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    • Title:Community Editor
    • Organization:ProfNet Connect (PR Newswire)
    • Area of Expertise:Media Relations, Hispanic Media
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    Best of Spotlight: PR Tips from Media Pros, Part Two

    Friday, December 19, 2014, 4:46 PM [Spotlight]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Our monthly Spotlight series focuses on journalists and opens the door into their lives as members of the media in their respective newsrooms.

    Over the year we’ve gotten some great advice regarding how to best pitch them so we’ve decided to do a year-end roundup of the best responses we’ve received to the questions we’ve asked throughout the second half of 2014.

    (A roundup for the first half of the year was done in July.)

    The journalists featured are:

    • James Pilcher, Investigative Reporter, Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer 
    • Amir Khan, Health and Wellness Reporter, U.S. News & World Report 
    • Rachel Weingarten, Lifestyle Writer, Style Columnist & Award-winning Author

    In January we’ll have a brand new interview and we hope you’ll continue to read and enjoy this feature. If you’re a journalist who sends queries via ProfNet and you would like to be featured in our Spotlight series, please let us know below.

    Happy Holidays!

    What advice do you have for PR professionals who want to pitch you? 

    Take a minute or two to actually read something I've written recently. I get so many pitches from PR people who read something I wrote a few years back and pitch very specific stories based on my former columns or business needs. Don't try to cram or reform the same pitch that you've pitched every single other person in your address book. It really helps if you can give me an angle that might work for my particular audience.” (Rachel Weingarten)

    “Pay attention to my coverage. Don’t send me pitches for something that’s far out of my scope of coverage. It only serves to clog up my inbox. Even if we’ve worked together before, if I just get pitch after pitch of stories that aren’t related to my coverage, I’m less likely to work with you in the future.” (Amir Khan)

    “Tell me how this will affect my readers straight off. Make sure that you know that the story is in my coverage area.” (James Pilcher)

    What should a PR person always do and never do? 

    “My biggest complaint is that I get on someone’s list, and I get pitches from that PR rep for all kinds of things, even though it has nothing to do with what I’m covering. I also don’t like pitches over social media. Social means social … so unless I know you personally, I’m not going to pay attention if you tweet at me with a story. Finally, if it is a national push, try to find something that I can tie to my local area.” (James Pilcher)

    “Contact me in the way that I've mentioned that I prefer. I hate being phone stalked by publicists who have tracked my phone number down somehow. I'm fine chatting if we already have a relationship, but please don't call me numerous times if we've never worked together previously. There is no one definitive way to interact with a writer. So taking the time (when possible, we know you're busy too!) to get to know the foibles and quirks of writers will mean that the overall experience will be so much smoother.” (Rachel Weingarten)

    “Always check to make sure your expert is available before pitching to me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone pitch their expert, only to email me back and tell me they’re actually unavailable. Never stalk me. I’ve had PR people email me, then follow up with a call 2 minutes later and then email again if I don’t answer. Give me a little bit of time to respond.” (Amir Khan)

    How should someone in PR start a working relationship with you? 

    Introduce yourself to me first. Don’t just send me a press release and expect me to respond to you right away. A quick paragraph about who you are makes me much more likely to read it.” (Amir Khan)

    “I’ve always believed in the personal touch – a phone call, coffee (if you are in the same area), lunch.” (James Pilcher)

    “Send me an introduction email. Feel free to pitch me a client or product or ask about the stories I'm working on. Bear in mind that I get hundreds of emails each week with similar pitches, so while I might be swamped, I really do try to respond.” (Rachel Weingarten)

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

    Read my request. You'd be amazed at how many PR people will zero in on a single word and then pitch on a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with me or anything I've ever written about. Or worse, they'll pitch completely off topic and try to bring in the most tenuous connection to what I truly seek. Also, I have a specific email address that I've set up for ProfNet, so I know if you've been mining the queries for email addresses. Don't add me to your distribution list just because you can. If I work with a publicist I'll give her my work email or personal email thereby ensuring that I have earlier and easier access to future pitches. And whatever you do, please don't send me a link to an article that's been written about the person you're pitching or a link to their website and tell me to read through for more info. I can easily search on my own, my hope is to connect with experts or resources I might not otherwise have had access to or known about.” (Rachel Weingarten)

    Be sure to provide me with a phone number! If I need something at the last minute, I'm more likely to call someone instead of email.” (Amir Khan)

    "Be respectful of deadlines. We put them there for a reason. Email but then call to follow up. Don’t pitch someone who 'might' work or is ancillary to the story." (James Pilcher)

    What type of experts do you prefer to work with? 

    To me, as long as the person has deep experience in the area either professionally or in an academic setting, it doesn’t matter. People who are used to speaking with the media and perhaps have deeper background on an issue that they can provide.” (James Pilcher)

     “I love quirky people. Anyone who has an interesting background or story or product or niche. I'm not enamored with the blanket message. I love interviewing people who aren't so smooth that they tell the same story to everyone they speak with. I'd rather build a rapport and learn about what makes you or your knowledge or product unique.” (Rachel Weingarten)

    “I prefer to work with doctors who are affiliated with hospitals. I tend to stay away from doctors who are part of weight-loss programs or are selling things.” (Amir Khan)

    What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning their journalism career or for someone who may be considering journalism?

    “Do as many internships as you can. I did three throughout my college career, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Media outlets are looking for experience, they don’t want someone they have to train. Internships are the best way to make contacts in the industry, get clips, and land a job out of college.” (Amir Khan)

    “The two most important abilities remain the ability to report and to write. I got into this business because I love to write. But that now takes up only about 20 percent of my time. It’s the gumption to go out and get good stories and ask good questions that separate journalists. And then the ability to synthesize that information quickly in a way that makes it approachable by anyone.” (James Pilcher)

    “I think you have to really know your strengths and weaknesses. If you're a great writer but poor with time management, it won't work for you. If you have a super thin skin you'll have a hard time dealing with potential rejection from editors and outlets. And please, whatever you do, don't accept jobs that don't pay you or underpay you. There's been a horrible downward spiral for far too long in the industry with major players undervaluing skilled writers by either refusing to pay writers or offering them crumbs instead of payment worthy of their talents. New writers are made to believe that it's worth trading their integrity and talents for exposure. It isn't.” (Rachel Weingarten)

     Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Media 411: Top 10 Posts of 2014

    Thursday, December 18, 2014, 1:17 PM [Media 411]
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    (Photo by Aramil Liadon; used under CC By 2.0)

    Media 411 has become a regular feature on ProfNet Connect and I hope to continue providing information of interest to members of the media in the coming year.

    Thank you for supporting it by reading and sharing the posts on social media and elsewhere. If you have any suggestions in regards to what you’d like to see, please let me know in the comments section below.

    I leave you here on this last entry of the year, with the top ten Media 411 posts of 2014. Here’s wishing you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2015!

    To see all Media 411 posts from this year, please click here.

    Media 411: Ways Journalists Can Use Twitter

    Media 411: 5 Tools for Social Media Monitoring

    Media 411: Fact-checking 

    Media 411: How Journalists Can Avoid Conflicts of Interest

    Media 411: Avoiding Clichés

    Media 411: Top Apps for Journalists

    Media 411: Journalists Using Instagram

    Media 411: Avoid These Beginner Journalist Mistakes

    Media 411: Ways Journalists Can Use Facebook

    Media 411: Focusing on Journalism Skills

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Media 411: Facebook’s Most Discussed Topics of 2014

    Thursday, December 11, 2014, 3:13 PM [Media 411]
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    Did you watch the World Cup or participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge? If you use Facebook, you’re likely to have commented about one of these two things which happen to be on Facebook's list of most discussed topics of the year. 

    Barbara Ortutay of the Associated Press wrote about the list which was released by Facebook early this week. Some of the items on the list don’t come as a shock while others may have not have been on your radar at all.

    Ortutay writes, “The list Facebook released Tuesday is a testament to its global reach, given that more than 80 percent of Facebook users live outside the U.S. and Canada. Worldwide topics — the World Cup soccer tournament and the Ebola outbreak — occupied the top two spots. But No. 3 was the presidential election in Brazil. Facebook says some 48 million people had 674 million interactions — status updates, photos, videos, comments and likes — about the highly contested event. That made it the most talked-about election of 2014 — even more than the congressional midterms in the U.S.”

    To continue reading, please click here.

    Is there an item you're surprised did not make this list?

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Media 411: Best Ads of 2014

    Thursday, December 4, 2014, 12:52 PM [Media 411]
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    We’re almost at the end of 2014 which means the “top” and “best” of the year lists start to appear. This week I’m focusing on the best ads of 2014, some of which are funny, moving or completely in your face with painful reality.

    Adweek compiled this list and you’ve probably seen a couple on television while the rest may be new to you. Grab some tissues to wipe the tears away and please note that one of them, #8, is probably NSFW. 

    Tim Nudd writes, “Plenty of campaigns—in all sorts of styles, themes and textures—found the perfect formula of idea and execution to produce something brilliantly compelling in 2014. But it was Droga5 and Newcastle Brown Ale's meta takedown of the industry, and its biggest night, that represented the pinnacle of ad creativity this year.

    Droga5's Under Armour campaign also makes our top 10 list this year—the only agency with two entries. And in fact, it was a strong year for sports advertising generally—largely thanks to the World Cup, from which we've included our favorite execution.

    Elsewhere in our top 10, we have a prank, a food spot, more comedy, a Christmas ad, a short film, a celebration of family and a brutal PSA."

    To continue reading and view the ads, please click here.

    Photo courtesy of bing.

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    SPOTLIGHT: James Pilcher, Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer

    Friday, November 21, 2014, 1:04 PM [Spotlight]
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    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 James Pilcher, an investigative reporter for the Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer. He's currently the lead reporter looking into government waste and misspending, as well as data work and other issues. Please read more about James below.

    We hope you find SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative.



    Did you always want to be a journalist or did you start your career in a different field?

    No. Actually I thought about being a lawyer or trying to work for the State Department. And my first job out of college was selling  ball bearings and industrial chain.

    But I feel my political science degree helped prepare me in a different way … if you know how things are supposed to work, you can recognize when they aren’t working right or something is wrong.

    Where was your first professional job as a journalist?

    I was a part-time sports stringer/freelance writer here in Cincinnati when I landed a job as an entry-level sportswriter for The Savannah Morning News.

    What type of news do you currently cover?

    I cover the leaders and decision makers and major issues facing Northern Kentucky, a major coverage area for The Enquirer. That includes keeping tabs on area politicians, business leaders and other influential leaders. But I also hold them accountable, and investigate major issues or wrongdoing.

    Do you make suggestions as to what stories you cover or are they mostly assigned?

    Under our new restructuring, I have the freedom to dictate what stories should be covered and to suggest most ideas.

    What stories do you like covering the most?

    Deep dives into complicated subjects that have the potential for affecting just about everyone. I also enjoy data-driven stories.

    Is there something you would consider as being ‘the best’ part of being a journalist?

    Getting to ask those in power tough questions and holding them accountable.

    You worked in marketing for two years – what made you leave journalism and what made you return?

    I’ve actually left The Enquirer twice. Each time was different – the first time was a bit of burnout and an interesting opportunity. I was lured away for the second. But in the end, I feel journalism is a calling; an avocation more than a profession.

    What advice do you have for PR professionals who want to pitch you? 

    Tell me how this will affect my readers straight off. Make sure that you know that the story is in my coverage area. 

    What they always do and never do? 

    My biggest complaint is that I get on someone’s list, and I get pitches from that PR rep for all kinds of things, even though it has nothing to do with what I’m covering.

    I also don’t like pitches over social media. Social means social … so unless I know you personally, I’m not going to pay attention if you tweet at me with a story.

    Finally, if it is a national push, try to find something that I can tie to my local area.

    How should someone in PR start a working relationship with you? 

    I’ve always believed in the personal touch – a phone call, coffee (if you are in the same area), lunch.

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

    1. Be respectful of deadlines. We put them there for a reason.
    2. Email but then call to follow up.
    3. Don’t pitch someone who “might” work or is ancillary to the story.

    What type of experts do you prefer to work with? 

    To me, as long as the person has deep experience in the area either professionally or in an academic setting, it doesn’t matter. People who are used to speaking with the media and perhaps have deeper background on an issue that they can provide.

    Can you tell us about your most memorable or most difficult assignment?

    Wow. That covers a lot. I covered the 1996 Olympics, spending just about every day on the Atlantic Ocean covering the sailing events. I had to knock on the door of the parents’ of Jon Benet Ramsey one afternoon.

    Here in Cincinnati, exposing the dangers of our most traveled bridge, showing the corruption at the local airport board, and diving deep into the Cincinnati city budget and pension crisis.

    Do you use social media as part of your job? 

    Absolutely. It is an integral part of growing our audience, but also for finding out what is going on and for sourcing. I am active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram.

    How has the industry changed from when you began your career? 

    Obviously the move to digital has been a sea change for the industry. There really are no deadlines anymore – we post when its ready and then worry about print later.

    There is also infinitely more competition for news and for eyeballs – and trying to court an entire generation that has no real attachment or history with print newspapers.

    And we all have to have a lot more skills than just writing and reporting. Taking photos/videos … creating our own graphics, etc.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning their journalism career or for someone who may be considering journalism?

    Despite what I said above, the two most important abilities remain the ability to report and to write. I got into this business because I love to write. But that now takes up only about 20 percent of my time. It’s the gumption to go out and get good stories and ask good questions that separate journalists. And then the ability to synthesize that information quickly in a way that makes it approachable by anyone.

    About James Pilcher

    James Pilcher is an investigative reporter for the Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer, and has been a practicing journalist for the past 25 years. He returned to journalism and the Enquirer in 2013 after a two-year stint working in marketing, communications, technical writing and project management for several local tech firms.

    He currently is the lead reporter looking into government waste and misspending, as well as data work and other issues.

    It is actually James’ third stint with the Enquirer, having returned to his true love of journalism.

    James is the immediate past president of the Cincinnati professional Society of Professional Journalists chapter and has previously served on the national board of SPJ as a regional director and national committee member. James also is active in the Investigative Reporters and Editors association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

    A long-time advocate for the use of technology in the newsroom, James has won numerous journalism awards, including the best business reporter in the state of Ohio in 2006 and several national awards for his coverage of the Brent Spence Bridge.

    He has previously covered the economy, the aviation/airline industry and personal technology for the Enquirer, while also tackling large in-depth projects about business and the Cincinnati area. He is known as one of the nation’s premier aviation reporters, having covered the industry for 10 years.

    Prior to joining the Enquirer in 2000, James worked for The Associated Press in its Atlanta office, served as sports editor for Copley Chicago Newspapers and was the lead Olympics reporter for the Savannah Morning News in the 1990s.

    James is married to Melissa, with three sons and lives in Northern Kentucky. He is an indiscriminate music junkie, and loves basketball, cooking, making beer and cheering for Boston teams.

    Media 411: 5 Ways to Build Your Listening Skills

    Thursday, November 20, 2014, 4:24 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Photo courtesy of bing.

    As a journalist you are taught to listen but when you cover a story are you really listening or are you simply waiting to respond instead of understanding what the person you’re interviewing is trying to say?

    Falling into a comfort zone can also happen once you’ve been a journalist long enough. However, it’s necessary to improve your skills and learn new ways to get a story and get information. Listening to what’s around you is the key. But how to do that?

    The Local News Lab addressed this very topic written by Josh Stearns. He writes, “Listening is after all not a passive act, but rather an active skill that we can learn and employ strategically. As the examples above make clear there are many different kinds of listening with different goals and outcomes.”

    Stearns maps out five models for listening at the intersection of newsrooms and communities:

    • Listening to sources and interviewees: One of the most fundamental parts of journalism is listening to the sources who make up our stories. Too often, however, we turn to the same voices. Part of listening better will be listening to find new sources and looking for new perspectives. (See for example the SourceOfTheWeekTumblr run by NPR.)
    • Listening for story ideas: Journalists listen to their communities to discover new story ideas. Curious City takes this idea further by not just listening for story ideas but also listening to community priorities. Rather than an editor deciding which story gets covered, the community gets to decide. There is also interesting work happening in social listening at organizations like Upwell.
    • Listening for feedback: Listening shouldn’t stop once a story is published. Newsrooms should actively invite community feedback on stories. This goes beyond having a comment section, to actually creating venues for stakeholders to respond to the reporting in a sustained way. For example, Chalkbeat…

    To read the complete story, please click here

    Media 411: 5 Tools for Social Media Monitoring

    Thursday, November 13, 2014, 1:15 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Photo Courtesy of bing

    In previous columns I have indicated my admiration for the site journalism.co.uk. It’s a wonderful site to visit if you’re a journalist and once again, they have done a great job with writing about a topic of interest to those who work in the media. This time they write about social media monitoring and the best tools available as recommended by Storyful

    Monitoring and verifying news from social media is far from simple but the tools exist to help journalists find good information they can separate from the bad they don’t need. 

    "By effectively organizing social media you are able to listen to those conversations and exclude all of the crap that you don't really need to listen to," explained Malachy Browne, news editor at Storyful.

    Below are five tools that Browne recommends for monitoring and verifying information from social media.

    Google Maps

    Alongside establishing the original source of any information posted to social media, discovering the location of the source is also key to verifying that content, said Browne. 

    One of the ways Storyful does this is by taking note of any landmarks or distinctive buildings featured in photos and videos, and attempting to verify the location using satellite imagery from Google Maps or geo-located photographs posted online.

    "When the Iraqi military put out videos of strikes on Islamic State targets, sometimes those videos will have the latitude and longitude, or some reference to it, and we'll check the satellite imagery to make sure that they are actually bombing a place that is in Islamic State hands and that it is where it says it is," explains Browne.

    Tweetdeck

    Twitter is Storyful's "primary signal" for breaking news and eyewitness media, said Browne, explaining that Tweetdeck was an essential tool for organizing and monitoring tweets.

    "By having well-curated lists, very good search terms [and] understanding the filters on Tweetdeck, that allows you to exclude a lot of the noise that you may not be interested in and focus on the beat that you're given for a particularly day," he said.

    Browne also recommended that journalists spent time and effort into curating effective Twitter lists, added that monitoring "a really tightly curated list" is very often the best way to find breaking stories.

    Storyful has curated more than 560 Twitter lists for various locations and topics, said Browne, some of which are public.

    For example, for a recent Twitter list to monitor news on Ebola he pulled in any relevant accounts from Storyful's existing location lists covering the affected areas, before contacting key agencies and organisations connected to the crisis to see what other accounts he should be following.

    "It's a bit labor intensive... but you reap the rewards from it," he said.

    To continue reading, please click here for the complete and original article from journalism.co.uk.

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

    Insider Tips on Pitching Business Media

    Monday, November 10, 2014, 11:17 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The Publicity Club of New York (#PCNY) held a panel discussion with five influential business journalists about what they cover and how they like to be pitched.

    Photo Courtesy of Peter Himler, PCNY.
    (Left to Right) Nicholas Carlson, Peter Lauria, Tracy Corrigan, Tom Giles, Sandy Cannold.

    Here are just some of their suggestionswhich you should keep in mind when pitching clients to these media outlets:

    Nicholas Carlson, Chief Correspondent, Business Insider

    • Business Insider is interested in politics, lifestyle, markets – anything a professional wants to read.
    • What you think is a story, is not (necessarily) a story. We think, “What does reader want to read?” Also, “Do I want to read this on a Saturday?”
    • Get clients talking about stories, people, companies we’re interested in covering.
    • Think like a reporter – know who the power players are and let me know if you have the connections.
    • Business Insider wants entrepreneurial stories. For example, the single mom who makes millions. There’s always room for these, not just big name companies.
    • 95% of the time, announcements are not news.
    • We do focus on charts that tell a story but ones that tell a story itself.

    Peter Lauria, Business Editor, BuzzFeed

    • BuzzFeed has 175 million unique visitors a month. 75% comes from social media.
    • There are two types of business audiences: the historic business reader, someone who watches CNBC; millennials, those who read the Wall Street Journal.
    • If we get an exclusive, people are going to share it. We want exclusives and people will read them.
    • The most value someone in PR can bring is to connect me.
    • There are two types of PR people: the one-time pitch that won’t work and that won’t last and the one who reaches out and says, “I rep this company and have this guy who can talk about ‘X.’ Want to meet him?” Type two is best.
    • If you’re good at PR you will be called first since I know you’ll connect me.
    • Best exclusives include company A is buying company B as told by someone who knows but when an official announcement hasn’t been made.

    Tracy Corrigan, Digital Editor, The Wall Street Journal

    • 1, 800 staff, half are in the United States.
    • We use video by our own journalists as well as a video team.
    • When you pitch think about visuals. We don’t want a guy in a suit and tie.
    • "Think about the visual component of the story you're pitching."
    • We expect our reporters to participate in social media.
    • Find angles when you pitch. For example, how is viral marketing affecting a company? SEO?
    • We encourage reporters to have relationships with senior management, not just the executives.
    • With regards to infographics, the data has to tell a story.

    Tom Giles, Managing Editor, U.S. Company News, Bloomberg News

    • 320, 000 financial subscribers
    • Bloomberg produces more than 5,000 stories a day.
    • Take time to get to know people in the beat you cover.
    • In the era of social media there is no excuse for missending email, etc.
    • Invest the time over a long period of time to get to know the journalist as a person, not “Here’s a pitch. Cover it.”
    • Follow me on Twitter.
    • Don’t as to be connected on LinkedIn unless I know you.
    • Send emails.
    • Please don’t’ call about the email you just sent.
    • “Don’t hate me because I’m digital.” Please don’t ask for the ‘print’ person. The work we do appears across a multitude of platforms.
    • We care about startups. They give insight into companies we care about.
    • I get access from those in PR, not ideas. Be “someone in the room.” If I can’t have the CEO, give me someone who knows what’s going on.
    • We like getting access to CEO, CFO, COO, but sometimes someone on a lower scale works better.

    Sandy Cannold, Executive Producer, CNBC “Squawk Box”

    • CNBC is an investor network covering money, markets.
    • We want entrepreneurs, disruptors, interesting characters in business, big guests, news makers and breakers.
    • Have clients understand that if they’re in the rundown (map for show producers and staff that indicates what story is airing, etc.) it doesn’t meant they’ll make it to air. It’s just the reality.
    • Email is the only way to reach me, occasionally on Twitter. “Morning producers don’t sleep. “
    • No LinkedIn.
    • Big name guests go to higher end members of team so keep that in mind when you pitch.
    • We prefer to be exclusive and if we see you on a competitor, it’s not great but we at least have to be first.
    • We look for stories with great backstories. For example, ordinary people with ideas who became millionaires.
    • If a client is featured in a publication, send it to us. It will be part of the backstory.
    • We want a provocative point of view and people who are willing to express that. Those who are willing to take on companies like Apple or Netflix. That becomes a very shareable story.
    • It helps if we can call you at a moment’s notice. That’s an important layer of the relationship between journalists and PR .

     To listen to the complete panel discussion, please click here.

     Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

     

    Media 411: Do You Trust the Media?

    Thursday, October 30, 2014, 3:09 PM [Media 411]
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    Do you trust the media? Are you confident that the news channel or news program you’re watching is telling you the truth? Which news organization do you trust the most? Least?

    The Pew Research Center put out a report called “Political Polarization & Media Habits” that shows trust and distrust in news outlets is based on political beliefs. 

    However, the breakdown of responses is quite complex. Here’s how the Pew Research Center has analyzed them: 

    1) The full population picture doesn’t tell the whole story. If you look simply at the total percentage of online adults who say they trust a news organization for news about government and politics, several mainstream television outlets rise to the top. CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News are all trusted by more than four-in-ten web-using U.S. adults. These high numbers, though, are intertwined with the fact that more than nine-in-ten respondents have heard of these five news sources. Trust and distrust were only asked of sources respondents had heard of, thus, the better known a source is, the more Americans in total who can voice trust or distrust of that source. A source like The Economist, on the other hand, is known by just 34% of respondents and so could never have a trust level exceeding 34% — even if everyone who had heard of it trusted it.

    2) Is a news organization not trusted? Or just not well known? An alternative way to analyze the data is to look at the percent of trust among those who have heard of the news organization. This approach means that lesser-known outlets may be seen as equally trusted as better-known outlets.

    To continue reading, please click here.

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

     

    Making Lateral Moves as a Freelancer

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 12:47 PM [#ConnectChat]
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    On Tuesday, Oct. 28, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "Making Lateral Moves as a Freelancer," with Joanne Cleaver (@jycleaver), a freelance business journalist and author since 1981, and a strategic communication consultant who helps organizations and experts develop and deliver strategic messages that build reputation and authority.

    Joanne discussed managing time, getting clients/assignments,increasing work opportunities by making lateral moves, next month's ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Content Connections conference in Chicago and much more.

    Please follow @ProfNet and @editorev on Twitter for more information on future chats or check back right here on ProfNet Connect for details.

    Joanne, please tell us about yourself and about what you do.

    I’m a content strategy & communication consultant: Wilson-taylorassoc.com . My firm helps clients develop & deliver stories, often based on our original research. Our specialties include women in business, entrepreneurship, career pathing & communication & media training.

    I’m also a former newspaper deputy biz editor; staff content manager; & nationally published writer. And, I wrote www.thecareerlattice.com  about lateral moves for career growth. Over is the New Up!

    What’s the biggest mistake someone can make starting out as a freelancer?

    1) Not realizing that client care is 50% of your time and probably 80% of your energy. 2) Writing for love not money...you need both! 3) Saying you can write anything. You can't. Specializing is key.

    How does one go about landing their first client or their first assignment? It’s a struggle to get them even when more established.

    The sweet spot: pitch what you know that isn't being covered. Bring insight. Surprise the editor or client with a fresh take. Bring a point of view, not just facts.

    What do you suggest for managing one’s time between family, writing and other activities?

    Having it all is possible! Just define 'it all.' For me, it's a blend of creative writing, content strategy, and business writing…plus quilting. The freelance delusion that you can write while the kids play. Not. Treat your professional time as such.

    Multitasking triumph deadline bread! Here's the recipe: proof yeast in a.m. Make calls. Make dough & set to rise. Make more calls. Knead & fold into pans. Let rise. Write. Put bread in oven. Work out. Reward yourself! Start deadline bread at 9 a.m., serve warm bread to kids home from school at 3.

    How much time does one need to devote to pitching, landing a client, writing a story and starting the cycle again?

    I allow 3 - 4 months lead time from idea to payment. Now, let's break it down. Develop a unique angle for THIS client. Find the decision maker. Allow a month for the decision. Expect to evolve the idea...and your fee, as you do. I try to tee up the next assignment as I win the current one. Under promise, over deliver. I add a small extra soon after I start, such as a sidebar. Outline the project schedule & deliverables (yeah, corporate speak). Deadlines = payment.

    Check in to make sure reality matches expectations. The sweet spot: pitch what you know, that isn't being covered. Give ideas for graphics, social content. Can you refer to a designer, etc.? Deliver top journalistic quality. Corporate clients love this! Use anecdotes, short stories to illustrate data. It IS like Build A Bear! Start with a leg, add an arm. Cross sell within a company. Show client love by referring THEM to potential customers, clients.

    When it comes to money, people often have no idea what to do. How do you manage when you’re a beginner without a fixed income?

    Ebyline is a great place to gain traction. I have gained great clients through Ebyline. Specialize! OWN a topic & network with experts. Learn how at @ASJAConCon Nov. 13. Team with other freelancers for projects. Don't be the lone ranger.

    Is it easier to freelance when you already have a steady FT or PT job?

    Starting with FT or PT job gives you specialization and potential conflicts of interest. To career lattice into freelancing, build a portfolio with association projects. Association work puts you in front of trends and potential clients. Millennials can get a fast start via nonprofit work, building authority.

    Once you’ve become a more experienced freelancer, there’s still room to grow to increase your opportunities –how can someone branch out into other things while continuing to freelance?

    Freelancers must find their own lateral moves. The Career Lattice shows how. I discovered I was great at communication and media training. Expect to invest in training to build new skills. I took a train the trainer course. One caveat: many writers suck at speaking. And it's hard to get paid for speaking. Speaking requires deep knowledge plus stage presence. Writers typically have just the knowledge.

    What about former journalists who may not be looking to work as freelancers – what opportunities exist for people with their skills?

    Lateral moves are the only way. Consider research, analyst jobs in your beat. Project management skills are valuable, too. Know your core people skills for potential advocacy, communication jobs. If you think all PR jobs are 'the dark side,' you see the world only in black and white.

    You’re very involved with the ASJA. What’s your role with the organization?

    I founded and chair Content Connections, @ASJAConCon, where freelancers meet content clients. The Content Connections committee is the best!

    Can you please tell us about the upcoming conference?

    Why, yes, I can! Content creatives: learn how subject matter expertise = client cash flow. Corporate and nonprofit clients can find the writers they need for content goals. Plus: power networking, workshops, and lots of muffins. Keynote is @JayHeinrichs - smart & funny. Details at www.asjaconferences.org 

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com


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