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ProfNet Query Outreach
Jan 15, 2013, 14:16 CST
- Member Type(s): Content Publisher
Media - Freelancer
Media - Broadcast
Media - Print Journalist
Media - Student Journalist
Media - Web-only/Blogger
Media - Other
- Title:Community Editor
- Organization:ProfNet Connect (PR Newswire)
- Area of Expertise:Media Relations, Hispanic Media
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Monday, November 15, 2010, 5:45 PM
The Publicity Club of New York held a panel discussion with the top "NY Tech Influencers" and some great advice was offered by the journalist panel. The influencers at the event were Daniel Sieberg, Host, ABC News Now "Tech This Out" and Contributor, ABC World News Now; Dan Frommer, Deputy Editor, Silicon Alley Insider; Adam Ostrow, Editor-in-chief, Mashable; John Abell, New York Bureau Chief, WIRED; Nick Bilton, Lead Technology Writer, The New York Times Bits Blog Reporter, The New York Times.
The room filled with communications professionals listened intently at the suggestions provided by these prominent and well-respected members of the media. The first to speak was Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider, who says he is bombarded with more email than he can handle and spends more and more time deleting it. He stresses less, but stronger communication. He simply gets too much off-topic material that he will never use. Frommer is responsible for up to six stories per day and has to manage his time effectively. So what does he want to see? If you have information that's not supposed to be written about, he wants it. He also wants introductions to the executives at the companies he covers like Apple, Google and Facebook. He also looks for people who can provide a good video interview, mainly a CEO. He advises PR pros to not contact him via a twitter direct message and also not to call to follow-up on email because it's annoying due to the hundreds of pitches he gets everyday. He doesn't answer calls because he's too busy and although email is becoming more difficult to manage, it's still the best way to reach him.
Nick Bilton of The New York Times Bits Blog says to please send "Shorter emails. I look at email and hate it. I can't navigate the intense amount of information." He suggests that an email be like a tweet, no more than 140 characters. Bilton says he looks at himself as 70% reporter and 30% sales agent because he's trying to promote the products about which he writes. He believes that an interesting story is more important than an exclusive, although he does understand how exclusives can work for other media outlets.
There's a "symbiotic" relationship between PR pros and the media, according to John Abell of WIRED. He also says that the level and means of the communication is important. "What we do is a work in progress by necessity." The magazine version of WIRED is a monthly so they can work on longer stories but John is looking for things that are happening "now." The dot-com has a video team so he's also looking for stories that can work there. Abell says, "I don't answer the phone" and email is still the best way to reach him even if it's "ridiculous."
Adam Ostrow of Mashable says the company began five years ago and is now a 30-40 person team in New York City with an office in San Francisco. Coverage has evolved and they write about new technology and things that happen on the web. It definitely covers social media but it's also more than that. He looks for contacts and information regarding Google, Twitter and Apple. An interesting marketing campaign may also get Ostrow's attention. They have ten million visitors a month, over 300k fans on Facebook (they have several pages there) and over 2 million followers on Twitter. Ostrow looks for breaking news on big companies, information about companies that do anything in the digital space and they also look for startup companies. They have a "How To" section as well so if there's something you pitch that doesn't work for the news sections, it could be sent to another editor and get placed in the "How To" section if appropriate. The New York office is currently building a video studio so Ostrow will also be looking for guests to interview.
Daniel Sieberg of the ABCNews.com segment "Tech This Out" is returning to the social media world after a self admitted digital diet. He steered clear from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace for almost an entire year after realizing that he personally needed to improve his social life and get more face time with those closest to him. While he tries to once again reconnect with social media, he's also looking for new things to cover. Sieberg wants a good trend or personality and the more lead time, the better. Email is the best way to reach him but in a condensed fashion. He likes bullet point-type emails where you say, "This is why it's timely and why you should care." if you're sending him video, tape is useless, you need to send him digital files. Also, accentuate stories. Sieberg says, "If you can furnish video, it helps us create a story.” He also asks for high quality visuals and "stuff no one else is getting."
The topic came up regarding how journalists rarely respond to acknowledge an emailed pitch. The reason is because they get close to 1,000 emails a day and have to parse through them to find what is actually needed, respond to the sender and actually create the many reports for which they're responsible. If a journalist is interested in what is being offered, they will reach out, but it's important for a PR person to understand it's not a personal thing, but a sincere lack of time and the sheer impossibility of responding to hundreds of people.
No matter the media outlet with whom you work or with whom you'd like to work, make sure to always follow the guidelines offered which can be from the outlet itself or an individual journalist as many work differently with PR professionals. Always know what is covered, deadlines and how the journalists want to be reached.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 11:22 AM
Welcome to our biweekly "SPOTLIGHT" feature where we highlight a ProfNet Connect user and share their personal story and insight with you. This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Philadelphia public relations professional, Harrison Kratz. We hope you find SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative. Please feel free to leave a comment.
1) What organization do you work for and what is your role there?
I am President of my public relations firm Kratz PR & Management and Founder of the nationwide “Holiday Tweet Drive.”
2) What made you want to go into public relations?
I originally wanted to be a sports journalist more than anything, but I realized right before I started college that journalism wasn’t right for me. I had too big of a personality to be hidden behind my words or stuck in a newsroom. So, I looked into PR and found a perfect fit. I would still be able to write, but my success would be determined about how well I could create relationships and communicate. It’s been a perfect fit so far!
3) Tell us about your #PRStudCast. How has your social media presence helped you get results?
Well, the #PRStudCast is actually a brand new project that I’ve taken up, and it really seems to be on the right track. I recently started listening to a lot of different podcasts and became inspired to give it a try. Instead of creating one from scratch I contacted my mentor and friend, Deirdre Breakenridge who is the founder of the #PRStudChat on Twitter. The #PRStudChat community is very influential for pr students in social media, but I felt I could add something new to their community. In came the podcast. My colleague, Ashley Funderburk and I are the hosts and are looking to bring something new to the #PRStudChat each week.
Although we’re new, social media has been the driving force behind our podcast launch. Having the existing #PRStudChat has given us an audience through twitter and has been our main form of publicity. It has reached a great deal of people because of the collaborative PR Twitter community.
4) What advice to you have for communications professionals when dealing with the media?
Treat each member of the media with respect and sincerity. Not just respect as a person, but you have to respect and be sincere towards what they can offer you. They’re actions can determine your success and you must understand their importance. Show respect and build relationships, even if that process is tedious. Building those relationships is everything.
5) Do you belong to any professional associations? How have they helped you?
I belong to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and I can’t begin to explain how much the organization has helped me. Ever since I attended my first meeting, I developed a passion for PR and have found that PRSSA is not just an organization. It is a community where I could learn, share, and become inspired in the world of PR. The connections and relationships I have developed through PRSSA, both on a local and national level, have been one of, if not the biggest building block in my young career.
6) How do you see the pr/marketing industry in 5 years? 10?
PR and Marketing will remain digital and social. Blogs are going to continue to become a stronger and more credible medium, and PR pros are going to have to continue to respect the power and influence many blogs have. Social media will stick around, but the sites may be different. Regardless of the developments, PR/Marketing will still be responsible of conveying their brand’s message and values through the popular mediums.
As social media becomes more and more popular and prevalent in business, I fear people will not need PR people to direct them through setting their social media presence up. That being said, there is going to be an even greater need for Public Relations professionals to represent brands through these social mediums. The consulting aspect of PR/Marketing will increase greatly over the next 10 years. While business owners and associates will continue to gain more knowledge on how to use these sites, PR pros will always be needed to find the words to represent and publicize the desired message.
7) What has been the best thing about working in PR and what has been the biggest obstacle?
The single best thing about working in PR has been the people. While it is highly competitive, PR is also very collaborative. The communication that I have been able to have with professionals, students, and PR “rock stars” has been incredible and influential in my growth. Not only being able to meet, but also share and learn from these people has been unbelievable and I can only imagine who I’ll meet as I continue to grow in this industry.
The largest obstacle has been trying to find continued success with limited funds. Although my firm has gotten off to a great start in our first year, money is tight and it can be difficult to grow under those circumstances. Obviously there are a ton of ways to grow at no cost, but there are many conferences and services that I must past up because of cost. Its frustrating, but as a student entrepreneur, it comes with the territory.
8) Is there anything specific you want people to know about you or your company?
I try to live by one main philosophy through my company and the other projects I am involved in. That philosophy is: Ambition Knows No Limits. I’ve attached that phrase to myself through my entrepreneurial journey and the mindset has taken me to levels I did not expect to be possible. My company and I always look to grow in new ways, and we have to always understand that our ambitions know no limits. If our ideas do not succeed, we build from where we already were. There is no reason to be timid, because growing, as a student entrepreneur requires drive and consistent innovation. Our ambition fuels that drive and keeps us looking forward.
Monday, November 8, 2010, 2:31 PM
Back in August 2010, the University of Colorado at Boulder announced it is considering shutting down the journalism school. What does this mean for other journalism programs at America's institutions of higher learning?
According to an article in the Boulder Daily Camera, the university is pondering "dramatically remodeling the way it trains students for the profession."
We can look at this scenario in two ways. Some will agree with discontinuing the program altogether or revamping it to fit the needs of today's media. We all know that traditional outlets are shrinking due to not just the state of the economy, but because there are so many platforms on which to get news and information. The media industry has simply morphed into what it is presently. Newspapers and magazines are disappearing and losing money, and news departments in other mediums are downsizing and making do with much less. Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we absorb, send, share and even create news. One may say that this means universities need to make changes to adapt to the current state of the industry as well.
Others will disagree with making any changes at the universities because they may believe that universities should defend journalism instead of surrendering swiftly to the naysayers by completely changing their offerings. Journalism education helps with work in other fields, not just those who are part of the media. Educators, lawyers, doctors -- they all benefit from journalism education. This can't be negated since proper communication is essential in any field. Learning how to write, report and gather information certainly benefits most people.
As long as the traditional journalism classes are not cut altogether, then is any real harm being done by revamping the curriculum and changing the name of the program? Does this mean universities such as the University of Colorado at Boulder don't support journalism or is it that they really do by implementing these changes? Is there a right or wrong answer? That depends on who you ask, as this is a very personal opinion.
At this point in time, however, it cannot be that surprising that the University of Colorado at Boulder has gone down this route. If the media world is changing so rapidly and so drastically, shouldn't students who know the risks of getting into such an industry be adequately prepared to work in the field? They need to know how to work with digital media and social media, not just how to write, report and get information.
Perhaps the altering of a program causes more of an uproar than the actual change in the classes that are offered. Removing the word "journalism" strikes fear in more traditional folks but as long as the courses actually benefit students, then is it really a problem? If a university meshes its journalism curriculum with technology courses, then in this day and age maybe it really isn't that bad.
Would you be more fearful or more supportive if a university removed the word "journalism" from its once school of journalism if it changed it to the School of Media and Technology? Or would the curriculum be your main focus?
We can make a conjecture and say that this is one of those things where we all just have to live with our own opinion. In the end, we have the freedom to make a choice and decide what university to attend based on the program they offer. It's really up to us to decide what's best.
Monday, November 1, 2010, 2:47 PM
Lately I've had a few conversations with friends and former colleagues about traditional media and social media relating to how and where we're "supposed" to get content.
Social media is here to stay, I don't think there's any question. I love it and couldn't live or work without it. It's crucial that people in business learn to use it. But, I also think there's plenty of room for traditional media and getting information from both sources. Both are important.
Personally, I love traditional media. Watching televison news is a regular habit, I love the smell of a newspaper and adore how the shiny pages of a magazine feel between my fingers. I always look forward to seeing the newspaper on my front step and finding my latest fashion magazine in the mailbox. It always makes me smile!!
This post isn't about which platform is better, but how there should be enough room for both internet-based publications and social media as well as the traditional formats. Traditional media may also have a presence on social media and online via their own web pages, but I don't think it's right to say that traditional media will die anytime soon either and that we should completely disregard it. Like most things, it will change, but I don't think my fashion magazines will become strictly online publications and that the 6pm newscasts will switch from television broadcasts to only streaming on the web.
You might argue that some newspapers and magazines have already gone paperless and while that may be true, many of the more mainstream publications are still tangible products. Television newscasts continue and magazines and newspapers still print.
Everyone has their own particular tastes - - some like to see everything on a computer or hand held device and some like to split time using a computer and going the more traditional route. Some with whom I spoke say they just don't want to use a computer all day long. People spend most of their day on the computer and want something else to do when they get home. They want to relax, sit on the couch, cuddle with their dog or loved one and not want to have to move a mouse or use a hand-held gadget to get information or be entertained. Is that so bad? These opinions were from people ranging in age from their mid 20's to about 60, so it seems, at least in my circle, that people split their time. Not a "real" survey, I suppose, but the conversations got me thinking of the future.
When I flip through a newspaper, I'm more likely to read through most of it and actually see what the newspaper wants me to see, including that ad for 75% off boots at my favorite department store. I can't get the same visually from a web page. BUT, I do read the paper on my computer. Again, I didn't say I didn't use these options but instead prefer to use BOTH formats.
Reading a magazine online also isn't the same. While I certainly don't miss those annoying subscription cards that fall out, I can't smell the perfume ad pages I can rub on my wrist or place in my shoe closet or get the free CD from the entertainment magazine to which I subscribe that's only for buyers of the paper product.
I use Twitter (@editorev) and also use Facebook. Personally, Facebook is the most addictive and it has helped create the hunger for more information...NOW!! For business relationships and networking, both of these are a must but they're also great for personal use. I use Facebook to keep in close contact with my family and my friends. It's made my personal relationships stronger. But it's also helped my career as I've landed more than one job as a result of the social media networking. It works and life wouldn't be the same without it. But I can say the same for my television broadcasts, my newspapers and my favorite magazines.
The thing is that we all have different preferences so we're all going to have different opinions. It's about finding a balance that's right for us based on our lifestyles. I say tomato, you say to'mah'to. ;)
Friday, October 29, 2010, 1:19 PM