – making sure all devices are charged and ready to go. For SOTU, I prefer to use a desktop or tablet. This makes it easier to watch multiple windows, so you can tweet while also watching the conversation unfold under the #SOTU hashtag.

2. Create awareness by tweeting about your participation.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to surprise your followers with your live coverage of the address. But, it is a best practice to tweet out your participation ahead of time – the day before and in the hours leading up to the event – using the #SOTU hashtag.

A quick pre-tweet could catch the attention of followers who hadn’t intended to play along on Twitter. You may gain some new followers prior to the event, too. Bonus.

3. Find a format – and stick to it.

Find a tweet format you like and keep consistent. Aside from being easier on the eyes of the viewer, it will streamline your process.

For tweeting statements by the President, I like to start with the quote followed by his handle @POTUS, plus the #SOTU hashtag and any other relevant content or hashtags. Here’s a teaser tweet from the White House using the same format:

4. Look for hashtags, beyond #SOTU.

It’s important to use the #SOTU hashtag on every tweet you write around the State of the Union, so people can find you. But, you don’t have to stop there.

If Obama is talking about hot-button issues like #climatechange, #gunsafety or the #economy, use hashtags for those as well – even inside the quotes themselves. Pay attention to any new, trending hashtags that also pop up.

Using these will help you potentially capture new followers from people who care about those topics and are following them on Twitter.

5. Transcripts are your friend. But keep a notepad handy.

It can be difficult to capture all of the detail when someone is speaking, particularly when several tweet-worthy statements come in a row.

The transcript – usually released to the media and online in advance of the speech – can help you with your process. Keep it close by to tweet those quotable moments more accurately. You may even find that reading ahead will help you stay ahead of the game on what to tweet versus what to leave alone.

It’s also smart to have a notepad on hand. The President may not stick exactly to script, so you may need to jot down some of his statements before you tweet them in order to get them right.

6. Remember: quality not quantity.

This one is simple. You don’t have to tweet every moment of the speech. Just keep to the major points and keep an eye out for the buzz to make sure you’re capturing the moments that pique the interest of the audience.

There is almost always one big moment that drives a lot of conversation on Twitter. You may remember one of Obama’s viral “mic drop” moments last year when his statement about having “no more campaigns to run” was met with partisan cheers.

Be sure to tweet those key moments to drive engagement and ultimately get more eyeballs on your handle. If you miss a critical statement, it’s OK to tweet it out a few minutes after it happens or mention in a different context later.

7. Inject humor and opinion with caution.

As a news organization or representative, it’s important to stick with the facts. But, sometimes there’s room for jokes or opinion on happenings in the room – as long as they are tasteful and politically balanced.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post (@TheFix) wins Twitter everyday with his quick-witted political humor and honesty. He’s a good one to watch if you’re looking for examples of how to personalize your #SOTU content with some real-life banter.

8. Add context by tweeting related stories.

Your followers, while they may enjoy politics, are likely not experts on every topic the President will address. If you, your colleagues, or other news organizations have written informative pieces relative to statements made in the #SOTU, share them during timely moments to engage your readers and potentially drive traffic to old stories. Make a list of a few good stories ahead of time. You can see some of the hot topics Obama will cover here.

9. Retweet, like, repeat.

As mentioned in tip No. 1, you don’t want to stay so focused in your own window that you’re missing the conversation happening around the speech. Watch the #SOTU feed in a separate window and retweet and like quality tweets shared by others. This helps diversify the content on your page and can help you gain followers and retweets in return.

10. Include imagery to grab attention.

Tweets with imagery typically get more clicks and retweets. You may not have access to take good live photos for the #SOTU, and that’s OK. Instead, prep some Twitter-friendly images ahead of time (my favorite tool is Canva.com) that you can pop key quotes into for sharing. Here’s an example by ABC News from Obama’s speech last week.

It also used a variety of photos of Obama to make the view more dynamic.

11. Use Vine or Periscope to add video to differentiate your coverage.

Even though people are hungry for more video content, livestreaming still is very much underutilized by media. Differentiate yourself by tweeting a quick Vine or Periscope video to draw in viewers and potentially gain followers on your other social media accounts.

From videoing a hard-hitting statement by the President as seen on your television to summarizing what happened at the speech’s conclusion, there are plenty of ways to engage your viewers in a way that others likely aren’t doing. Just be sure to keep the video short and sweet.

12. Don’t forget about the response.

If you’re covering the #SOTU by the President, it’s fair and balanced to cover the response, delivered this year by Gov. Nikki Haley. Her handle is @nikkihaley. The speech won’t be as long as the President’s, of course, but there are bound to be several tweet-worthy statements you’ll want to make sure to share on your feed.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political news for you.

It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what organizations and brands have to say about the race.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her live tweets from the State of the Union on PR Newswire’s policy Twitter handle @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing other media news at@annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

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Tue, 12 Jan 2016 11:23:48 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/12/live_tweeting_the_state_of_the_union:_12_tips_to_win_on_twitter http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2016/01/12/live_tweeting_the_state_of_the_union:_12_tips_to_win_on_twitter

It was a case of “come for the speech, stay for the spectacle,” at last year’s State of the Union address.

From President Barack Obama’s #YesWeTan suit controversy to the “time traveling” energy secretary, there was no shortage of entertainment on Twitter.

But with a whopping 2.6 million tweets sent worldwide related to the address, it’s clear there is real value for journalists and news organizations to participate in the real-time conversation – especially coming on the heels of Obama’s big speech on gun safety measures. This also is his last one, so it’s bound to garner extra attention. 

Last July, we rounded up our top tips for live tweeting events covering the before, during and after. Here are 12 more for winning the night on Twitter for #SOTU and thinking ahead to #election2016.

1. Set up your own personal live tweet station ahead of time.

There’s nothing more nerve wracking than worrying about setup ahead of covering a major event like the State of the Union.

Set up your tweet station ahead of time – making sure all devices are charged and ready to go. For SOTU, I prefer to use a desktop or tablet. This makes it easier to watch multiple windows, so you can tweet while also watching the conversation unfold under the #SOTU hashtag.

2. Create awareness by tweeting about your participation.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to surprise your followers with your live coverage of the address. But, it is a best practice to tweet out your participation ahead of time – the day before and in the hours leading up to the event – using the #SOTU hashtag.

A quick pre-tweet could catch the attention of followers who hadn’t intended to play along on Twitter. You may gain some new followers prior to the event, too. Bonus.

3. Find a format – and stick to it.

Find a tweet format you like and keep consistent. Aside from being easier on the eyes of the viewer, it will streamline your process.

For tweeting statements by the President, I like to start with the quote followed by his handle @POTUS, plus the #SOTU hashtag and any other relevant content or hashtags. Here’s a teaser tweet from the White House using the same format:

4. Look for hashtags, beyond #SOTU.

It’s important to use the #SOTU hashtag on every tweet you write around the State of the Union, so people can find you. But, you don’t have to stop there.

If Obama is talking about hot-button issues like #climatechange, #gunsafety or the #economy, use hashtags for those as well – even inside the quotes themselves. Pay attention to any new, trending hashtags that also pop up.

Using these will help you potentially capture new followers from people who care about those topics and are following them on Twitter.

5. Transcripts are your friend. But keep a notepad handy.

It can be difficult to capture all of the detail when someone is speaking, particularly when several tweet-worthy statements come in a row.

The transcript – usually released to the media and online in advance of the speech – can help you with your process. Keep it close by to tweet those quotable moments more accurately. You may even find that reading ahead will help you stay ahead of the game on what to tweet versus what to leave alone.

It’s also smart to have a notepad on hand. The President may not stick exactly to script, so you may need to jot down some of his statements before you tweet them in order to get them right.

6. Remember: quality not quantity.

This one is simple. You don’t have to tweet every moment of the speech. Just keep to the major points and keep an eye out for the buzz to make sure you’re capturing the moments that pique the interest of the audience.

There is almost always one big moment that drives a lot of conversation on Twitter. You may remember one of Obama’s viral “mic drop” moments last year when his statement about having “no more campaigns to run” was met with partisan cheers.

Be sure to tweet those key moments to drive engagement and ultimately get more eyeballs on your handle. If you miss a critical statement, it’s OK to tweet it out a few minutes after it happens or mention in a different context later.

7. Inject humor and opinion with caution.

As a news organization or representative, it’s important to stick with the facts. But, sometimes there’s room for jokes or opinion on happenings in the room – as long as they are tasteful and politically balanced.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post (@TheFix) wins Twitter everyday with his quick-witted political humor and honesty. He’s a good one to watch if you’re looking for examples of how to personalize your #SOTU content with some real-life banter.

8. Add context by tweeting related stories.

Your followers, while they may enjoy politics, are likely not experts on every topic the President will address. If you, your colleagues, or other news organizations have written informative pieces relative to statements made in the #SOTU, share them during timely moments to engage your readers and potentially drive traffic to old stories. Make a list of a few good stories ahead of time. You can see some of the hot topics Obama will cover here.

9. Retweet, like, repeat.

As mentioned in tip No. 1, you don’t want to stay so focused in your own window that you’re missing the conversation happening around the speech. Watch the #SOTU feed in a separate window and retweet and like quality tweets shared by others. This helps diversify the content on your page and can help you gain followers and retweets in return.

10. Include imagery to grab attention.

Tweets with imagery typically get more clicks and retweets. You may not have access to take good live photos for the #SOTU, and that’s OK. Instead, prep some Twitter-friendly images ahead of time (my favorite tool is Canva.com) that you can pop key quotes into for sharing. Here’s an example by ABC News from Obama’s speech last week.

It also used a variety of photos of Obama to make the view more dynamic.

11. Use Vine or Periscope to add video to differentiate your coverage.

Even though people are hungry for more video content, livestreaming still is very much underutilized by media. Differentiate yourself by tweeting a quick Vine or Periscope video to draw in viewers and potentially gain followers on your other social media accounts.

From videoing a hard-hitting statement by the President as seen on your television to summarizing what happened at the speech’s conclusion, there are plenty of ways to engage your viewers in a way that others likely aren’t doing. Just be sure to keep the video short and sweet.

12. Don’t forget about the response.

If you’re covering the #SOTU by the President, it’s fair and balanced to cover the response, delivered this year by Gov. Nikki Haley. Her handle is @nikkihaley. The speech won’t be as long as the President’s, of course, but there are bound to be several tweet-worthy statements you’ll want to make sure to share on your feed.

Ramping up for 2016 election coverage? We can create a customized PR Newswire newsfeed of political news for you.

It’s easy. Sign up for PRNJ today and don’t miss out on what organizations and brands have to say about the race.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her live tweets from the State of the Union on PR Newswire’s policy Twitter handle @PRNPolicy. You can also catch her sharing other media news at@annamjasinski and @BeyondBylines.

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“Let Go of the Results” & Other Tips for Embracing Change & Failure in the New Year Hemal Jhavari of USA Today

Hemal Jhaveri is no stranger to the unconventional.

As senior social media editor for USA Today Sports, she tweets and writes stories about the sports world – and namely her love of hockey.

But, while Jhaveri’s found herself in a decidedly fitting role, “it wasn’t even a pipe dream,” she says. 

Apart from the fact that social media jobs weren’t really a thing when she was studying at James Madison University, the idea of a woman writing about sports seemed fanciful as well.

So, Jhaveri embarked on a path that’s certainly common – but one that is quite untraditional for a journalist.

ONE SHIFT AT A TIME

“It’s not a pretty story,” said Jhaveri.

In college, she majored in media arts and had a tech background. She minored in English – because she liked to write.

Hemal Jhaveri QuoteBut, she did not start out in media.

Jhaveri’s first jobs were in customer service, where she quickly fell victim to layoffs and eventually unemployment. It wasn’t until her next stint at a lobbying firm that she took a chance on an email from a friend. 

The prompt: Trying her hand at an unpaid gig at a budding DC website, DCist.com – because she liked to write.   

The experience spring boarded Jhaveri into digital journalism, working for places like the now-folded DC Style magazine and AOL.  She also got her master’s degree in cultural studies to help sharpen her expertise for culture-focused pieces.

But again she faced layoffs and struggled to find passion in her work. “My writing wasn’t going anywhere. I wanted to give up,” she said.

So, with the staying power of her writing career in question, she made yet another change. Jhaveri left her writing behind for a role at POLITICO Digital, dealing in SEO and mobile strategy.

After a few years in a new field, with grit now intact, her calling became clear. She missed writing and followed her voice – and happiness – over to sports.

LIFE LESSONS IN HOCKEY

In short, Jhaveri’s early career was full of transition and riddled with failure. “It’s not a path to be replicated,” she emphasized. But, Jhaveri’s experiences allowed her to find her resilience and ultimately unleash her success.

She spent some time with us recently to share the details of her career journey. And while she doesn’t consider herself a role model, Jhaveri has an enviable level of badassery.

For anyone considering a change, or charging ahead into the unknown, here are some of her top tips for embracing change and failure.

1. Success is an up-and-down journey. “Don’t be so future focused that you forget what you have to do in the meantime,” says Jhaveri. For her, every job she took was a stepping stone to something she’s always wanted to do, but it involved a lot of compromise. “Success is not a continuous peak,” she says. There are a lot of ups and downs and those experiences are formative.

2. Listen to your unhappiness.  While your passion may be the fire that drives you, your passion can change and your passion can burn out. This was a major factor for Jhaveri in both leaving and returning to writing. “If you are not happy in what you are doing – and you have these ambitions or you’re not moving in the direction you wanted to – you should look into that unhappiness,” she says. “Be willing to do whatever it is that you are passionate about.”

3. Make a mindmap. To visualize the year ahead, Jhaveri suggests drawing a mindmap of your goals. She drew for us an example of her own 2016 mindmap, with objectives ranging from traveling more often to landing an interview with a major name in hockey. The power of the mindmap really lies in its simplicity. Start by branching out your goals and underlying passions, hang it in a prominent location, and revisit it regularly to help keep your plans and wishes top of mind.

Mindmap

4. Don’t be afraid to take the risk.  Fear is boring. Jhaveri learned this as she sat on the email from a friend about the potential writing gig at DCist. “I was so scared to have to prove myself if I did get hired,” she says. But by taking the risk, it turned into this amazing thing where she built the foundation of her writing career. The same happened for her when she came across her current role. “You have to have a willingness to fail. I wanted something so bad that I was willing to fall flat on my face,” Jhaveri says. If you’re thinking of trying something new, focus on the “skillset you have that other people don’t,” she added. Even if you aren’t the most qualified.

5. Let go of the results. Reward the effort instead of the results, says Jhaveri.  Find your own metric of success and stop wondering what other people will think. The fear of failure is what stops many of us from pushing forward. “Try not to view failure as a value judgment,” she says. “Take value judgment out of it and you can move forward.”

6. Don’t resent your decisions.  It’s all part of our path, so no choice should ever truly be considered wrong. “The decisions we make are all practical,” says Jhaveri. “Whatever choices you made, you thought about it and took ownership.” She quoted a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

7. Be nice to people when you don’t need something from them. This is sage advice Jhaveri got from a former POLITICO colleague. It’s human nature that we’re all more likely to help a friend before helping a stranger – and you never know when you might need someone’s help. Better to be remembered for being a kind and familiar face. Show up and connect on something simple. It’s as easy as that.

8. Failure = resilience = success. Finally, this is the formula that Jhaveri came up with as a result of her experiences. “Resilience is the key to success in everything you do,” says Jhaveri. “When you fail a lot you build resilience – you’ll get grit.” Don’t take it easy on yourself. “You have to start, fall down, start and fall down. And then you keep going,” she says. That’s how you hit the finish line.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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Wed, 06 Jan 2016 17:58:12 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo Hemal Jhavari of USA Today

Hemal Jhaveri is no stranger to the unconventional.

As senior social media editor for USA Today Sports, she tweets and writes stories about the sports world – and namely her love of hockey.

But, while Jhaveri’s found herself in a decidedly fitting role, “it wasn’t even a pipe dream,” she says. 

Apart from the fact that social media jobs weren’t really a thing when she was studying at James Madison University, the idea of a woman writing about sports seemed fanciful as well.

So, Jhaveri embarked on a path that’s certainly common – but one that is quite untraditional for a journalist.

ONE SHIFT AT A TIME

“It’s not a pretty story,” said Jhaveri.

In college, she majored in media arts and had a tech background. She minored in English – because she liked to write.

Hemal Jhaveri QuoteBut, she did not start out in media.

Jhaveri’s first jobs were in customer service, where she quickly fell victim to layoffs and eventually unemployment. It wasn’t until her next stint at a lobbying firm that she took a chance on an email from a friend. 

The prompt: Trying her hand at an unpaid gig at a budding DC website, DCist.com – because she liked to write.   

The experience spring boarded Jhaveri into digital journalism, working for places like the now-folded DC Style magazine and AOL.  She also got her master’s degree in cultural studies to help sharpen her expertise for culture-focused pieces.

But again she faced layoffs and struggled to find passion in her work. “My writing wasn’t going anywhere. I wanted to give up,” she said.

So, with the staying power of her writing career in question, she made yet another change. Jhaveri left her writing behind for a role at POLITICO Digital, dealing in SEO and mobile strategy.

After a few years in a new field, with grit now intact, her calling became clear. She missed writing and followed her voice – and happiness – over to sports.

LIFE LESSONS IN HOCKEY

In short, Jhaveri’s early career was full of transition and riddled with failure. “It’s not a path to be replicated,” she emphasized. But, Jhaveri’s experiences allowed her to find her resilience and ultimately unleash her success.

She spent some time with us recently to share the details of her career journey. And while she doesn’t consider herself a role model, Jhaveri has an enviable level of badassery.

For anyone considering a change, or charging ahead into the unknown, here are some of her top tips for embracing change and failure.

1. Success is an up-and-down journey. “Don’t be so future focused that you forget what you have to do in the meantime,” says Jhaveri. For her, every job she took was a stepping stone to something she’s always wanted to do, but it involved a lot of compromise. “Success is not a continuous peak,” she says. There are a lot of ups and downs and those experiences are formative.

2. Listen to your unhappiness.  While your passion may be the fire that drives you, your passion can change and your passion can burn out. This was a major factor for Jhaveri in both leaving and returning to writing. “If you are not happy in what you are doing – and you have these ambitions or you’re not moving in the direction you wanted to – you should look into that unhappiness,” she says. “Be willing to do whatever it is that you are passionate about.”

3. Make a mindmap. To visualize the year ahead, Jhaveri suggests drawing a mindmap of your goals. She drew for us an example of her own 2016 mindmap, with objectives ranging from traveling more often to landing an interview with a major name in hockey. The power of the mindmap really lies in its simplicity. Start by branching out your goals and underlying passions, hang it in a prominent location, and revisit it regularly to help keep your plans and wishes top of mind.

Mindmap

4. Don’t be afraid to take the risk.  Fear is boring. Jhaveri learned this as she sat on the email from a friend about the potential writing gig at DCist. “I was so scared to have to prove myself if I did get hired,” she says. But by taking the risk, it turned into this amazing thing where she built the foundation of her writing career. The same happened for her when she came across her current role. “You have to have a willingness to fail. I wanted something so bad that I was willing to fall flat on my face,” Jhaveri says. If you’re thinking of trying something new, focus on the “skillset you have that other people don’t,” she added. Even if you aren’t the most qualified.

5. Let go of the results. Reward the effort instead of the results, says Jhaveri.  Find your own metric of success and stop wondering what other people will think. The fear of failure is what stops many of us from pushing forward. “Try not to view failure as a value judgment,” she says. “Take value judgment out of it and you can move forward.”

6. Don’t resent your decisions.  It’s all part of our path, so no choice should ever truly be considered wrong. “The decisions we make are all practical,” says Jhaveri. “Whatever choices you made, you thought about it and took ownership.” She quoted a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

7. Be nice to people when you don’t need something from them. This is sage advice Jhaveri got from a former POLITICO colleague. It’s human nature that we’re all more likely to help a friend before helping a stranger – and you never know when you might need someone’s help. Better to be remembered for being a kind and familiar face. Show up and connect on something simple. It’s as easy as that.

8. Failure = resilience = success. Finally, this is the formula that Jhaveri came up with as a result of her experiences. “Resilience is the key to success in everything you do,” says Jhaveri. “When you fail a lot you build resilience – you’ll get grit.” Don’t take it easy on yourself. “You have to start, fall down, start and fall down. And then you keep going,” she says. That’s how you hit the finish line.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Tech-Loving Journalists, Bloggers and Storytellers Holiday Gift Guide For Journalists and Bloggers

See the original post on Beyond Bylines. 

What do journalists, bloggers and other storytellers really want for the holidays?

Aside from some much-needed downtime – and a magically clear email inbox – they may be dreaming of some of the latest gadgets to hit the scene to help up their game in the new year.

So for you last-minute holiday shoppers struggling to find the perfect gift, we rounded up some of the top tech gifts for the wordsmiths and storytellers on your list. Be it for your blogging friend or futurist family member, these tools could be the little nudge they need to inspire their inner influencer.

Don’t worry if your gift is a little late. These folks appreciate the struggle of meeting a deadline.

1. For the livestreaming newsmaker

In the age of FOMO, journalists and citizen reporters are turning to livestreaming mobile apps like Periscope and Snapchat to share news that is instant and unfiltered.

The challenge in broadcasting street journalism is making a steady video that looks credible. To keep the livestreamer in your life on top of their game, there are a number of tools that can help.

selfie stick or tripod is practical and allows for better visibility and a wider array of shots. A handheld microphone, like the iRig Mic, makes for better sound, too.

2. For the unflinching investigator

For a reporter in a digital-first news landscape, the desire for enterprise storytelling has to be balanced by a need for expediency. But accuracy remains important, too.

Thanks to technology, journalists no longer must be put in the awkward situation of getting their hands on a hot scoop, only to learn they have no time to get back to the newsroom or that their source won’t give up their lone documentation.

A handy portable scanner can read and store images and documents on their devices in just seconds. To ensure they can stay plugged in while following a story, a power bank also is a must-give.

3. For the booming blogger 

The blogger has transformed into a personality all its own, and is very much a force to be reckoned with.

In order to gain credibility, traffic and shares, a consistent spread of quality content and imagery are a must – and not just for their blog, but so they can diversify on their social channels as well.

For the emerging or seasoned blogger, a new camera like the Nikon 1 J5 with selfie-ready screen could help them re-energize and polish their work. If efficiency is a concern, try gifting a voice-recognition program. Programs like Dragonallow bloggers to talk through their thoughts and craft posts via dictation.

4. For the future futurist 

Though we aren’t (yet) riding our hoverboards to work, drone journalism and virtual reality storytelling aren’t so far future. These emerging programs made big strides in 2015, bridging the gap between readers and content for a more immersive and emotional news experience.

For those who want to familiarize themselves with the future of storytelling, a wearable VR headset – like the P2 by DodoCase or Gear VR by Oculus – could aid understanding, while a 360° camera allows users to get more hands on with spherical photography.

For the drone curious, a video flyer like the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition or the more cost-friendly QuadForce Video Drone can help users hone their skills with the next major tool in the journalism toolbox.

2015 Gift Guide for Journalists and Bloggers

5. For the inspired infopreneur

Today’s influential writers are many times seen extending their efforts well beyond the written word to create their own online business or brand out of their information.

But, it’s not an easy feat. In order to be truly successful, wannabe infopreneurs must arm themselves with key business school elements – such as how to create a sustainable business by playing to their strengths, while also appropriately monetizing their expertise.

For someone looking to take on this self-managed role, an e-workshop could be a welcome gift. The Infopreneur Ninja course by Regina Anaejionu of By Regina is a great premium option. Or you could opt for the scaled down 4 Part Entrepreneur Cocktail by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society.

6. For the mobile photographer

Photography has progressed radically from its crude beginnings and complicated chemical process.

Today, demand trumps quality to meet the changes in how people consume and share news. That means photographers must be ready at any moment to point, shoot, and upload an image from a scene.

Luckily, there are tons of mobile apps and add-ons that make photo-taking from cell phones more attractive. A Mini Photo Pro Lens Kit or a Zoom Lens and Tripod for iPhone are solid gift options for DSLR-loving photographers who want to keep a mini studio in their pocket.

7. For the on-the-go audiophile

So many journalists and bloggers today are on the go, zooming from assignment to assignment or event to event.

Whether they’re in the car or on a train, listening to someone else talk can be a great distraction or – even better – the perfect inspiration, especially if reading another word feels daunting.

If you’re sensing commuter fatigue, a subscription to audible.com could do the trick. Membership provides access to one audio book per month, plus 30 percent off additional books. Perfect to listen to on the road, and in between their favorite podcasts.

8. For the aspiring author

With the ability now to self-publish on sites like Kindle and CreateSpace, getting published isn’t the lofty goal it once was.

However, the steps to planning and plotting a novel pretty much remain the same. For first-time novelists and more seasoned scribes, idea generation and story plotting are key to busting through writer’s block.

Software like Scrivener can help your writer hammer through their first draft.  For those who like to put pen to paper, theEvernote Smart Notebook is a fun option that allows for digital upload of any handwritten notes or drawings.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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Thu, 10 Dec 2015 13:45:43 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/12/10/the_ultimate_holiday_gift_guide_for_tech-loving_journalists,_bloggers_and_storytellers http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/12/10/the_ultimate_holiday_gift_guide_for_tech-loving_journalists,_bloggers_and_storytellers Holiday Gift Guide For Journalists and Bloggers

See the original post on Beyond Bylines. 

What do journalists, bloggers and other storytellers really want for the holidays?

Aside from some much-needed downtime – and a magically clear email inbox – they may be dreaming of some of the latest gadgets to hit the scene to help up their game in the new year.

So for you last-minute holiday shoppers struggling to find the perfect gift, we rounded up some of the top tech gifts for the wordsmiths and storytellers on your list. Be it for your blogging friend or futurist family member, these tools could be the little nudge they need to inspire their inner influencer.

Don’t worry if your gift is a little late. These folks appreciate the struggle of meeting a deadline.

1. For the livestreaming newsmaker

In the age of FOMO, journalists and citizen reporters are turning to livestreaming mobile apps like Periscope and Snapchat to share news that is instant and unfiltered.

The challenge in broadcasting street journalism is making a steady video that looks credible. To keep the livestreamer in your life on top of their game, there are a number of tools that can help.

selfie stick or tripod is practical and allows for better visibility and a wider array of shots. A handheld microphone, like the iRig Mic, makes for better sound, too.

2. For the unflinching investigator

For a reporter in a digital-first news landscape, the desire for enterprise storytelling has to be balanced by a need for expediency. But accuracy remains important, too.

Thanks to technology, journalists no longer must be put in the awkward situation of getting their hands on a hot scoop, only to learn they have no time to get back to the newsroom or that their source won’t give up their lone documentation.

A handy portable scanner can read and store images and documents on their devices in just seconds. To ensure they can stay plugged in while following a story, a power bank also is a must-give.

3. For the booming blogger 

The blogger has transformed into a personality all its own, and is very much a force to be reckoned with.

In order to gain credibility, traffic and shares, a consistent spread of quality content and imagery are a must – and not just for their blog, but so they can diversify on their social channels as well.

For the emerging or seasoned blogger, a new camera like the Nikon 1 J5 with selfie-ready screen could help them re-energize and polish their work. If efficiency is a concern, try gifting a voice-recognition program. Programs like Dragonallow bloggers to talk through their thoughts and craft posts via dictation.

4. For the future futurist 

Though we aren’t (yet) riding our hoverboards to work, drone journalism and virtual reality storytelling aren’t so far future. These emerging programs made big strides in 2015, bridging the gap between readers and content for a more immersive and emotional news experience.

For those who want to familiarize themselves with the future of storytelling, a wearable VR headset – like the P2 by DodoCase or Gear VR by Oculus – could aid understanding, while a 360° camera allows users to get more hands on with spherical photography.

For the drone curious, a video flyer like the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition or the more cost-friendly QuadForce Video Drone can help users hone their skills with the next major tool in the journalism toolbox.

2015 Gift Guide for Journalists and Bloggers

5. For the inspired infopreneur

Today’s influential writers are many times seen extending their efforts well beyond the written word to create their own online business or brand out of their information.

But, it’s not an easy feat. In order to be truly successful, wannabe infopreneurs must arm themselves with key business school elements – such as how to create a sustainable business by playing to their strengths, while also appropriately monetizing their expertise.

For someone looking to take on this self-managed role, an e-workshop could be a welcome gift. The Infopreneur Ninja course by Regina Anaejionu of By Regina is a great premium option. Or you could opt for the scaled down 4 Part Entrepreneur Cocktail by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society.

6. For the mobile photographer

Photography has progressed radically from its crude beginnings and complicated chemical process.

Today, demand trumps quality to meet the changes in how people consume and share news. That means photographers must be ready at any moment to point, shoot, and upload an image from a scene.

Luckily, there are tons of mobile apps and add-ons that make photo-taking from cell phones more attractive. A Mini Photo Pro Lens Kit or a Zoom Lens and Tripod for iPhone are solid gift options for DSLR-loving photographers who want to keep a mini studio in their pocket.

7. For the on-the-go audiophile

So many journalists and bloggers today are on the go, zooming from assignment to assignment or event to event.

Whether they’re in the car or on a train, listening to someone else talk can be a great distraction or – even better – the perfect inspiration, especially if reading another word feels daunting.

If you’re sensing commuter fatigue, a subscription to audible.com could do the trick. Membership provides access to one audio book per month, plus 30 percent off additional books. Perfect to listen to on the road, and in between their favorite podcasts.

8. For the aspiring author

With the ability now to self-publish on sites like Kindle and CreateSpace, getting published isn’t the lofty goal it once was.

However, the steps to planning and plotting a novel pretty much remain the same. For first-time novelists and more seasoned scribes, idea generation and story plotting are key to busting through writer’s block.

Software like Scrivener can help your writer hammer through their first draft.  For those who like to put pen to paper, theEvernote Smart Notebook is a fun option that allows for digital upload of any handwritten notes or drawings.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
Career Crossroads: L.A. Fashion Designer’s Transformation From Blogger to Brand Owner

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.

L.A. Style Icon. Blogger. E-Commerce Expert. Social Media Maven. Brand Owner. Creative Consultant. Fashion Designer. Model. Freelancer. Billboard Queen.

This is not a little black book sample of ideal PR contacts. Rather, this is a short list of the various hats worn by epically cool blogger and fashion designer, Chanelle Laurence.

In 2009, Laurence set out on a small vintage e-commerce adventure to gain a following and earn some money, with the ultimate goal of starting her own fashion line.

Fast forward six years later and Laurence is nothing short of a high influencer in her field.

She’s been featured on Rachel Zoe’s curated lifestyle blog, The Zoe Report. Her face and blog were unveiled on aForever 21 billboard in Times Square – on New Year’s Eve. She also was seen, just last week, taking selfies with Victoria’s Secret’s Miranda Kerr at a Reebok for Women event in Los Angeles.

And these are just a few fine moments in her journey from blogger to legit business owner.

Most recently, Laurence delivered on her dream of starting a clothing line. The collaborative project with partner Christian Ojeda – inspired by their Los Angeles native upbringing – combines their different experiences to “create the ultimate cool-girl brand,” aptly named Valley High.

TWO PENELOPES

But it didn’t happen overnight.

Laurence always wanted to be a business owner, but she knew her long-game concept would take time. She had to start forming the building blocks by gaining experience and generating some revenue.

“Online vintage shops were picking up. So, I thought I’d join in and start my own business,” Laurence said. “It’s a low cost, start-up business and I love vintage clothing. It was kind of a no-brainer.”

With that, Penelope’s Vintage – a small online shop of sunglasses and 80s and 90s fashion – was born. She shopped out hidden treasures from local thrift stores, styled and modeled the clothing, and brought the items directly to the consumer via Etsy, and eventually through the shop’s website.

To promote her shop, she started a blog called “The Penelope Times,” where she featured items up for sale and other apparel. In doing so, she foresaw a much greater opportunity.

“I noticed girls making money from their blog and earning a solid following from it,” she said. “I decided to turn the blog, that was originally for my shop, into a personal style blog. I figured one would help out the other if either took off, and it doubled my chance of success.”

From there, Laurence took blogging more seriously and committed to it full time. She pushed herself to attend every event she could to network as much as possible. With it came opportunities to work with some of her favorite brands and, ultimately, resulted in success for both Penelopes. The blog remained ever-present, her shop saw growth year over year, and Laurence’s clever styling was being featured on major blogs like Lucky Magazine’s and Nasty Gal’s.

“It did help gear me up for the clothing line,” Laurence said. “I ended up gaining experience and knowledge for my brand – now which is priceless.”

VALLEY HIGH LIFE

Five years after starting Penelope’s Vintage, Laurence felt she gained the network, experience and knowledge to launch her next business venture with boyfriend Ojeda.

This was something they’d always planned. They went to the same fashion school. They both wanted to be business owners. Each had their different perspectives and experiences to bring to the table. It made sense for them to do this together.

So, while Laurence pursued blogging and vintage e-commerce, Ojeda gained hands-on experience in graphic design, working for leading men’s streetwear brands.

“My epiphany moment was when I met our now production consultant through blogging. She was the missing piece to our puzzle,” she said. “We could design and create a brand for days, but actually producing it was not something we learned in school. Once I met her, I took it as a sign to get this brand going.”

They launched their women’s lifestyle brand Valley High in February 2015 – and so far, so good. They hosted their first event at Coachella. They also secured a retailer in Japan and collaborations with various websites.

For ladies who love to wear graphics and shop their boyfriend’s closets, this brand is a welcome addition.

“Valley High is the wild and stylish sister to Penelope’s Vintage,” said Laurence. “They both stand for the same confident girl that loves fashion and isn’t afraid to push boundaries, but I see a Valley High girl as the one that starts the party, can keep up with the guys, and goes wherever the wind takes her.”

In the production of their line, the duo very much works hand-in-hand. Laurence focuses on the silhouettes, while Ojeda executes the graphics. Then, they both come together to finesse their collections. Once ready, Ojeda shoots the photos and Laurence moves on to social media and marketing.

Chanelle Laurence Brand Owner Quote

ACCIDENTAL TEACHER

While Valley High is the focus of Laurence’s efforts, it didn’t stop her from continuing to explore other avenues.

In her time building two e-commerce brands, blogging, and networking, she’s learned a few things –  and, so, building a consultancy for like-minded individuals was a natural next step.

CL Creative Media started as a resume site for Laurence, showcasing the job roles she’s had, her businesses, along with her many features. But as she built up the site, it started to take on its own identity.

“I gained so much experience through taking on different roles within my businesses throughout the years that I thought I would help other companies out,” Laurence said. “Yes, you can hire a PR agency or content creation agency, but they don’t always have the blogging experience, experience of owning a brand or even that of running an e-commerce. I thought my knowledge and outlook to be unique and valuable and I love helping people out.”

So, how do all these ventures work together?

They don’t really, says Laurence. The only common ground is her blog. “I can blog about Valley High or Penelope’s Vintage, and I can use my blog to help out my clients or put them in contact with my blogger friends that are a good fit for them. Otherwise, I like to keep everything separate so they can grow on their own.

“As for CLCM, all of my businesses serve as a foundation for that business, providing proof and years of hard work as validity.”  

Have an interesting story to share about your media or blogging career?  The Beyond Bylines’ Career Crossroads series features stories and job advice for journalists and bloggers from journalists and bloggers. Tell us your story by emailing media.relations@prnewswire.com.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 11:17:58 -0600 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.

L.A. Style Icon. Blogger. E-Commerce Expert. Social Media Maven. Brand Owner. Creative Consultant. Fashion Designer. Model. Freelancer. Billboard Queen.

This is not a little black book sample of ideal PR contacts. Rather, this is a short list of the various hats worn by epically cool blogger and fashion designer, Chanelle Laurence.

In 2009, Laurence set out on a small vintage e-commerce adventure to gain a following and earn some money, with the ultimate goal of starting her own fashion line.

Fast forward six years later and Laurence is nothing short of a high influencer in her field.

She’s been featured on Rachel Zoe’s curated lifestyle blog, The Zoe Report. Her face and blog were unveiled on aForever 21 billboard in Times Square – on New Year’s Eve. She also was seen, just last week, taking selfies with Victoria’s Secret’s Miranda Kerr at a Reebok for Women event in Los Angeles.

And these are just a few fine moments in her journey from blogger to legit business owner.

Most recently, Laurence delivered on her dream of starting a clothing line. The collaborative project with partner Christian Ojeda – inspired by their Los Angeles native upbringing – combines their different experiences to “create the ultimate cool-girl brand,” aptly named Valley High.

TWO PENELOPES

But it didn’t happen overnight.

Laurence always wanted to be a business owner, but she knew her long-game concept would take time. She had to start forming the building blocks by gaining experience and generating some revenue.

“Online vintage shops were picking up. So, I thought I’d join in and start my own business,” Laurence said. “It’s a low cost, start-up business and I love vintage clothing. It was kind of a no-brainer.”

With that, Penelope’s Vintage – a small online shop of sunglasses and 80s and 90s fashion – was born. She shopped out hidden treasures from local thrift stores, styled and modeled the clothing, and brought the items directly to the consumer via Etsy, and eventually through the shop’s website.

To promote her shop, she started a blog called “The Penelope Times,” where she featured items up for sale and other apparel. In doing so, she foresaw a much greater opportunity.

“I noticed girls making money from their blog and earning a solid following from it,” she said. “I decided to turn the blog, that was originally for my shop, into a personal style blog. I figured one would help out the other if either took off, and it doubled my chance of success.”

From there, Laurence took blogging more seriously and committed to it full time. She pushed herself to attend every event she could to network as much as possible. With it came opportunities to work with some of her favorite brands and, ultimately, resulted in success for both Penelopes. The blog remained ever-present, her shop saw growth year over year, and Laurence’s clever styling was being featured on major blogs like Lucky Magazine’s and Nasty Gal’s.

“It did help gear me up for the clothing line,” Laurence said. “I ended up gaining experience and knowledge for my brand – now which is priceless.”

VALLEY HIGH LIFE

Five years after starting Penelope’s Vintage, Laurence felt she gained the network, experience and knowledge to launch her next business venture with boyfriend Ojeda.

This was something they’d always planned. They went to the same fashion school. They both wanted to be business owners. Each had their different perspectives and experiences to bring to the table. It made sense for them to do this together.

So, while Laurence pursued blogging and vintage e-commerce, Ojeda gained hands-on experience in graphic design, working for leading men’s streetwear brands.

“My epiphany moment was when I met our now production consultant through blogging. She was the missing piece to our puzzle,” she said. “We could design and create a brand for days, but actually producing it was not something we learned in school. Once I met her, I took it as a sign to get this brand going.”

They launched their women’s lifestyle brand Valley High in February 2015 – and so far, so good. They hosted their first event at Coachella. They also secured a retailer in Japan and collaborations with various websites.

For ladies who love to wear graphics and shop their boyfriend’s closets, this brand is a welcome addition.

“Valley High is the wild and stylish sister to Penelope’s Vintage,” said Laurence. “They both stand for the same confident girl that loves fashion and isn’t afraid to push boundaries, but I see a Valley High girl as the one that starts the party, can keep up with the guys, and goes wherever the wind takes her.”

In the production of their line, the duo very much works hand-in-hand. Laurence focuses on the silhouettes, while Ojeda executes the graphics. Then, they both come together to finesse their collections. Once ready, Ojeda shoots the photos and Laurence moves on to social media and marketing.

Chanelle Laurence Brand Owner Quote

ACCIDENTAL TEACHER

While Valley High is the focus of Laurence’s efforts, it didn’t stop her from continuing to explore other avenues.

In her time building two e-commerce brands, blogging, and networking, she’s learned a few things –  and, so, building a consultancy for like-minded individuals was a natural next step.

CL Creative Media started as a resume site for Laurence, showcasing the job roles she’s had, her businesses, along with her many features. But as she built up the site, it started to take on its own identity.

“I gained so much experience through taking on different roles within my businesses throughout the years that I thought I would help other companies out,” Laurence said. “Yes, you can hire a PR agency or content creation agency, but they don’t always have the blogging experience, experience of owning a brand or even that of running an e-commerce. I thought my knowledge and outlook to be unique and valuable and I love helping people out.”

So, how do all these ventures work together?

They don’t really, says Laurence. The only common ground is her blog. “I can blog about Valley High or Penelope’s Vintage, and I can use my blog to help out my clients or put them in contact with my blogger friends that are a good fit for them. Otherwise, I like to keep everything separate so they can grow on their own.

“As for CLCM, all of my businesses serve as a foundation for that business, providing proof and years of hard work as validity.”  

Have an interesting story to share about your media or blogging career?  The Beyond Bylines’ Career Crossroads series features stories and job advice for journalists and bloggers from journalists and bloggers. Tell us your story by emailing media.relations@prnewswire.com.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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0
Bloggers: Why #Periscope Is a Game Changer for Your Blog and Your Brand 1 (3)

With the launch of any new social media platform comes great hesitation – especially from bloggers.

The thought of learning “one more” new thing for your blog can be harrowing. There’s already so much to keep up with, and so, choices must be made.

Periscope recently was added to the social media mix and is seeing quick adoption from online personalities looking to connect with readers authentically, and in real time.

“With the rise in multimedia content marketing platforms, bloggers don’t just blog anymore,” says Kayla Hollatz, an online presence strategist who helps bloggers and entrepreneurs create actionable content. “Video content is a crucial piece to the content marketing puzzle with popular content types like vlogging, webinars, and now Periscope.”

But is it really worth jumping on the bandwagon?

There definitely are some things to take in to consideration before making the move to the app, but overall it’s an exciting way to up your blogging game, grow your community, and show yourself as an early adapter of blogger-friendly technology.

A QUICK 101 ON SCOPING

For those new to Periscope, let’s do a quick breakdown of how it works.

The concept really is simple. You broadcast a live video anytime, anywhere from your phone. To get started, just download the app.

After launching Periscope, you should integrate the app with your Twitter handle. The app is owned by Twitter, so the two work hand-in-hand, especially in helping get exposure to grow your audience.

Once you’re logged in, go to the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Your first visit here will allow you to enable your camera, microphone, and location. After granting permission for all three, you’re ready to stream.

You can adjust all of your scope features – title, location, privacy, chat, and Twitter posting – conveniently from stream to stream, depending on the type of scope video you want to create. For example, you can expand your audience by making your scope available to everyone. You also can offer an exclusive look to select followers by choosing to do an invite-only scope instead.

For more specifics, see my in-depth Periscope 101 post on how to broadcast street journalism from your phone.

Periscope and visual storytelling

WHY PERISCOPE IS A GAME-CHANGER FOR BLOGGERS

Scopes are quick and digestible. “Readers like videos because visual storytelling can be quickly absorbed and is incredibly relatable. This has created a demand for effective, authentic video content,” says Hollatz. Scopes are a great way to get through to your readers in a quick and easy way that (if done well) will keep them coming back for more, time and again.

They are live and uncut. Authenticity is a key factor in building your network, and it doesn’t get any more real than this. “Getting to know the real blogger behind the brand has never been easier or more important,” says Hollatz. With Periscope, you can really show your audience who you are, with a glimpse of what it’s like to hang with you in person.

It’s a time saver – in so many ways. Not only does Periscope eliminate the hassle that usually comes with creating video content (we’re talking no frills here, and no editing), it’s a venue for immediate feedback from your audience.

Its an instantly connective platform to grow your network. The give-and-take format of a live audience breeds creativity, while also positioning you — the centerpiece of the video — as an expert and leader. Hollatz uses Periscope to advise her followers on community building, while building her own community in the process. She pairs scope videos with her weekly Twitter chat, #createlounge. “It all integrates together nicely,” she says.

One broadcast can be repurposed across multiple platforms. Broadcast replays vanish from Periscope after 24 hours. To allow your content to live online longer, adjust your settings to autosave all videos to your camera roll for repurposing later. This allows for quick upload to YouTube, Facebook, or your blog. Another option is to add the #katch hashtag to your title before starting your broadcast. It’s an easy hack that will extend the shelf-life of your scope online.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before truly diving in, do a quick soul search for your blog. Ask yourself: “Is my audience even interested in this platform?”  You want to make sure they’ll show up before making the commitment. Otherwise, you could opting to do more work without a concrete payoff in sight.

“The best way to determine this is if you look for other bloggers in your niche to see if they have adapted Periscope into their brand strategy and if it has been successful,” says Hollatz. “If your audience is interested, it’s worth testing to see if it’s worth your time investment and fits into your overall brand strategy.”

Pericope topics for bloggers infographic

HOW TO PREP FOR A REAL-DEAL LIVE BROADCAST

Make sure your idea is scope-worthy. Bloggers know better than most the shrinking attention span of online audiences. Because of this, it’s critical to find new ways to keep your audience in the palm of your hand with attention-grabbing content.

“A scope-worthy broadcast is one that has the perfect blend of actionable tips and personal experience. If you can be transparent, passionate, creative, and authentic in your delivery, you’re well on your way to making a big splash,” says Hollatz.

Create an outline and rehearse it once or twice. “What I hear most from bloggers who haven’t jumped on Periscope yet is that their nerves keep them from broadcasting. As an introvert, I get it,” says Hollatz.

To help your first broadcasts go smoothly, Hollatz suggests writing talking points on notecards to help you stay focused. This also provides you with a point of reference if you draw a blank. She also recommends trying out a private scope with a close friend so that you can live and learn the features together, like flipping the camera view and responding to comments.

But, don’t be afraid to be spontaneous. As mentioned before, authenticity is such a critical part of growing your audience. No one wants to see you locked up in robot form. Human moments are endearing and relatable, so don’t be afraid to break away from your outline to relax, have fun, and be yourself.

Stabilize your phone. Not everyone has a steady hand or is good at multitasking. For a smoother video, a tripod for your phone could be a wise (and affordable) investment. A selfie stick also can help you get a wider array of shots and angles. As far as orientation, Periscope recently integrated landscape video mode. Decide which orientation is best for your video and where you want to house it before you start, so you won’t be distracted by setup.

Dress the part. There are plenty of bloggers out there going the #NoMakeup route on Periscope. But, that can be an intimidating approach when you’re broadcasting a video to anyone who wants to watch. Confidence is key to eliciting trust. Dressing up a little can give you the boost you need to own that power position so your audience takes you seriously.

Create captivating titles. Give your stream a title that’s relevant to your scope and audience. The title should be captivating, search friendly, and include smart hashtags. You want to compel your audience to click now and also make it easy for people to find later. (Tip: Check out @Kayla_Hollatz’s Periscope tweets for some great examples).

Promote your scope ahead of broadcast. Prior to your scope, there are a couple things you’ll want to do. First, alert your social media audience. A countdown tweet in the hours before and again in the minutes before can help draw viewers. Second, before you broadcast, be sure that the Twitter post feature is on, so that your followers are notified to tune in.

Now, you’re ready to broadcast like a pro.

If you’re still feeling unsure about jumping in, go secure your name – even if you don’t plan on using it right away. Then, you’re there with your desired name when ready.

In the meantime, you can follow others and participate in their broadcasts. Relationships are built even if you don’t hit “start broadcast” yourself.

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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]]>
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:57:47 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/10/01/bloggers:_why_periscope_is_a_game_changer_for_your_blog_and_your_brand http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/10/01/bloggers:_why_periscope_is_a_game_changer_for_your_blog_and_your_brand 1 (3)

With the launch of any new social media platform comes great hesitation – especially from bloggers.

The thought of learning “one more” new thing for your blog can be harrowing. There’s already so much to keep up with, and so, choices must be made.

Periscope recently was added to the social media mix and is seeing quick adoption from online personalities looking to connect with readers authentically, and in real time.

“With the rise in multimedia content marketing platforms, bloggers don’t just blog anymore,” says Kayla Hollatz, an online presence strategist who helps bloggers and entrepreneurs create actionable content. “Video content is a crucial piece to the content marketing puzzle with popular content types like vlogging, webinars, and now Periscope.”

But is it really worth jumping on the bandwagon?

There definitely are some things to take in to consideration before making the move to the app, but overall it’s an exciting way to up your blogging game, grow your community, and show yourself as an early adapter of blogger-friendly technology.

A QUICK 101 ON SCOPING

For those new to Periscope, let’s do a quick breakdown of how it works.

The concept really is simple. You broadcast a live video anytime, anywhere from your phone. To get started, just download the app.

After launching Periscope, you should integrate the app with your Twitter handle. The app is owned by Twitter, so the two work hand-in-hand, especially in helping get exposure to grow your audience.

Once you’re logged in, go to the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Your first visit here will allow you to enable your camera, microphone, and location. After granting permission for all three, you’re ready to stream.

You can adjust all of your scope features – title, location, privacy, chat, and Twitter posting – conveniently from stream to stream, depending on the type of scope video you want to create. For example, you can expand your audience by making your scope available to everyone. You also can offer an exclusive look to select followers by choosing to do an invite-only scope instead.

For more specifics, see my in-depth Periscope 101 post on how to broadcast street journalism from your phone.

Periscope and visual storytelling

WHY PERISCOPE IS A GAME-CHANGER FOR BLOGGERS

Scopes are quick and digestible. “Readers like videos because visual storytelling can be quickly absorbed and is incredibly relatable. This has created a demand for effective, authentic video content,” says Hollatz. Scopes are a great way to get through to your readers in a quick and easy way that (if done well) will keep them coming back for more, time and again.

They are live and uncut. Authenticity is a key factor in building your network, and it doesn’t get any more real than this. “Getting to know the real blogger behind the brand has never been easier or more important,” says Hollatz. With Periscope, you can really show your audience who you are, with a glimpse of what it’s like to hang with you in person.

It’s a time saver – in so many ways. Not only does Periscope eliminate the hassle that usually comes with creating video content (we’re talking no frills here, and no editing), it’s a venue for immediate feedback from your audience.

Its an instantly connective platform to grow your network. The give-and-take format of a live audience breeds creativity, while also positioning you — the centerpiece of the video — as an expert and leader. Hollatz uses Periscope to advise her followers on community building, while building her own community in the process. She pairs scope videos with her weekly Twitter chat, #createlounge. “It all integrates together nicely,” she says.

One broadcast can be repurposed across multiple platforms. Broadcast replays vanish from Periscope after 24 hours. To allow your content to live online longer, adjust your settings to autosave all videos to your camera roll for repurposing later. This allows for quick upload to YouTube, Facebook, or your blog. Another option is to add the #katch hashtag to your title before starting your broadcast. It’s an easy hack that will extend the shelf-life of your scope online.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before truly diving in, do a quick soul search for your blog. Ask yourself: “Is my audience even interested in this platform?”  You want to make sure they’ll show up before making the commitment. Otherwise, you could opting to do more work without a concrete payoff in sight.

“The best way to determine this is if you look for other bloggers in your niche to see if they have adapted Periscope into their brand strategy and if it has been successful,” says Hollatz. “If your audience is interested, it’s worth testing to see if it’s worth your time investment and fits into your overall brand strategy.”

Pericope topics for bloggers infographic

HOW TO PREP FOR A REAL-DEAL LIVE BROADCAST

Make sure your idea is scope-worthy. Bloggers know better than most the shrinking attention span of online audiences. Because of this, it’s critical to find new ways to keep your audience in the palm of your hand with attention-grabbing content.

“A scope-worthy broadcast is one that has the perfect blend of actionable tips and personal experience. If you can be transparent, passionate, creative, and authentic in your delivery, you’re well on your way to making a big splash,” says Hollatz.

Create an outline and rehearse it once or twice. “What I hear most from bloggers who haven’t jumped on Periscope yet is that their nerves keep them from broadcasting. As an introvert, I get it,” says Hollatz.

To help your first broadcasts go smoothly, Hollatz suggests writing talking points on notecards to help you stay focused. This also provides you with a point of reference if you draw a blank. She also recommends trying out a private scope with a close friend so that you can live and learn the features together, like flipping the camera view and responding to comments.

But, don’t be afraid to be spontaneous. As mentioned before, authenticity is such a critical part of growing your audience. No one wants to see you locked up in robot form. Human moments are endearing and relatable, so don’t be afraid to break away from your outline to relax, have fun, and be yourself.

Stabilize your phone. Not everyone has a steady hand or is good at multitasking. For a smoother video, a tripod for your phone could be a wise (and affordable) investment. A selfie stick also can help you get a wider array of shots and angles. As far as orientation, Periscope recently integrated landscape video mode. Decide which orientation is best for your video and where you want to house it before you start, so you won’t be distracted by setup.

Dress the part. There are plenty of bloggers out there going the #NoMakeup route on Periscope. But, that can be an intimidating approach when you’re broadcasting a video to anyone who wants to watch. Confidence is key to eliciting trust. Dressing up a little can give you the boost you need to own that power position so your audience takes you seriously.

Create captivating titles. Give your stream a title that’s relevant to your scope and audience. The title should be captivating, search friendly, and include smart hashtags. You want to compel your audience to click now and also make it easy for people to find later. (Tip: Check out @Kayla_Hollatz’s Periscope tweets for some great examples).

Promote your scope ahead of broadcast. Prior to your scope, there are a couple things you’ll want to do. First, alert your social media audience. A countdown tweet in the hours before and again in the minutes before can help draw viewers. Second, before you broadcast, be sure that the Twitter post feature is on, so that your followers are notified to tune in.

Now, you’re ready to broadcast like a pro.

If you’re still feeling unsure about jumping in, go secure your name – even if you don’t plan on using it right away. Then, you’re there with your desired name when ready.

In the meantime, you can follow others and participate in their broadcasts. Relationships are built even if you don’t hit “start broadcast” yourself.

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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0
How to Build Your Own Blogger Brain Trust blogger braintrust

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.

 

In the first of this two-part series, we talked about The Power of the Blogger Friend Network.

There, eight bloggers shared with us the most crucial reasons for finding a community of like-minded creatives for the success of your blog.

We learned that, when carefully cultivated, blogger friends can develop deep bonds, inspire new ideas, and even help form the building blocks of a business.

But how does a blogger go from a one-man show to having an extensive online network of advisors and friends?

I tapped the same group of bloggers to talk about how they built their ever-growing networks and asked them to share tips and best practices. Here’s what they had to say.

1. FIND THEM WHERE THEY ARE: Human contact is key

Similar to how you’d network for any other professional or social function, growing your blog network is all about variety. That includes seeking out local blogger groups, regional or national conferences within your blog’s specific niche, virtual networking through online forums and social media chats, and attending blogger/media tours when the opportunity arises. Pursuing a variety of networking opportunities means you’ll experience a variety of bloggers. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR, @adhicken

I started by attending every event I got invited to, big or small.  By doing this I continued to see the same familiar faces and we eventually all became friends. I got invited to more and more events, met more and more companies and brands, got to travel and get paid to collaborate with different brands all through friends and by networking. Chanelle Laurence of The Penelope Times and Valley High, @chanelledotcom

2. LISTEN AND BE KIND: It goes a long way

People in the social media space are storytellers; embrace your own story and lean in to hear what others have to say. Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me@sixuntilme

The big thing for me is that I’m very friendly with everyone no matter how big or small an audience is (i.e., everyone is important). It just was an organic and authentic evolution of working together. Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

My advice to other bloggers in forming a network is find a few bloggers to read regularly and whose opinion you respect – and just start a conversation. Comment frequently, but be respectful.  Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview

3. SEEK OUT PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Create alliances for growth

I take any chance to guest post, help a friend out with a feature, or collaborate on a project. By reaching out, you’re creating a bridge to new opportunities and helping foster a team spirit throughout the industry.Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

Community building has accelerated our business in what we can offer our audiences. We’ve collaborated successfully on content partnerships, expanding the voices that appear on our blog regularly. It’s a matter of identifying mutual goals, communicating and establishing great working relationships and transitioning them from the online world to the real world. – Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

4. PAY IT FORWARD: It’s a give-give relationship

Networking is about building relationships, and I have watched people go from not knowing one another’s names to sharing intimate moments. Those “me, too” moments are powerful. Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me@sixuntilme

Make sure to go into it with a “give-give” attitude – it won’t work if you’re expecting something in return every time you do something for someone. – Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

5. BE AUTHENTIC: Transparency trumps trickery

Be genuine and true to whatever brand you’ve established. Politeness, friendliness and appreciating others’ work goes a long, long way. Don’t always look to get something directly out of an email or a retweet. Building a community is its own reward.Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

Be authentic. I can’t stress that enough. Candidly, most of my connections started off because we mutually love cats (Like, LOVE cats), animals, or some other non-wedding-related thing. So in a natural progression, we found the personal connection, and that made our professional relationship much more meaningful. Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

As much as I enjoy the “eye candy” aspect of highly curated Instagram feeds, I find that that my strongest online relationships have stemmed from people who believe in the same level of transparency that I do.Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

6. ALWAYS PRODUCE VALUABLE CONTENT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE: The people will come

We’re clear on our brand, who our audience is, and the types of contacts we need to create great content for them. Putting great content forward on our blog and starting the dialog on our social media channels attracts new contacts. – Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

Don’t try to publicize your content on other people’s sites (their blog is not your advertising space) or be overtly self-promotional, in general. If your stuff is good, people will find it. Be patient – it takes a minute.  Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview

7. JUST ASK: What do you have to lose?

If I see that a blogger will be in my region, I’ll be the first to drop them a line and invite them to coffee. Likewise, if I’m traveling to a locale where a blogger may live, I don’t hesitate to reach out and see if we can catch up. While the majority of our networking takes place online, I find that the face-to-face time is invaluable if you can get it. Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

Just be you and don’t be afraid to reach out. The blogging world is a great one with a lot of media power, and it’s only stronger together! Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

blogger infographic

Bloggers: Need help finding story ideas or connecting with expert sources? Let us know. PR Newswire for Journalists is your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet expert queries and our multimedia gallery. Best of all, it’s free. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 15:07:43 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/09/25/how_to_build_your_own_blogger_brain_trust http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/09/25/how_to_build_your_own_blogger_brain_trust blogger braintrust

See the original post on Beyond Bylines.

 

In the first of this two-part series, we talked about The Power of the Blogger Friend Network.

There, eight bloggers shared with us the most crucial reasons for finding a community of like-minded creatives for the success of your blog.

We learned that, when carefully cultivated, blogger friends can develop deep bonds, inspire new ideas, and even help form the building blocks of a business.

But how does a blogger go from a one-man show to having an extensive online network of advisors and friends?

I tapped the same group of bloggers to talk about how they built their ever-growing networks and asked them to share tips and best practices. Here’s what they had to say.

1. FIND THEM WHERE THEY ARE: Human contact is key

Similar to how you’d network for any other professional or social function, growing your blog network is all about variety. That includes seeking out local blogger groups, regional or national conferences within your blog’s specific niche, virtual networking through online forums and social media chats, and attending blogger/media tours when the opportunity arises. Pursuing a variety of networking opportunities means you’ll experience a variety of bloggers. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR, @adhicken

I started by attending every event I got invited to, big or small.  By doing this I continued to see the same familiar faces and we eventually all became friends. I got invited to more and more events, met more and more companies and brands, got to travel and get paid to collaborate with different brands all through friends and by networking. Chanelle Laurence of The Penelope Times and Valley High, @chanelledotcom

2. LISTEN AND BE KIND: It goes a long way

People in the social media space are storytellers; embrace your own story and lean in to hear what others have to say. Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me@sixuntilme

The big thing for me is that I’m very friendly with everyone no matter how big or small an audience is (i.e., everyone is important). It just was an organic and authentic evolution of working together. Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

My advice to other bloggers in forming a network is find a few bloggers to read regularly and whose opinion you respect – and just start a conversation. Comment frequently, but be respectful.  Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview

3. SEEK OUT PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Create alliances for growth

I take any chance to guest post, help a friend out with a feature, or collaborate on a project. By reaching out, you’re creating a bridge to new opportunities and helping foster a team spirit throughout the industry.Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

Community building has accelerated our business in what we can offer our audiences. We’ve collaborated successfully on content partnerships, expanding the voices that appear on our blog regularly. It’s a matter of identifying mutual goals, communicating and establishing great working relationships and transitioning them from the online world to the real world. – Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

4. PAY IT FORWARD: It’s a give-give relationship

Networking is about building relationships, and I have watched people go from not knowing one another’s names to sharing intimate moments. Those “me, too” moments are powerful. Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me@sixuntilme

Make sure to go into it with a “give-give” attitude – it won’t work if you’re expecting something in return every time you do something for someone. – Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

5. BE AUTHENTIC: Transparency trumps trickery

Be genuine and true to whatever brand you’ve established. Politeness, friendliness and appreciating others’ work goes a long, long way. Don’t always look to get something directly out of an email or a retweet. Building a community is its own reward.Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

Be authentic. I can’t stress that enough. Candidly, most of my connections started off because we mutually love cats (Like, LOVE cats), animals, or some other non-wedding-related thing. So in a natural progression, we found the personal connection, and that made our professional relationship much more meaningful. Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

As much as I enjoy the “eye candy” aspect of highly curated Instagram feeds, I find that that my strongest online relationships have stemmed from people who believe in the same level of transparency that I do.Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

6. ALWAYS PRODUCE VALUABLE CONTENT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE: The people will come

We’re clear on our brand, who our audience is, and the types of contacts we need to create great content for them. Putting great content forward on our blog and starting the dialog on our social media channels attracts new contacts. – Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

Don’t try to publicize your content on other people’s sites (their blog is not your advertising space) or be overtly self-promotional, in general. If your stuff is good, people will find it. Be patient – it takes a minute.  Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview

7. JUST ASK: What do you have to lose?

If I see that a blogger will be in my region, I’ll be the first to drop them a line and invite them to coffee. Likewise, if I’m traveling to a locale where a blogger may live, I don’t hesitate to reach out and see if we can catch up. While the majority of our networking takes place online, I find that the face-to-face time is invaluable if you can get it. Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

Just be you and don’t be afraid to reach out. The blogging world is a great one with a lot of media power, and it’s only stronger together! Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

blogger infographic

Bloggers: Need help finding story ideas or connecting with expert sources? Let us know. PR Newswire for Journalists is your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet expert queries and our multimedia gallery. Best of all, it’s free. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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0
Blogger Networks: 10 Reasons to Find Your Inner Circle Blogger Networking

See the original post here on Beyond Bylines.

 

No man is an island, as the idiom goes. That’s especially true for bloggers.

Once you embark on a creative venture, like building your brand as a blogger, it’s crucial to find like-minded people who understand you – even if they aren’t in the same niche.

If you don’t have others to lean on, dream with and scheme with, you could end up stunting your creativity as well as your personal and online growth. This lack of a support system could diminish your true blogger power.

I connected with a few established bloggers from various niches, including some from my own network, to talk about how their blogging community has impacted them.

In their words, here are 10 reasons to find an inner circle of like-minded creatives for the success of your own blog.

1. It’s a community, not a one-person show.  

The more you help other people and collaborate, the more you will be helped in return. A lot of people get competitive and look out for themselves, but blogging is an area where collaboration and helping each other will get you further than looking out for No. 1. – Chanelle Laurence of The Penelope Times and Valley High, @chanelledotcom

2. Bloggers form powerful bonds. 

The diabetes online community is rooted in taking care of one another and making diabetes something that we live with instead of something that we are consumed by.  Diagnosed as a young child, I didn’t have access to many other people who understood the intimacies of life with chronic illness. As I grew into adulthood, I wanted to connect with like-minded (and like-pancreased) people who could offer advice, anecdotes, and those “me, too!” moments. Sharing stories and experiences with others helps our community grow, allowing people to feel less alone and more empowered. – Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me, @sixuntilme

3. They inspire new ideas.

My wedding editor friends and colleagues are those I’m influenced by daily. It’s an iron-sharpens-iron situation; we challenge each other as we all really strive for one goal: provide wedding inspiration on a daily basis and financially support our families for the long haul.  Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

4. They teach you how to up your game. 

Many blogs are one-person operations with their bloggers being expected to write, design, code, etc. However, no one is an expert on everything. Although some bloggers are strong writers, others are experts at graphic design or shooting, editing, and publishing video. My favorite thing about networking with other bloggers is being able to ask questions in a supportive environment and learn from my peers who excel in areas I don’t. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR, @adhicken

5. They offer the outside perspective you need.

We don’t always agree, but contrary to the Internet at large, when we disagree, we are almost always civil to each other. This is one of the biggest benefits of a community – of trusting of the opinions of people you’ve never met in person – that you can talk and learn and have disagreements without losing your mind, and retreating to sites that just reinforce your already-held opinions. – Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview

6. They provide long-lasting exposure for your blog. 

Networks and building friendships can help grow a loyal blog following. I did a #connectchat with Bryce Gruber who said, “Build traffic like you’d build friendships.” New bloggers make the mistake of assuming new visitors will regularly revisit their site – this is not always true. To have a successful blog, people must be able to find your blog. Blogging networks expose your blog to other people within your niche.  Mel Ibarra of Diaper Etiquette and The Blog Blog, @melibarratv

7. They can help you grow both personally and professionally. 

Blogging has helped me develop a career that involves a topic that I care deeply about, while aiding me in giving back to a community that I respect and value. In a professional sense, blogging has helped me develop my voice as a writer and, through my work with different diabetes organizations and companies, has allowed me to support my family. The psychosocial influence of blogging and finding community makes any professional opportunity seem insignificant by comparison. Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me@sixuntilme

8. Their support is key to building a successful brand and business. 

The very foundation of my business is built on relationships, including the connections I’ve made with bloggers. I’ve built my agency from a small regional PR agency to one with national recognition among my industry peers, and I owe that, in part, to the mutually beneficial relationships forged with bloggers. – Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

9. They help reaffirm your mission. 

We have learned more about Filipino Americans and what makes their successes and struggles unique. Many times we’ve picked up new skills and shared our own with others. We’ve learned how much people really love Filipino food and culture. It’s a constant reaffirmation of our mission. Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

10. They empower you to keep going – every day. 

Networking with other bloggers can also provide inspiration and accountability. There have been many moments when I’ve felt burned out on blogging (every blogger does!). But, spending just a few hours chatting with other bloggers renewed my passion for my blog. Currently, I’m going through a complete redesign and retooling of my personal blog.  It can be a drag sometimes. However, being asked by my fellow bloggers how it’s progressing keeps me on track. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR@adhicken

So how can you build your own inner circle?

Stay tuned for Part Two on how to unleash the power of the blogger friend network, with tips on how to cultivate your own blogger brain trust.

Bloggers: Need help finding story ideas or connecting with expert sources? Let us know. PR Newswire for Journalists is your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet expert queries and our multimedia gallery. Best of all, it’s free. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:14:35 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/09/21/blogger_networks:_10_reasons_to_find_your_inner_circle http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/09/21/blogger_networks:_10_reasons_to_find_your_inner_circle Blogger Networking

See the original post here on Beyond Bylines.

 

No man is an island, as the idiom goes. That’s especially true for bloggers.

Once you embark on a creative venture, like building your brand as a blogger, it’s crucial to find like-minded people who understand you – even if they aren’t in the same niche.

If you don’t have others to lean on, dream with and scheme with, you could end up stunting your creativity as well as your personal and online growth. This lack of a support system could diminish your true blogger power.

I connected with a few established bloggers from various niches, including some from my own network, to talk about how their blogging community has impacted them.

In their words, here are 10 reasons to find an inner circle of like-minded creatives for the success of your own blog.

1. It’s a community, not a one-person show.  

The more you help other people and collaborate, the more you will be helped in return. A lot of people get competitive and look out for themselves, but blogging is an area where collaboration and helping each other will get you further than looking out for No. 1. – Chanelle Laurence of The Penelope Times and Valley High, @chanelledotcom

2. Bloggers form powerful bonds. 

The diabetes online community is rooted in taking care of one another and making diabetes something that we live with instead of something that we are consumed by.  Diagnosed as a young child, I didn’t have access to many other people who understood the intimacies of life with chronic illness. As I grew into adulthood, I wanted to connect with like-minded (and like-pancreased) people who could offer advice, anecdotes, and those “me, too!” moments. Sharing stories and experiences with others helps our community grow, allowing people to feel less alone and more empowered. – Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me, @sixuntilme

3. They inspire new ideas.

My wedding editor friends and colleagues are those I’m influenced by daily. It’s an iron-sharpens-iron situation; we challenge each other as we all really strive for one goal: provide wedding inspiration on a daily basis and financially support our families for the long haul.  Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle

4. They teach you how to up your game. 

Many blogs are one-person operations with their bloggers being expected to write, design, code, etc. However, no one is an expert on everything. Although some bloggers are strong writers, others are experts at graphic design or shooting, editing, and publishing video. My favorite thing about networking with other bloggers is being able to ask questions in a supportive environment and learn from my peers who excel in areas I don’t. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR, @adhicken

5. They offer the outside perspective you need.

We don’t always agree, but contrary to the Internet at large, when we disagree, we are almost always civil to each other. This is one of the biggest benefits of a community – of trusting of the opinions of people you’ve never met in person – that you can talk and learn and have disagreements without losing your mind, and retreating to sites that just reinforce your already-held opinions. – Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview

6. They provide long-lasting exposure for your blog. 

Networks and building friendships can help grow a loyal blog following. I did a #connectchat with Bryce Gruber who said, “Build traffic like you’d build friendships.” New bloggers make the mistake of assuming new visitors will regularly revisit their site – this is not always true. To have a successful blog, people must be able to find your blog. Blogging networks expose your blog to other people within your niche.  Mel Ibarra of Diaper Etiquette and The Blog Blog, @melibarratv

7. They can help you grow both personally and professionally. 

Blogging has helped me develop a career that involves a topic that I care deeply about, while aiding me in giving back to a community that I respect and value. In a professional sense, blogging has helped me develop my voice as a writer and, through my work with different diabetes organizations and companies, has allowed me to support my family. The psychosocial influence of blogging and finding community makes any professional opportunity seem insignificant by comparison. Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me@sixuntilme

8. Their support is key to building a successful brand and business. 

The very foundation of my business is built on relationships, including the connections I’ve made with bloggers. I’ve built my agency from a small regional PR agency to one with national recognition among my industry peers, and I owe that, in part, to the mutually beneficial relationships forged with bloggers. – Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting

9. They help reaffirm your mission. 

We have learned more about Filipino Americans and what makes their successes and struggles unique. Many times we’ve picked up new skills and shared our own with others. We’ve learned how much people really love Filipino food and culture. It’s a constant reaffirmation of our mission. Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen

10. They empower you to keep going – every day. 

Networking with other bloggers can also provide inspiration and accountability. There have been many moments when I’ve felt burned out on blogging (every blogger does!). But, spending just a few hours chatting with other bloggers renewed my passion for my blog. Currently, I’m going through a complete redesign and retooling of my personal blog.  It can be a drag sometimes. However, being asked by my fellow bloggers how it’s progressing keeps me on track. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR@adhicken

So how can you build your own inner circle?

Stay tuned for Part Two on how to unleash the power of the blogger friend network, with tips on how to cultivate your own blogger brain trust.

Bloggers: Need help finding story ideas or connecting with expert sources? Let us know. PR Newswire for Journalists is your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet expert queries and our multimedia gallery. Best of all, it’s free. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
0
9 Tips for Journalists Covering Traumatic Events trauma (2)

Journalists often are “first responders” when it comes to traumatic events.

Crisis and conflict challenge reporters on the ground, both in the midst of the breaking news and for months – sometimes years – following.  As they quickly work to process and document the news, they also see, experience, and absorb what’s happening to those they’re covering.

We connected with three journalists with first-hand experience covering trauma – from war-time activities in Iraq and Afghanistan to recent events in Baltimore, Charleston, SC, and Ferguson, MO, as well as crime and natural disasters. They spoke about the difficult role of storytelling in these scenarios.

We spoke with:

  • Amy McCullough (@AmyMac418), news editor with Air Force Magazine and president of the Military Reporters and Editors Association;
  • Andrew Renneisen (@AndrewRenneisen), a Brooklyn-based freelance documentary photographer, frequently published in the New York Times; and
  • Sam Owens (@samowensphoto), staff photojournalist with The Charleston Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia.

Based on our conversations, here are nine tips to stay safe (and sane) while covering a traumatic story or beat.

1. Prepare yourself.  

Whether you’re headed to a combat zone, natural disaster or riot, do your research before you go.

“Understand the environment and the hazards ahead of time,” says McCullough. “Know the cultural implications. Anything can change at any second, so never get too comfortable.”

As a defense reporter working risk-laden environments, McCullough must be ready for anything. Before going downrange, she took a class through Centurian, a UK-based program for frontline journalists and workers, taught by retired British special forces. The course equips media with tools to assess their safety and replicates real-life scenarios, like getting kidnapped. She also learned to sleep with all necessary gear – including body armor, boots and notepad – within reach. This came in handy during a 3 a.m. rocket attack while on assignment in Afghanistan.

For Owens, who covers breaking news, having charged batteries, phone and laptop, and a full tank of gas are important. She’ll keep a long lens for her camera, too, in case she needs to keep her distance from an active situation. Her newsroom provides a number of items for weather-related incidents, but she also created a safety kit that she keeps in her car in case a story unfolds in front of her.

With these unanticipated scenarios, keeping mentally prepared is critical. “Mental preparedness is just as important as physical preparedness at a breaking news scene,” Owens says. “I have found I make much more compelling images if I have taken time to process why I am there and why it is important to document the difficult times along with the good.”

2. Find your fellow journalists.

Finding a support system on the ground – even if they work for competing news organizations – can provide a second (or third, or fourth) set of eyes and ears as you focus on your subject or story.

“Having someone else you trust in a hostile environment is crucial,” says Renneisen. “Ferguson was one of the first times I worked in a really volatile environment. Without the help of other more experienced photographers, it would’ve been more difficult to stay safe.”

Utilize this core group as a sounding board, too. You don’t have to trade story ideas, angles, or scoops – just talk as humans about what you see. You’re likely processing a lot of heavy information quickly and talking it out with those around you can help alleviate the natural stress you’re experiencing. If you don’t feel comfortable, check in with your colleagues, family and friends, and see who’s willing to listen.

3. Explain your purpose.

Be transparent about who you are and why you’re there. Let the people around you know that you’re there to tell their story and will listen if they want to talk.

“A good friend and mentor of mine, Jake May, who I worked under at The Flint Journal, taught me a majority of what I know about making clear, caring images at breaking news scenes,” says Owens. “He will walk up to as many firefighters, police officers and officials at a scene to introduce himself, if he doesn’t know them already, in order to explain who he is and what his purpose is, which usually allows him better access in the long run.

“It’s important to be able to express my purpose to those around me, or those that I am documenting, whenever I get the chance,” she says.

4. Give those involved time and space.

In most cases, the people you’re meeting and interacting with have just seen the unthinkable and are working to process it all. After making clear who you are and why you’re there, listen, remain calm, and be considerate of their willingness to talk with you.

“It takes respect, a level head, and an ability to understand what the people are going through,” says Renneisen.

“No matter what I do, there are going to be some people out there who instinctively react negatively to my presence as a member of the media,” added Owens. “What I can do is learn to respect their opinion as a fellow human being, and move along to do my job with the intent of being as caring and compassionate as possible.”

5. Be flexible.

Especially about your methods of interviewing. Some people may not feel comfortable about being recorded, and prefer you take notes, or vice versa. If you can’t reach a person of interest, use third parties. Connect with their friends or family members. They are their gatekeepers.

As Owens explains, you want to be flexible in how you cover the story for yourself, too.

“Trust your intuition, and give yourself permission to exit the scene whenever you feel your limit has been pushed too far,” she says. “In my opinion, no photograph is worth comprising your own boundaries or safety. You need to get to know what those limits are for yourself; no two journalists are alike in every situation.”

6. Use your downtime wisely.

Downtime is a relative term in these scenarios. As McCullough put it, “It’s all part of the job.”

But, when activity is at a low, use this time to collect the questions you need answers to and seek verification. There may be answers you can get by doing research that doesn’t require you speaking with people.

You also can use this time to transmit any remaining images, interviews, and information back to your newsroom or online.

7. Use social media as a tool.

Search on social is your friend. If possible, curate source lists on Twitter or Facebook ahead of time. These lists should include relevant subjects, such as local officials, other news outlets, people on the scene sharing photos and information about what they see, and more.

Once you’re actively working a scene, be sure to follow any relevant hashtags. You can use lists and hashtags to corroborate information, like the source of a photo. You also can use them to find people who could verify a situation.  For more, see our post on How to Use Facebook as a Reporting Tool.

8. Look for signs that you need help. 

Quickly processing so much upsetting information can leave you feeling as though you lived through the same horrific events your subjects did. This can make it difficult to push through your coverage, or even move on to the next story.

Owens says she sometimes feels uncomfortable with the idea of covering tragic events.

“There are days where my walls break down, and I feel like a vulture,” she says. “It’s a heavy privilege to take images of the dark times, the times that are occasionally some of the worst days in a person’s or community’s lifetime.”

If you’re struggling to shake the effects, the key is to track down your available resources and ask for help.

“Journalists can get PTSD, too,” explains McCullough. “I have quite a few reporter friends who have gone to a therapist after returning from the war zone. We may not be carrying a weapon, but we often see the same atrocities as military members.”

Renneisen lets his camera act a shield: “I’m documenting, doing my job and I know why I am there. If after that it becomes more difficult, I always make sure I have someone to talk to if something is bothering me.”

9. Find an outlet after the fact.

Find a form of release or a way to cope when you have free time.

“Learn what makes you unwind, whether it can be achieved through exercise, music, reading, cooking, etc,” says Owens.

For Renneisen, surfing and being by the water does the trick. McCullough spends some of her free time at the gym.

Once you know yourself,” continued Owens, “it will be much easier to deal with the ups and downs of covering a tragic event or breaking news scene. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice.”

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
]]>
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:59:35 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/21/9_tips_for_journalists_covering_traumatic_events http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/21/9_tips_for_journalists_covering_traumatic_events trauma (2)

Journalists often are “first responders” when it comes to traumatic events.

Crisis and conflict challenge reporters on the ground, both in the midst of the breaking news and for months – sometimes years – following.  As they quickly work to process and document the news, they also see, experience, and absorb what’s happening to those they’re covering.

We connected with three journalists with first-hand experience covering trauma – from war-time activities in Iraq and Afghanistan to recent events in Baltimore, Charleston, SC, and Ferguson, MO, as well as crime and natural disasters. They spoke about the difficult role of storytelling in these scenarios.

We spoke with:

  • Amy McCullough (@AmyMac418), news editor with Air Force Magazine and president of the Military Reporters and Editors Association;
  • Andrew Renneisen (@AndrewRenneisen), a Brooklyn-based freelance documentary photographer, frequently published in the New York Times; and
  • Sam Owens (@samowensphoto), staff photojournalist with The Charleston Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia.

Based on our conversations, here are nine tips to stay safe (and sane) while covering a traumatic story or beat.

1. Prepare yourself.  

Whether you’re headed to a combat zone, natural disaster or riot, do your research before you go.

“Understand the environment and the hazards ahead of time,” says McCullough. “Know the cultural implications. Anything can change at any second, so never get too comfortable.”

As a defense reporter working risk-laden environments, McCullough must be ready for anything. Before going downrange, she took a class through Centurian, a UK-based program for frontline journalists and workers, taught by retired British special forces. The course equips media with tools to assess their safety and replicates real-life scenarios, like getting kidnapped. She also learned to sleep with all necessary gear – including body armor, boots and notepad – within reach. This came in handy during a 3 a.m. rocket attack while on assignment in Afghanistan.

For Owens, who covers breaking news, having charged batteries, phone and laptop, and a full tank of gas are important. She’ll keep a long lens for her camera, too, in case she needs to keep her distance from an active situation. Her newsroom provides a number of items for weather-related incidents, but she also created a safety kit that she keeps in her car in case a story unfolds in front of her.

With these unanticipated scenarios, keeping mentally prepared is critical. “Mental preparedness is just as important as physical preparedness at a breaking news scene,” Owens says. “I have found I make much more compelling images if I have taken time to process why I am there and why it is important to document the difficult times along with the good.”

2. Find your fellow journalists.

Finding a support system on the ground – even if they work for competing news organizations – can provide a second (or third, or fourth) set of eyes and ears as you focus on your subject or story.

“Having someone else you trust in a hostile environment is crucial,” says Renneisen. “Ferguson was one of the first times I worked in a really volatile environment. Without the help of other more experienced photographers, it would’ve been more difficult to stay safe.”

Utilize this core group as a sounding board, too. You don’t have to trade story ideas, angles, or scoops – just talk as humans about what you see. You’re likely processing a lot of heavy information quickly and talking it out with those around you can help alleviate the natural stress you’re experiencing. If you don’t feel comfortable, check in with your colleagues, family and friends, and see who’s willing to listen.

3. Explain your purpose.

Be transparent about who you are and why you’re there. Let the people around you know that you’re there to tell their story and will listen if they want to talk.

“A good friend and mentor of mine, Jake May, who I worked under at The Flint Journal, taught me a majority of what I know about making clear, caring images at breaking news scenes,” says Owens. “He will walk up to as many firefighters, police officers and officials at a scene to introduce himself, if he doesn’t know them already, in order to explain who he is and what his purpose is, which usually allows him better access in the long run.

“It’s important to be able to express my purpose to those around me, or those that I am documenting, whenever I get the chance,” she says.

4. Give those involved time and space.

In most cases, the people you’re meeting and interacting with have just seen the unthinkable and are working to process it all. After making clear who you are and why you’re there, listen, remain calm, and be considerate of their willingness to talk with you.

“It takes respect, a level head, and an ability to understand what the people are going through,” says Renneisen.

“No matter what I do, there are going to be some people out there who instinctively react negatively to my presence as a member of the media,” added Owens. “What I can do is learn to respect their opinion as a fellow human being, and move along to do my job with the intent of being as caring and compassionate as possible.”

5. Be flexible.

Especially about your methods of interviewing. Some people may not feel comfortable about being recorded, and prefer you take notes, or vice versa. If you can’t reach a person of interest, use third parties. Connect with their friends or family members. They are their gatekeepers.

As Owens explains, you want to be flexible in how you cover the story for yourself, too.

“Trust your intuition, and give yourself permission to exit the scene whenever you feel your limit has been pushed too far,” she says. “In my opinion, no photograph is worth comprising your own boundaries or safety. You need to get to know what those limits are for yourself; no two journalists are alike in every situation.”

6. Use your downtime wisely.

Downtime is a relative term in these scenarios. As McCullough put it, “It’s all part of the job.”

But, when activity is at a low, use this time to collect the questions you need answers to and seek verification. There may be answers you can get by doing research that doesn’t require you speaking with people.

You also can use this time to transmit any remaining images, interviews, and information back to your newsroom or online.

7. Use social media as a tool.

Search on social is your friend. If possible, curate source lists on Twitter or Facebook ahead of time. These lists should include relevant subjects, such as local officials, other news outlets, people on the scene sharing photos and information about what they see, and more.

Once you’re actively working a scene, be sure to follow any relevant hashtags. You can use lists and hashtags to corroborate information, like the source of a photo. You also can use them to find people who could verify a situation.  For more, see our post on How to Use Facebook as a Reporting Tool.

8. Look for signs that you need help. 

Quickly processing so much upsetting information can leave you feeling as though you lived through the same horrific events your subjects did. This can make it difficult to push through your coverage, or even move on to the next story.

Owens says she sometimes feels uncomfortable with the idea of covering tragic events.

“There are days where my walls break down, and I feel like a vulture,” she says. “It’s a heavy privilege to take images of the dark times, the times that are occasionally some of the worst days in a person’s or community’s lifetime.”

If you’re struggling to shake the effects, the key is to track down your available resources and ask for help.

“Journalists can get PTSD, too,” explains McCullough. “I have quite a few reporter friends who have gone to a therapist after returning from the war zone. We may not be carrying a weapon, but we often see the same atrocities as military members.”

Renneisen lets his camera act a shield: “I’m documenting, doing my job and I know why I am there. If after that it becomes more difficult, I always make sure I have someone to talk to if something is bothering me.”

9. Find an outlet after the fact.

Find a form of release or a way to cope when you have free time.

“Learn what makes you unwind, whether it can be achieved through exercise, music, reading, cooking, etc,” says Owens.

For Renneisen, surfing and being by the water does the trick. McCullough spends some of her free time at the gym.

Once you know yourself,” continued Owens, “it will be much easier to deal with the ups and downs of covering a tragic event or breaking news scene. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice.”

Stay up to date on media trends and best practices. Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to receive posts by email.  Or if you’re looking for supporting information and statements for breaking news stories, sign up for public interest news via PR Newswire for Journalists – your one-stop shop for newsgathering with access to custom newsfeeds, ProfNet experts and our multimedia gallery. Sign up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com or contact us to learn more.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.

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How to Interview and Capture Details in the Digital Age

Original Post: mediablog.prnewswire.com/2015/07/23/how-...

Interviewing

In a digital-first news landscape, journalists are providing instant content on social media while simultaneously producing in-depth coverage.

It may seem impossible to balance the need for expediency with the desire for enterprise storytelling, but these two things are not necessarily in conflict.

During a recent seminar by The Poynter Institute, Justin George of the Baltimore Sun (who also makes an appearance on the Serial podcast), was featured. He shared interview skills he’s gained in his time as a crime reporter and explained how social media can act as a modern-day notepad to report stories more deeply.

Here are 11 tips from the session on the art of the deep interview in the digital age:

1. Always be in control.

There is a power dynamic between the reporter and their subjects that needs to be navigated carefully. Before getting in to the interview, know where you’re going and what you want to get out of it.

Keep control by creating appropriate boundaries. In conversation with your subjects, be firm and persistent, but also professional. Make sure they know you’re there to provide a service. You’re there to tell their story.

2. But, get out of your own way.

A reporter plays a very important role in storytelling. But, “it’s not about you,” says George. Be an active listener and let the people you interview finish what they have to say.

Avoid “gotcha” moments, by shutting off your internal dialogue and letting them speak naturally. You can guide your subject in a certain direction with your questions if you feel they are holding back. But, don’t drive them to specific answers.

3. Seek understanding.

Take the time to know your subject. It will help your readers better understand the event or newsworthy decision you are covering.

If you have time, retrace the person you are interviewing to capture their personal story arc. Talk with them about their childhood, their parents, and their interests growing up – anything that will give you background that could explain who they are today. Ask them to share photo albums and tell you stories from beginning to end. It will help you paint a picture and corroborate timelines.

4. Put yourself in their shoes.

According to George, this is the golden rule.

Be kind and respect their circumstances. Whether they are the victim, a spokesperson, a murderer, or lying politician, they are likely facing challenges or going through a difficult time.

Treat them how you want to be treated, no matter what. By being polite and truthful, your subjects are more likely to open up and stick around.

5. Dig deeper.

People are made up of anecdotes. You’re probably never going to fully capture someone’s personality, George says. But, with the right questions you can obtain cues about who they are, without compartmentalizing.

For example, ask your subject if they keep anything in their pockets, what their tattoo means, or if they have a nickname. As George explained, little questions can provide big answers by acting as an entryway to greater truths. “Sometimes the most mundane detail is the most sublime,” he says.

6. Don’t flinch.

In some cases, the people you interview may recall something traumatic – and it could be shocking to you.

Most likely they are already bracing for your reaction, so be sure to stay even and do your best to provide normalcy. It’s okay to tell someone, “I appreciate how difficult this is for you”. But, when you react, commiserate, or play up sympathy, you risk losing control of the interview and potentially shaming your subject.

7. Never stop listening.

Using The Jinx’s final moments with Bob Durst as an example (don’t worry, no spoilers here), George reminded of the importance of staying tuned in.

Talking is cathartic. Your subject could reveal critical information in a moment of golden silence, underscoring the journalist’s role as audience member when interviewing. Always let your subject have the last word.

8. Use email as a way to follow up.

If your subject wants to think about their answers or needs more time, email exchanges can be a good way to get more detail.

Your subjects may still be processing what’s going on around them. Email responses can provide a comfortable solution for them to tell the story, preventing hasty responses that could be taken out of context.

9. Record details digitally.

If you want to stay in journalism, you have to make technology work for you, says George.

Take pictures of your surroundings and of pictures people show you. This will allow you to go back and study the visuals to provide an accurate, detailed account of what you saw.

For your interviews, ask permission to record on video or via voice memo. It allows for quick transmission back to your newsroom and the ability to re-listen for accuracy when sharing quotes. This is especially critical when it comes to high-stakes storytelling.

10. Share moments throughout the reporting process.

More and more people are continually connected to their phones and social, due to a Fear of Missing Out (a.k.a. FoMO). Because of this, news organizations want to be the first to report the news on social.

While reporting, use everything you have (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Vine, and Snapchat) to share visual glimpses of your coverage. These small moments provide instant gratification to your viewers and instant news for your colleagues and superiors. They are also good teasers for your upcoming story.

11. Use social media as a library.

Social media is a digital archive – use it to collect sources, contacts and information. What others are sharing on social may provide the context you were looking for in your reporting or offer an easier path to a person of interest.

Create a private Storify to easily keep track what people are saying. You can reference the information later as you start writing.

If you’re looking for another way to find sources, try ProfNet – it can help you find the subject-matter experts you need for your reporting. The best part? It’s easy and free to submit a query. Start your search now: Send a query.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:54:05 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/14/how_to_interview_and_capture_details_in_the_digital_age http://www.profnetconnect.com/annadeleo/blog/2015/08/14/how_to_interview_and_capture_details_in_the_digital_age

Original Post: mediablog.prnewswire.com/2015/07/23/how-...

Interviewing

In a digital-first news landscape, journalists are providing instant content on social media while simultaneously producing in-depth coverage.

It may seem impossible to balance the need for expediency with the desire for enterprise storytelling, but these two things are not necessarily in conflict.

During a recent seminar by The Poynter Institute, Justin George of the Baltimore Sun (who also makes an appearance on the Serial podcast), was featured. He shared interview skills he’s gained in his time as a crime reporter and explained how social media can act as a modern-day notepad to report stories more deeply.

Here are 11 tips from the session on the art of the deep interview in the digital age:

1. Always be in control.

There is a power dynamic between the reporter and their subjects that needs to be navigated carefully. Before getting in to the interview, know where you’re going and what you want to get out of it.

Keep control by creating appropriate boundaries. In conversation with your subjects, be firm and persistent, but also professional. Make sure they know you’re there to provide a service. You’re there to tell their story.

2. But, get out of your own way.

A reporter plays a very important role in storytelling. But, “it’s not about you,” says George. Be an active listener and let the people you interview finish what they have to say.

Avoid “gotcha” moments, by shutting off your internal dialogue and letting them speak naturally. You can guide your subject in a certain direction with your questions if you feel they are holding back. But, don’t drive them to specific answers.

3. Seek understanding.

Take the time to know your subject. It will help your readers better understand the event or newsworthy decision you are covering.

If you have time, retrace the person you are interviewing to capture their personal story arc. Talk with them about their childhood, their parents, and their interests growing up – anything that will give you background that could explain who they are today. Ask them to share photo albums and tell you stories from beginning to end. It will help you paint a picture and corroborate timelines.

4. Put yourself in their shoes.

According to George, this is the golden rule.

Be kind and respect their circumstances. Whether they are the victim, a spokesperson, a murderer, or lying politician, they are likely facing challenges or going through a difficult time.

Treat them how you want to be treated, no matter what. By being polite and truthful, your subjects are more likely to open up and stick around.

5. Dig deeper.

People are made up of anecdotes. You’re probably never going to fully capture someone’s personality, George says. But, with the right questions you can obtain cues about who they are, without compartmentalizing.

For example, ask your subject if they keep anything in their pockets, what their tattoo means, or if they have a nickname. As George explained, little questions can provide big answers by acting as an entryway to greater truths. “Sometimes the most mundane detail is the most sublime,” he says.

6. Don’t flinch.

In some cases, the people you interview may recall something traumatic – and it could be shocking to you.

Most likely they are already bracing for your reaction, so be sure to stay even and do your best to provide normalcy. It’s okay to tell someone, “I appreciate how difficult this is for you”. But, when you react, commiserate, or play up sympathy, you risk losing control of the interview and potentially shaming your subject.

7. Never stop listening.

Using The Jinx’s final moments with Bob Durst as an example (don’t worry, no spoilers here), George reminded of the importance of staying tuned in.

Talking is cathartic. Your subject could reveal critical information in a moment of golden silence, underscoring the journalist’s role as audience member when interviewing. Always let your subject have the last word.

8. Use email as a way to follow up.

If your subject wants to think about their answers or needs more time, email exchanges can be a good way to get more detail.

Your subjects may still be processing what’s going on around them. Email responses can provide a comfortable solution for them to tell the story, preventing hasty responses that could be taken out of context.

9. Record details digitally.

If you want to stay in journalism, you have to make technology work for you, says George.

Take pictures of your surroundings and of pictures people show you. This will allow you to go back and study the visuals to provide an accurate, detailed account of what you saw.

For your interviews, ask permission to record on video or via voice memo. It allows for quick transmission back to your newsroom and the ability to re-listen for accuracy when sharing quotes. This is especially critical when it comes to high-stakes storytelling.

10. Share moments throughout the reporting process.

More and more people are continually connected to their phones and social, due to a Fear of Missing Out (a.k.a. FoMO). Because of this, news organizations want to be the first to report the news on social.

While reporting, use everything you have (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Vine, and Snapchat) to share visual glimpses of your coverage. These small moments provide instant gratification to your viewers and instant news for your colleagues and superiors. They are also good teasers for your upcoming story.

11. Use social media as a library.

Social media is a digital archive – use it to collect sources, contacts and information. What others are sharing on social may provide the context you were looking for in your reporting or offer an easier path to a person of interest.

Create a private Storify to easily keep track what people are saying. You can reference the information later as you start writing.

If you’re looking for another way to find sources, try ProfNet – it can help you find the subject-matter experts you need for your reporting. The best part? It’s easy and free to submit a query. Start your search now: Send a query.

Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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