Evelyn Tipacti's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti Media 411: Bouncing Back After a Layoff

These days working journalists all likely have a fear that’s nestled in the back of their heads along with a thousand other things – the fear of losing their job.

Although not limited to journalists, it’s definitely something those who work in media have on their minds from time to time. It’s taken hostage those days of feeling safe and comfortable anywhere. But that’s just the way it is.

Have you ever been laid off? It’s a humbling experience. However, you CAN bounce back from the experience. 

Kristen Hare has a wonderful article up on Poynter called “Advice for journalists who’ve lost their jobs from journalists who’ve lost their jobs” which is worth your time, regardless of whether or not you currently have a job.

Here are some of her suggestions:

You gotta grieve

Mathew Ingram was among the staff who had to find a new job earlier this year when the tech blog GigaOm closed down. Ingram is now a senior writer at Fortune. His advice for people facing a shut down really depends more on the person, he said in a phone interview, and where they are in their career. Some staff at GigaOm had to get a job right away, they didn’t have money saved up or a working spouse, so they couldn’t afford to take time and look.

“So for them, just taking whatever came along was probably good advice, although that’s not what I would normally tell someone to do,” he said. “Obviously the best advice is to start thinking about that before your company goes under.”

Most people who go to startups do so because they care about the work and the place, he said, and so it can be hard to have a plan B. But you should. Keep in touch with people. Be aware of what else is out there. It can be hard to be pumped up and committed to your job and also be aware that it might not work out, he said.

“It’s like being super in love but also wanting a prenuptial contract,” Ingram said. “At the end of the day, you have to do what you have to do. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is something that you should theoretically be doing.”

There’s also a grieving process that you have to go through, he said, “just like someone dying. It’s hard to short circuit that.”

Many journalists, wherever they work, are emotionally committed to their jobs.

“You join these things because you’re committed to them as an idea, not just oh, hey, this would be a cool paycheck and maybe I’ll get some equity out of it,” Ingram said. “It is a lot more like a relationship than a job.”

Don’t just send off your application

“First is to make sure your tribe knows your outlet has shut down and that you’re looking for work,” said Meena Thiruvengadam, now an editor at Yahoo Finance, via Twitter. Thiruvengadam was among the journalists to lose her job when Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome shut down…

To read the complete Poynter article, please click here.

Other articles that offer good advice:

Laid Off? 10 Tips For Suddenly Unemployed Journalists (Recovering Journalist)

After the Newspaper Layoff: The First Six Things You Should Do (Black Star Rising)

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:21:46 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/25/media_411:_bouncing_back_after_a_layoff http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/25/media_411:_bouncing_back_after_a_layoff

These days working journalists all likely have a fear that’s nestled in the back of their heads along with a thousand other things – the fear of losing their job.

Although not limited to journalists, it’s definitely something those who work in media have on their minds from time to time. It’s taken hostage those days of feeling safe and comfortable anywhere. But that’s just the way it is.

Have you ever been laid off? It’s a humbling experience. However, you CAN bounce back from the experience. 

Kristen Hare has a wonderful article up on Poynter called “Advice for journalists who’ve lost their jobs from journalists who’ve lost their jobs” which is worth your time, regardless of whether or not you currently have a job.

Here are some of her suggestions:

You gotta grieve

Mathew Ingram was among the staff who had to find a new job earlier this year when the tech blog GigaOm closed down. Ingram is now a senior writer at Fortune. His advice for people facing a shut down really depends more on the person, he said in a phone interview, and where they are in their career. Some staff at GigaOm had to get a job right away, they didn’t have money saved up or a working spouse, so they couldn’t afford to take time and look.

“So for them, just taking whatever came along was probably good advice, although that’s not what I would normally tell someone to do,” he said. “Obviously the best advice is to start thinking about that before your company goes under.”

Most people who go to startups do so because they care about the work and the place, he said, and so it can be hard to have a plan B. But you should. Keep in touch with people. Be aware of what else is out there. It can be hard to be pumped up and committed to your job and also be aware that it might not work out, he said.

“It’s like being super in love but also wanting a prenuptial contract,” Ingram said. “At the end of the day, you have to do what you have to do. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is something that you should theoretically be doing.”

There’s also a grieving process that you have to go through, he said, “just like someone dying. It’s hard to short circuit that.”

Many journalists, wherever they work, are emotionally committed to their jobs.

“You join these things because you’re committed to them as an idea, not just oh, hey, this would be a cool paycheck and maybe I’ll get some equity out of it,” Ingram said. “It is a lot more like a relationship than a job.”

Don’t just send off your application

“First is to make sure your tribe knows your outlet has shut down and that you’re looking for work,” said Meena Thiruvengadam, now an editor at Yahoo Finance, via Twitter. Thiruvengadam was among the journalists to lose her job when Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome shut down…

To read the complete Poynter article, please click here.

Other articles that offer good advice:

Laid Off? 10 Tips For Suddenly Unemployed Journalists (Recovering Journalist)

After the Newspaper Layoff: The First Six Things You Should Do (Black Star Rising)

Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Journalist Spotlight: Melissa Sachs, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet (Thomson Reuters) Welcome to our SPOTLIGHT feature, where we highlight a journalist and ProfNet user to share their personal story and insight with you.

This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Melissa Sachsan attorney, who writes about computer, Internet, privacy and social media issues for Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet (Thomson Reuters).

Her favorite day of the week is Friday because she can bring Bella, her American Pit Bull Terrier, to the office

We hope you find Melissa's SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative.

Can you tell us about your first job as a professional journalist?

This is my first job as a professional journalist.  My office is a great place to learn.  About half of the people went to school for journalism or worked at daily newspapers.  The rest of us have law degrees.  All of us are writers and editors, depending on the day of the week.

What type of stories do you prefer to cover the most?

I write the Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet and some stories for the Westlaw Journal Aviation.  I also wrote the Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage.  I know I do not like writing about plane crashes or boat accidents, but some insurance stories are much more interesting than people may initially think!  Interesting topics that I’ve covered recently are lawsuits involving students or city employees posting on Facebook; searches and seizures of electronic devices at the U.S. border; and, government surveillance.  About a month ago, I wrote a story that got picked up by other news outlets — Parents lost daughter to mass shooter, now owe $220,000 to his suppliers — including by a legal journalist for Reuters who I really admire.  That was very exciting! 

Do you make suggestions regarding the stories you cover or are they assigned to you?

I pick the stories that I cover.  Sometimes my co-workers will forward me suggestions if they see something in the news that has to do with computer or Internet litigation.

Is there a best part to being a journalist and having your specific role?

Oh, this question is a little unfair because I feel so extremely lucky to have my job and work in my office.  I love the fact that I get to keep up with trends in the law, especially trends involving social media or working remotely or, even, the sharing economy.  My subject matter is very broad – it covers how social media evidence can be used in a courtroom, “Twibel” (Twitter libel) or other defamation suits, hacking and who can sue whom when there is a data breach. 

What advice to do you have for those in PR or anyone else who may want to pitch you a story idea?

Send them over!  Our office publishes stories about litigation and legal news.  If the pitch doesn’t work for my journal, it may work for another one of our 30+ journals that we print through our office.  Here is a list of the topics we cover.  Generally, we accept commentaries that run from 1,500-2,200 words that are aimed at legal practitioners and C-suite executives. 

Also, please be patient, but feel free to politely follow-up.  Like most others in my office, I wear a few hats.  Sometimes I’m an editor, but I also have weekly and daily writing deadlines.  My inbox can get a bit overwhelming so there may be a chance that I’ll miss an email that got sent while I was hunkered down and writing.    

What should they always do and never do?

Always feel free to run an idea by me whether it’s in response to a specific query or something they think may work with one of our publications.  But, remember, our journals are aimed at legal practitioners and business executives. 

How can someone in PR get to know you and develop that important connection to build trust?

I’m happy to speak to PR people over the phone or meet in person, if that’s feasible.  I’m also happy to connect with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter.  Most PR people who are on my go-to list are people who I’ve only corresponded with over email.  Maybe eventually we’ll start following each other on Twitter, which helps because I can direct message them urgent requests. 

I guess the best way to develop that connection is to be easy to work with.  Pulling the pieces together for an article can be tedious – getting pictures, signing agreements, planning for deadlines, sending editorial feedback, etc.  Making it a pleasurable experience definitely goes a long way.

Do you have advice for members who respond to ProfNet queries?

Feel free to email quickly and see if it is worthwhile to send a longer follow-up.  Sometimes I am sent generic pitches that simply don’t match the request or wouldn’t be appropriate for our audience. 

Also, it’s helpful if they read the query fully.

What type of experts do you like to work with?

Usually the best experts for my articles are practicing attorneys or legal scholars.

How do use social media at work?

We share a few of our journal articles on two blogs published by Thomson Reuters (Knowledge Effect and Legal Solutions) and we’ll ask the teams behind the @Westlaw or @ThomsonReuters Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts to share them.  I also will share articles via my personal Twitter account, LinkedIn and Facebook.  Internally, we use an instant messaging program and a Web-based intranet.

Can you tell us about your favorite or most challenging assignment?

I don’t really have a favorite assignment although the online gun sales story I mentioned above was a pretty cool experience because it got a lot of views and comments.  Maybe my favorite assignments have to do with cases that are underreported in the mainstream press, but that have significant legal implications.  A lot of social media cases fall into this category – e.g., a Missouri man was charged with making terroristic threats when he tweeted about a pressure cooker and the Boston Marathon during the 2013 World Series between the Cardinals and the Red Sox, but a Missouri appeals court affirmed the dismissal of the case.  A case between Google and Oracle that I wrote about in October is gaining more mainstream press coverage now and may have a lot of implications for fair use of computer code.

The most challenging part of my work is following big class-actions that may have really quick movement in the legal system.  My journal prints every two weeks although we post stories online (behind a paywall) on a continuous basis.  For the Target data breach story that I wrote, it was hard to make sure that the information on the print deadline would be the most up-to-date because folks were filing lawsuits almost daily for a bit. 

If someone starting their journalism career is reading this, what advice would you offer them?

Write as much as you can and read as much as you can.  Start a blog for your writing on a topic that interests you.  Try to keep to a steady posting schedule.  Don’t be afraid of social media and connecting with people who you admire in the field.

Finally, please tell us about Bella, your adorable dog.

Bella is the best.  She is eight-years old.  She was my brother’s dog and was raised in a fraternity house at Penn State.  He moved to apartments in Philadelphia and New York where pit bulls were not allowed and now she lives at my parents’ house, which is close to my office.  She’s super-friendly despite her appearance!  She loves getting baths (except for tomato soup baths after she was sprayed by a skunk!) and going “bye-bye” in the car.


Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:07:28 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/19/journalist_spotlight:_melissa_sachs,_senior_legal_writer,_westlaw_journal_computer__internet__(thomson_reuters) http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/19/journalist_spotlight:_melissa_sachs,_senior_legal_writer,_westlaw_journal_computer__internet__(thomson_reuters) Welcome to our SPOTLIGHT feature, where we highlight a journalist and ProfNet user to share their personal story and insight with you.

This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Melissa Sachsan attorney, who writes about computer, Internet, privacy and social media issues for Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet (Thomson Reuters).

Her favorite day of the week is Friday because she can bring Bella, her American Pit Bull Terrier, to the office

We hope you find Melissa's SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative.

Can you tell us about your first job as a professional journalist?

This is my first job as a professional journalist.  My office is a great place to learn.  About half of the people went to school for journalism or worked at daily newspapers.  The rest of us have law degrees.  All of us are writers and editors, depending on the day of the week.

What type of stories do you prefer to cover the most?

I write the Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet and some stories for the Westlaw Journal Aviation.  I also wrote the Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage.  I know I do not like writing about plane crashes or boat accidents, but some insurance stories are much more interesting than people may initially think!  Interesting topics that I’ve covered recently are lawsuits involving students or city employees posting on Facebook; searches and seizures of electronic devices at the U.S. border; and, government surveillance.  About a month ago, I wrote a story that got picked up by other news outlets — Parents lost daughter to mass shooter, now owe $220,000 to his suppliers — including by a legal journalist for Reuters who I really admire.  That was very exciting! 

Do you make suggestions regarding the stories you cover or are they assigned to you?

I pick the stories that I cover.  Sometimes my co-workers will forward me suggestions if they see something in the news that has to do with computer or Internet litigation.

Is there a best part to being a journalist and having your specific role?

Oh, this question is a little unfair because I feel so extremely lucky to have my job and work in my office.  I love the fact that I get to keep up with trends in the law, especially trends involving social media or working remotely or, even, the sharing economy.  My subject matter is very broad – it covers how social media evidence can be used in a courtroom, “Twibel” (Twitter libel) or other defamation suits, hacking and who can sue whom when there is a data breach. 

What advice to do you have for those in PR or anyone else who may want to pitch you a story idea?

Send them over!  Our office publishes stories about litigation and legal news.  If the pitch doesn’t work for my journal, it may work for another one of our 30+ journals that we print through our office.  Here is a list of the topics we cover.  Generally, we accept commentaries that run from 1,500-2,200 words that are aimed at legal practitioners and C-suite executives. 

Also, please be patient, but feel free to politely follow-up.  Like most others in my office, I wear a few hats.  Sometimes I’m an editor, but I also have weekly and daily writing deadlines.  My inbox can get a bit overwhelming so there may be a chance that I’ll miss an email that got sent while I was hunkered down and writing.    

What should they always do and never do?

Always feel free to run an idea by me whether it’s in response to a specific query or something they think may work with one of our publications.  But, remember, our journals are aimed at legal practitioners and business executives. 

How can someone in PR get to know you and develop that important connection to build trust?

I’m happy to speak to PR people over the phone or meet in person, if that’s feasible.  I’m also happy to connect with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter.  Most PR people who are on my go-to list are people who I’ve only corresponded with over email.  Maybe eventually we’ll start following each other on Twitter, which helps because I can direct message them urgent requests. 

I guess the best way to develop that connection is to be easy to work with.  Pulling the pieces together for an article can be tedious – getting pictures, signing agreements, planning for deadlines, sending editorial feedback, etc.  Making it a pleasurable experience definitely goes a long way.

Do you have advice for members who respond to ProfNet queries?

Feel free to email quickly and see if it is worthwhile to send a longer follow-up.  Sometimes I am sent generic pitches that simply don’t match the request or wouldn’t be appropriate for our audience. 

Also, it’s helpful if they read the query fully.

What type of experts do you like to work with?

Usually the best experts for my articles are practicing attorneys or legal scholars.

How do use social media at work?

We share a few of our journal articles on two blogs published by Thomson Reuters (Knowledge Effect and Legal Solutions) and we’ll ask the teams behind the @Westlaw or @ThomsonReuters Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts to share them.  I also will share articles via my personal Twitter account, LinkedIn and Facebook.  Internally, we use an instant messaging program and a Web-based intranet.

Can you tell us about your favorite or most challenging assignment?

I don’t really have a favorite assignment although the online gun sales story I mentioned above was a pretty cool experience because it got a lot of views and comments.  Maybe my favorite assignments have to do with cases that are underreported in the mainstream press, but that have significant legal implications.  A lot of social media cases fall into this category – e.g., a Missouri man was charged with making terroristic threats when he tweeted about a pressure cooker and the Boston Marathon during the 2013 World Series between the Cardinals and the Red Sox, but a Missouri appeals court affirmed the dismissal of the case.  A case between Google and Oracle that I wrote about in October is gaining more mainstream press coverage now and may have a lot of implications for fair use of computer code.

The most challenging part of my work is following big class-actions that may have really quick movement in the legal system.  My journal prints every two weeks although we post stories online (behind a paywall) on a continuous basis.  For the Target data breach story that I wrote, it was hard to make sure that the information on the print deadline would be the most up-to-date because folks were filing lawsuits almost daily for a bit. 

If someone starting their journalism career is reading this, what advice would you offer them?

Write as much as you can and read as much as you can.  Start a blog for your writing on a topic that interests you.  Try to keep to a steady posting schedule.  Don’t be afraid of social media and connecting with people who you admire in the field.

Finally, please tell us about Bella, your adorable dog.

Bella is the best.  She is eight-years old.  She was my brother’s dog and was raised in a fraternity house at Penn State.  He moved to apartments in Philadelphia and New York where pit bulls were not allowed and now she lives at my parents’ house, which is close to my office.  She’s super-friendly despite her appearance!  She loves getting baths (except for tomato soup baths after she was sprayed by a skunk!) and going “bye-bye” in the car.


Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Media 411: Amusing Media Memes

Memes are part of everyday life, making us laugh at ourselves and better yet, at everyone else. They make fun of almost everything and everyone and not surprisingly, the news business is usually a target.

This week I searched for some funny memes about the industry and have included the best ones which were suitable to share. Enjoy!

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 18 Jun 2015 13:00:26 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/18/media_411:_amusing_media_memes http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/18/media_411:_amusing_media_memes

Memes are part of everyday life, making us laugh at ourselves and better yet, at everyone else. They make fun of almost everything and everyone and not surprisingly, the news business is usually a target.

This week I searched for some funny memes about the industry and have included the best ones which were suitable to share. Enjoy!

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Media 411: Advice for Journalism Interns

If you’re one of the lucky students who got an internship this summer (or at any other time of the year), read up on how  to do your best, make a good impression and not mess up the opportunity given to you.

Internships don't just help you get that "foot in the door," they teach you about the industry, the ins and outs of that particular outlet, and how real journalists work. 

Always be aware that the chance was given to you, realize it's alright and expected to know little and take this time to learn as much as you can. 

Hopefully the tips in these articles will help give you confidence and help you as you get started on your way up the journalism ladder.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:15:32 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/11/media_411:_advice_for_journalism_interns http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/11/media_411:_advice_for_journalism_interns

If you’re one of the lucky students who got an internship this summer (or at any other time of the year), read up on how  to do your best, make a good impression and not mess up the opportunity given to you.

Internships don't just help you get that "foot in the door," they teach you about the industry, the ins and outs of that particular outlet, and how real journalists work. 

Always be aware that the chance was given to you, realize it's alright and expected to know little and take this time to learn as much as you can. 

Hopefully the tips in these articles will help give you confidence and help you as you get started on your way up the journalism ladder.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Media 411: Ways to Improve Photojournalism Skills

The click of a camera’s button can create an entire story, a story that needn’t a single word.

Or perhaps an image can accompany an article, that same image equal to the words written, not more or less important than the story. Think of the biggest stories and world events in your lifetime and imagine them without an image or video. Not the same, right?

Photographs from the past are what transport us to an actual location. We have seen the devastation of world wars, famine, drought, natural disasters. Of course those stories would still be surreal, but those images help us understand the fear, the horror or the beauty of what is being told. Images from the 19th and early 20th centuries are captivating because we can see into an era that ceased to exist a very long time ago.

Photojournalists are an integral part of a newsroom and their role is crucial for an audience regardless of medium or whether it’s a photograph or video.

Here's a link to a piece about New York photojournalist Ricky Flores about his experiences in the early 1980's covering a very rough time in the city's history. 

If you’re a photojournalist or if you’re just starting, the articles below will help you get new ideas to make what you already do even better. 

What are your personal suggestions?


Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 04 Jun 2015 14:40:41 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/04/media_411:_ways_to_improve_photojournalism_skills http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/06/04/media_411:_ways_to_improve_photojournalism_skills

The click of a camera’s button can create an entire story, a story that needn’t a single word.

Or perhaps an image can accompany an article, that same image equal to the words written, not more or less important than the story. Think of the biggest stories and world events in your lifetime and imagine them without an image or video. Not the same, right?

Photographs from the past are what transport us to an actual location. We have seen the devastation of world wars, famine, drought, natural disasters. Of course those stories would still be surreal, but those images help us understand the fear, the horror or the beauty of what is being told. Images from the 19th and early 20th centuries are captivating because we can see into an era that ceased to exist a very long time ago.

Photojournalists are an integral part of a newsroom and their role is crucial for an audience regardless of medium or whether it’s a photograph or video.

Here's a link to a piece about New York photojournalist Ricky Flores about his experiences in the early 1980's covering a very rough time in the city's history. 

If you’re a photojournalist or if you’re just starting, the articles below will help you get new ideas to make what you already do even better. 

What are your personal suggestions?


Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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