Evelyn Tipacti

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    • Title:Community Editor
    • Organization:ProfNet Connect (PR Newswire)
    • Area of Expertise:Media Relations, Hispanic Media
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    Pitching to Business Media

    Monday, June 27, 2016, 6:21 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The Publicity Club of New York held a panel luncheon, featuring some of the leading journalists who cover business.

    A special thank you to Peter Himler, president of the Publicity Club of New York, who is the host of each event. Attendees are always provided with time to speak with the journalist panel after the discussion portion which makes PCNY luncheons one of the best networking events in the area.

    The business media panel consisted of:

    (Top Row)

    Jonathan Clark, Assistant News Director, WCBS Newsradio 880

    Tara Lynn Wagner, Anchor/Reporter, NY1 News

    Aaron Task, Digital Editor, Fortune

    (Bottom Row)

    Adrienne Toscano, Supervising Producer, Bloomberg TV

    James Ledbetter, Editor, Inc. Magazine

    Julie Zeveloff, Executive Editor of Insider, Business Insider

    Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

    Jonathan Clarke, WCBS Newsradio 880

    Always looking for content and always looking to put stories on air. 

    They tell stories and don’t paint a broad brush and say “That’s a business story, we’re not going to do this or that.”

    They have a 9:30 a.m. block in morning drive called the Opening Bell Report, which is a half hour program. They include sports, but focus on the business of sports. The program also includes special business features.

    What are the stories you’d tell in an elevator? That’s what they want.

    At :25 and :55 they get updates from Bloomberg, but not to say they don’t have reporters covering different businesses.

    They have a segment called “Stories From Main Street,” which focuses on community stories, whether in Westchester, New Jersey or in the city. It’s about unique stories, about business or people doing good in the community, perhaps businesses or people that need a spotlight who never get it.

    For Bloomberg segment, pitch to Bloomberg directly.

    With regards to experts, introduce expert in advance of when they might be needed. It’s during a breaking story when an expert is needed, but it’s also the worst time to get pitches because the staff is focused on the story.

    They look for someone who knows what they’re talking about, sounds good and can speak in layman’s terms.

    Follows journalist Jill Schlesinger of CBS on Twitter

    Jonathan can be reached at jclark@wcbs880.com

    Tara Lynn Wagner, NY 1

    Tara is the Money Matters reporter.

    Covers primary personal finance, credit card debt, student loans, taxes, and retirement savings.

    At NY 1, they all consider themselves generalists but have a beat structure.

    80% of what she covers is regarding pocketbook and household issues.

    She focuses only on New York City but her pieces air nationally so subjects need to be in the NYC area. Pieces have to play to a wide audience across the country.

    Tara is less inclined to do features on a book, but if it’s possible to peg something happening in the news, then may increase chances of using author. For example, if there’s an interest rate hike and you pitch an author who just wrote a book on the subject, it may work, but the piece would not likely be on the book.

    Experts need to speak in user-friendly format to the lay person.

    Pitched can go directly to Tara and she will discuss them with her producer.

    To reach someone at NY 1, type their first name dot last name at ny1news dot com.

    Aaron Task, Fortune

    Aaron oversees the editorial strategy and operations.

    Staffers from the digital team write for the magazine and vice versa.

    Aaron is trying to bring some beat structure to organization.

    Fortune has generalists with subspecialties.

    They cover retail and now have healthcare and biotechnology, which is a new focus.

    A digital health newsletter is set to launch.

    Machine learning, artificial intelligence, how tech changes heavy industry also a focus.

    They have a weekly show called “Fortune Live.”

    Fortune does on-demand video segments and is launching a podcast called “Fortune Unfiltered” in July. The idea is to tell stories about a person’s personal journey who’ve had success in business but also have an interesting story, who’ve had obstacles and are willing to talk.

    When pitching, pitch the idea because it’s the least amount of work from the publicist’s perspective.

    Experts should be able to speak with authority.

    Aaron likes to follow David Faber of CNBC on Twitter.

    To reach staff, email first name dot last name at fortune dot com.

    Adrienne Toscano, Bloomberg TV

    Adrienne is head of global booking.

    “Global” is the key word for them.

    No “gotcha” journalism. You’ll get a smart conversation when you watch.

    Bloomberg has 2, 400 journalists, 150 bureaus in 73 countries.

    On the TV side they’re in 360 million homes worldwide.

    Bloomberg TV has many shows which are co-anchored globally. “Surveillance” is co-anchored from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. (ET) with someone in London. Another is co-anchored out of London and Berlin.

    They have more of an institutional audience.

    Bloomberg TV’s audience is the most affluent in cable television.

    Their target audience is people who make the decisions about where to move money.

    They’re the only business network that livestreams everything on their site and mobile apps.

    Bloomberg has had huge digital growth – in April they had 218 million video streams which is a 150% year over year increase.

    Adrienne’s staff books on behalf of the network but each show has their own bookers.

    You can pitch to Adrienne’s team and they will pass along.

    If she’s reading your email and if she’s already in the second paragraph and doesn’t know what the pitch is yet, she’s skipping. Give all the important details first.

    James Ledbetter, Inc. Magazine

    Inc. and Inc.com are two separate “beasts.”

    The magazine comes out 10 times per year with each containing 40 to 45 articles.

    Inc.com provides 80 pieces a day every weekday.

    The magazine focuses on entrepreneurship so it’s aimed at those running a small business, those starting a business, selling or investing in a business.

    Content is produced by staff or freelancers. They have a “tremendous” amount of outside contributors. Most pieces run are made by those who are not employees.

    The website has a larger audience with 15 million unique visitors. The magazine has a circulation of 700,000.

    What does well are personal productivity and self-help stories.

    They look for experts on law, marketing, leadership.

    It’s best to pitch an idea and he will respond if he likes it.

    Staff can be reached at first initial last name at inc dot com.

    Likes following journalist Joe Weisenthal of Bloomberg on Twitter.

    James says a story not covered enough is “The fragility of the Chinese banking system.”

    Julie Zeveloff, Business Insider

    Business Insider digital business publication target audience is the next generation of business leaders.

    They launched Tech Insider a year ago which is more commercial and targeted at a younger, gadget-loving audience. It focuses more on entertainment, science, innovation and design.

    Insider is focused on “Life is an adventure.” They cover lifestyle, travel, food, health, design, and human interest. Video on Facebook is big.

    They do 15 to 20 short social videos a day and just launched their website.

    Business Insider is refocusing in business coverage – markets, Wall Street, finance, retail, transportation, careers, and business strategy.

    Check the mastheads on each site for editorial staff contact information.

    Likes to follow Joe Weisenthal of Bloomberg on Twitter.

    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

    Journalist Spotlight: Michele C. Hollow, Freelancer and Author

    Thursday, June 16, 2016, 1:21 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.

    Michele C. Hollow works as a freelance journalist, editor, and author. She writes about pets, wildlife, the environment, and health.

    Her byline has appeared in The Guardian, Fusion, The New York Times, Parade, Family Circle, NY Daily News, DIYNetwork, and other publications. She is a regular contributor to YourCareEverywhere.com, where she writes about health.

    Her book, The Everything Guide to Working with Animals, was published by Adams Media. She wrote a middle grade biography on the Grateful Dead for Enslow Publishers and she and her son co-wrote a joke book about Minecraft for Sky Pony Press.

    Her blog, Pet News and Views, covers pet care, pet lifestyle, and the people who work with and on behalf of animals. Michele also uses Pet News and Views to get companies to donate products to animal shelters and rescues. 

    She is almost finished with her first middle grade novel and is looking for an agent.

    She lives in NJ with her husband, son, and two rescue cats. 

    We hope you find Bob's SPOTLIGHT enjoyable and informative. 


    Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer or did you start off doing something completely different?

    Yes, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had it down to two choices: writer or veterinarian. Later in my writing career, I started writing about animals.  

    Where was your first professional job as a journalist?

    I worked for a small daily in southern LA, which was a big change for someone growing up in the Bronx!

    How long have you been a freelance writer and how did you start your career?

    I've been freelancing for about 20 years. I worked FT as a reporter at Home Furnishing Daily, a Fairchild trade that covered the manufacturing and retail sides of home furnishings. After three years at Fairchild, I left for FT freelance work covering interior design. I queried Harris Publications (which just closed its doors) and got my first assignment. I wrote for several shelter publications.

    Your preference seems to be writing about animals -- can you tell us about your blog and any other projects you’re working on?

    It is! I've always loved animals. I took zoology courses at the Bronx Zoological Society when I was 13! I was too young to work and they let me into their program. When I have a keen interest in something, I work hard. Reading information about animals was something I enjoyed, and what was even better than that was being around animals. The zoologists were very generous with their knowledge.

    It took me a while to publish stories about pets and wildlife. I started writing about animals seven years ago. I wrote a book called "The Everything Guide to Working with Animals" for Adams Media. From there, I started writing my blog, Pet News and Views. I mostly wrote about animal welfare. I'm not blogging that much these days. Thankfully, I'm busy with other projects. I'm working on a novel and have steady assignments.

    I'm also writing two columns a week for a consumer health site called Your Care Everywhere. My focus here is to cover advice for caregivers and stories for parents of kids with special needs. My son has Asperger's, so it's a topic that I can identify with.

    What do you like best about what you do?

    I think of journalism as continuing education. You are always learning new things.  I know it's important to specialize, and I do. Yet, I've changed topics over the years. I started out writing about interior design, moved on to editing a bridal magazine, that led to travel writing, and then I got interested in health. I still, occasionally, write about interiors; that led to writing about pets in the home. From there, I moved on to wildlife and now I'm really interested in climate change.

    Many of the topics I've covered have jumping off points that connect to one another. Bridal led to honeymoon travel writing, which led to family travel. Interior design led to pets, which led to writing about other animals--farm and wildlife. I was able to transition to climate change by focusing on wildlife. See, it's all connected!

    I also like meeting people who work for and on behalf of animals. 

    What advice to do you have for PR reps or for those who may want to pitch you a story?

    I'm always looking for new health stories. If there is a new scientific study regarding childhood mental health, I'd be interested in hearing about it. Anything new on climate change is also welcome.

    What should they always do?

    Send a short press release or email describing the story.

    Never do?

    Don't send me info about products. I don't promote products. I get a lot of pet food and pet product releases, which I just don't cover. 

    How can someone in PR get to know you and develop a positive work relationship with you?

    Follow me on Twitter. I follow back. Read my articles to see what I cover. 

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

    ProfNet is good regarding no off-pitches. I really don't appreciate off-pitches. I'm on deadline when I post on Profnet, and don't want to go through a lot of emails that don't pertain to what I'm looking for. 

    What type of experts do you like to work with?

    For Your Care Everywhere, doctors, nutritionists, RNs, fitness experts, etc. who can tell me something that I can share with my readers about new medical breakthroughs--especially if it pertains to parents of special needs kids. 

    For climate change and wildlife, I know a lot of experts and am open to meeting new ones. I just need new angles on old stories or stories that haven't been reported on yet. Yes, I know you've heard that before. I'm just repeating what my editors told me over and over again!

    How do use social media?

    I like Twitter. I post my stories and stories that are of interest to me. I'm on FB, too, but am not as big a fan of that site. I also have my own LinkedIn site. It's for people who work or volunteer with animals. It's called Pet News and Views, after my blog. 

    Can you provide any tips for someone who’s thinking of becoming a freelance writer?

    If you're serious about a writing career, read. Study online sites and read articles of interest to you. Send queries to editors. You can Google "How to write a query letter." Join an online professional writers' association. I belong to ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors). Take a writing workshop in your town. 

    If you have a FT job, make time to freelance before you quit that FT job. Once you get your first few clips, the doors will open more easily.

    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

    Media 411: Tips for Assignment Editors

    Friday, June 10, 2016, 1:09 PM [Media 411]
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    Being a journalist is tough -- stress and responsibility are an everyday thing. Just ask any assignment editor. They’re the heart of a newsroom and where almost every story begins. They find the stories by fielding calls from the public, listening to scanners, reading news releases (yes, it still happens), plan the stories and assign them to a reporter. They’re producers and troubleshooters and also make the suggestions as to whether or not a story should be covered.

    I'd like to share a column from NewsLab titled “Advice for assignment managers,” and although it’s a few years old, what it offers still holds true today. Here’s an excerpt (with a link to the full article above) and one of the biggest takeaways from the piece:

    “As an assignment editor you will be constantly bombarded with questions and requests. It is not important that you know all things, it is important that you know how to find all things. The newsroom must have confidence that ‘you’re on it.’ They need to know that you are filling their requests. You should anticipate possible questions and requests they may have and begin working on them before the request is made. This will help to develop their confidence in you.”

    I also had the opportunity to speak with a veteran of the TV news business who’s been at it for two decades. He’s an assignment manager with one of New York’s most watched newscasts. He wanted to remain anonymous, but had some great advice for assignment editors everywhere:

    • Be very active on social media. Most videos, stories and tips are born in a social media site.  
    • Be proactive and not reactive. Anticipate a story by preparing contacts, interviews and other sources
    • Always watch the competitors.
    • Know your market. Focus stories to your market.   
    • Create build and maintain good contacts in key places.  

    What other bits of advice do you have? Please let me know in the comments below. 

    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

    Tips for Journalists on Approaching People Affected by Tragedy

    Thursday, May 12, 2016, 2:36 PM [Media 411]
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    Covering tragedies is part of the job when you’re a reporter. It’s never something reporters like to do, but there’s no escaping it. If there’s been a homicide, you cover it. If there’s a fire, you cover it. You’ll likely encounter relatives of the victim, someone who’s lost their home, or someone else whose life has just been turned upside down.

    Speaking to people who’ve either lost loved ones, witnessed a tragedy or who were involved directly in some way whether it be through a natural disaster, murder, fire, accident or something else, need to be spoken to carefully. It’s something that fills you with dread but it’s always part of the assignment. It breaks your heart. You’re human, although some may feel you’re not since you have such “nerve” to ask someone who’s been devastated how they’re feeling and sticking a microphone in their face.

    How should you approach someone who’s hurting? Scott Sobel, a senior strategy and communications executive at communications firm kglobal and former major market and network journalist with several journalism awards, provided some advice:

    • Ask a friend, law enforcement officer or other mutual contact for an introduction to the grieving interview subject.
    • Always start conversations or interviews with the expression of condolences.
    • Mention any commonalities or empathy, as in, “I have kids, I can’t imagine what you are going through having just lost your child.”
    • Preface sensitive questions with a qualifying phrase, such as, “Mrs. X, I’m about to ask a very tough question about your loss, of course, you don’t have to answer. Do you mind if I ask …?”
    • If your question needs a linchpin answer, you might explain the social redemption aspect of the interview subject’s cooperation. This approach can also be used after you are first introduced and after you express condolences. Example, “Thank you for the interview, your help here will prevent other accidents in the future.”
    • Reconsider your interview request or questions when you see the subject becoming emotional, combative or physically unable to answer. The judgement is yours depending on circumstances.

    Dr. Sheila K. Collins, a writer, keynote speaker, improvisational artist, and performer, also gave me some suggestions. Her award-winning book, Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable Loss and the Rituals that Heal tells of her journeys with two of her three adult children and her best friend through their life-threatening illnesses and deaths. 

    Dr. Collins says, "The issue you are looking at, how reporters approach victims of tragedy is a critical one, not only the reporter and the person being interviewed, but, in the radio and television media, the journalist becomes a model for the public as they encounter someone in their own neighborhood or network experiencing a tragedy. The most frequent comment I get from people about dealing with someone
    else’s grief is, 'I don’t know what to say.'" 

    Here are some ideas from Dr. Collins to consider:

    • Police on the TV cop shows often begin their conversation with a family member of someone who has died with “I’m sorry for your loss.” Even though it can come off as scripted, the statement acknowledges that at this point, for the person, it is the loss that matters most.
    • It would help if journalists could be trained to recognize the signs of when a person is in shock so they can avoid bombarding such a person with detailed questions about what happened. For a person in shock these are unanswerable questions and risk traumatizing the person further.   
    • I would like to see more emphasis on questions that may serve the needs of the person being interviewed while giving information to the journalist and to the public. Lead-ins to such discussions might include:
      • "Do you feel able to talk with me right now about what’s happened here?"
      • "What would you like the public to know about this situation?"
      • "Can you help me understand…?"

    Regardless of whether you’re a new journalist or a seasoned veteran, covering a tragedy is never an easy assignment. Just remember who you’re dealing with, put yourself in their shoes and think of your approach.

    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

    Implementing Communications Strategies to Elevate Patient Engagement

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 2:48 PM [General]
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    The Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society of Greater New York (HPRMS) recently presented a panel discussion with AccentHealth regarding ways to optimize performance by implementing new ways to elevate patient engagement in order to drive results through strategic communication planning.

    Today’s healthcare providers face increased accountability for patient care, patient satisfaction as well as greater competition. Donna Turgeon, the senior vice president of patient education services, and Erin Fitzgerald, the vice president of marketing at AccentHealth, gave detailed advice on how to:

    • Determine goals and what success looks like for your company.
    • Understand the wealth of resources available to increase patient engagement.
    • Create a marketing plan to reach those goals that begins within the walls of your organization and branches via multiple channels (e.g., digital solutions, events, contests).


    Determine

    You should align with internal stakeholder to define what success us for your organization. Success varies from organization to organization so it’s a good idea to get an idea of what would be considered a success. Here are some common goals to help you get started:

    • Increase patient retention.
    • Meet meaningful use requirements.
    • Manage practice more efficiently.
    • Update technology in your practice.
    • Enhance patient engagement.
    • Improve health outcomes.

    Understand

    Get involved in the community and put a face behind your brand. Leverage digital channels to advertise your involvement and keep current and prospective patients in on the action.

    Within your organization

    • Host a free event with an on-site dietician.
    • Give a seminar on a health issue in which you specialize.
    • Have an open house/community meeting.

    Outside of your organization

    • Sponsor a health fair.
    • Host a heart walk.
    • Facilitate a health screening.
    • Donate to a local charity.
    • Attend a conference.

    Leverage Digital Channels to Market Your Practice & Retain Patients

    Accurate and consistent information across all channels is the key to improving your reputation, increasing your ability to be found, and driving new patients from the web.

    Examples

    Social Media -- Facebook -- Stay connected with patients between appointments to increase likelihood of rebooking.

    Online Directories -- Healthgrades -- Easily manage your online reputation.

    Search Engines -- Google -- Gain a competitive advantage by coming up first in search results.

    Email marketing -- Patient Newsletter -- Send alerts and health tips to keep patients engaged with their health.

    Create

    Having a TV spot professionally produced and buying local advertising can be costly, time consuming, and overwhelming. That’s where point-of-care patient education companies can help.

    3-Step Approach to Creating a Balanced Marketing Plan

    Build a foundation using point of care communication:

    • DIY Marketing: Create your own marketing materials and distribute throughout your organization. Promotional flyers, for example.
    • Patient Education Companies: Many provide complimentary marketing services, allowing you to broadcast professionally produced messages on state-of-the-art technology throughout your waiting and exam rooms.

    Maximize Impact by Using Your Creative on Other Channels

    Utilize your professionally-produced messages to branch out across multiple channels such as:

    • Digital Signage
    • Social Media
    • Internal/Patient Newsletter
    • Company Website

    Target Additional Messaging As Needed

    While you plan your marketing efforts, be sure to align with internal stockholders to prepare messaging to support your other initiatives such as:

    • New resourced for patients (patient portal)
    • Office expansions/changes (renovations)
    • Events (internal and external)
    • New service lines
    • Highlight new physicians and technologies

    If your organization is not yet focused on patient outreach, start small and scale your efforts using channels that are performing best.

    Optimize

    Optimize patient engagement by setting clear goals and testing new tactics:

    • Measure your current baseline (patient retention rate).
    • Align internally on your goals (goal of patient retention rate).
    • Test tactics to optimize performance (contests/special promotions).

    Benefits of Creating & Refining Your Marketing Strategy Starting at the Point of Care

    • Guaranteed patient reach.
    • Improved patient retention and engagement.
    • Decreased expenditure by utilizing complimentary practice messaging services.

    Health System Case Study: Increasing Patient Engagement Starting at the Point-of-Care

    AccentHealth’s Patient Education Solution

    Driving Engagement Through Innovative Digital Products in Waiting and Exam Rooms:

    • Digital Exam Room Solution: Wall-mounted display features a patient education tablet and condition-specific brochures.
    • Digital Patient Education TV: Credible and engaging patient-focused educational content produced by CNN’s Medical Unit.
    • Educational Health Posters: Features relevant facts and digital extensions so patients can interact with additional content.

    Case Study: Resolving Business Challenges Through Point of Care Marketing

    Challenge: Raise patient awareness about and participation in monthly health events.

    Work-Around: Dedicate valuable staff time to design and hang flyers on walls in the waiting rooms, as well as call patients to make them aware of the session and encourage them to register.

    Solution: Leverage custom practice messaging on their AccentHealth TV to expose patients to the event details while they wait.

    Results: Increased participation with less manual effort and increased staff productivity since they can focus on other activities to help drive practice success.

    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

    Smart Freelancing Strategies for 2016

    Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 2:30 PM [#ConnectChat]
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    On Tuesday, May 3, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "Smart Freelancing Strategies for 2016," with our guest Lynn Freehill-Maye, an independent writer and co-chair for this year's American Society of Journalists Conference (ASJA).

    Lynn discussed how to manage your time, marketing yourself, using social media, how to keep your career as a freelance writer fun, the ASJA conference in New York and more.

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

    Lynn, please tell us about yourself and how you began your career as an independent writer.

    I’m a proud journalism grad from @DrakeJMC, where I gained all the tools to report & write. I reported at Virgin Islands Daily News and edited @TheAlcalde. But the happiest three years of my life have been since I went freelance! I’ve lived and written on four continents now. There’s nothing like the time and geographic flexibility of freelancing.

    What is your role with ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors)? 

    Oh, I’m proud to be a member of @ASJAhq, the nation’s leading organization of nonfiction writers! This year I’m co-chairing the national conference, #ASJA2016, with my friend @cindykuzma.

    Why is it a good time to be a freelancer at this point in time?

    So many reasons to be excited about freelancing now! There are more outlets than ever -- new online publications, and more online content needs from traditional magazines. Culturally, I think we’re starting to value flexibility and work-life balance more—and freelancing has a definite appeal for that! And two more words: content marketing.  It’s smart storytelling from businesses and pays well! Content marketing is a growing side of freelancing.

    Should a writer choose a specialty?

    In a word, YES to choosing a writing specialty (or multiple). Many of us have wide-ranging curiosities, BUT choosing even a broad set of specialty topic areas really helps you focus publications to pitch. Specialties also help editors trust you as knowledgeable about certain subject areas. When you have a knowledge base, you save research and use time efficiently. And specialties help you develop a platform for if/when you want to write a book.

    How can you increase your reach and have editors know you exist?

    Twitter is a great start! Add editors to a list you start, like “GreatEds” then engage with them. Of course, pitching ideas directly is probably the single best way to connect with editors. Through @ASJAhq, we get the annual opportunity to meet editors in person, like this year at #ASJA2016, which always helps.

    What are some of the best ways to market yourself?

    Your own website is a nonnegotiable must-have to be a freelancer. It doesn’t have to be pricey, but it should be polished. Good news: pitching is marketing yourself! Send editors your ideas and link to your website. Look for surprising outlets. For instance, @jlwf says look at your direct mail. As a health writer, she contacted hospitals, etc., that sent her magazines and mailings. She now gets paid to write her own junk mail!

    Is blogging a way to increase your visibility?

    Yes, blogging can be extraordinarily effective! My blog is simple, a way to show editors my raw work and have occasional fresh draws to my website. For that my colleague @joanprice advocates a “rule-breaking” blog. Hers is on senior sex!

    How do you leverage your writing with social media?

    Headlines are the best attention-getters. Twitter’s 140 characters makes us better writers, teaching us to trim the fat. Don’t just say you’re a writer. Write in your voice -- the best way to promote yourself. Don’t just share your own content. Promote other writers -- and potential readers. No more than every five tweets should be about you.

    What is the biggest mistake a freelance writer can make with regards to time?

    So much to learn about time management! I’ve gained so much from author @lvanderkam on this. No matter how busy you are with projects, you must budget time to pitch and market yourself.

    How do you resolve this issue of time mismanagement? It can keep you from getting the results you want so how do you fix it?

    I tracked my time for one week, as @lvanderkam advises. How do you TRULY use the 168 hours we all have? First, measure that. For truly scary results, track the time you lose surfing online and on Facebook. (Pro tip: sign out!)

    You MUST take regular, measured breaks or your mind will wander. I use the @PomodoroTech to great success. Blocks of 25-min concentration followed by 5-min breaks.

    A lot of work goes into creating a freelance career – how can one keep it fun?

    To keep freelancing fun, balance passion projects with big-payout work. @DawnReiss will share great thoughts at #ASJA2016. Follow your curiosity on those passion projects. Chase the stories that light you up. Develop a tribe of freelancing friends. Sharing ideas, contact info, feedback, jokes and support helps loads!

    There's a misconception that freelancers don't help each other sometimes since it seems they're competing with one another. What's your take?

    That's a real misconception—freelancers know there's enough business for all! Trusted friends help you flesh out ideas, outlets. Freelance writing is running your own business, so the rules of being an entrepreneur apply.

    Do you recommend side jobs to keep a steady income and when (if) can you rely only on writing?

    Side jobs can be good if they provide necessary income while you build up your freelance career. Side-job side benefits: if you're an extrovert who craves real-time interactions. A side job could also teach you a skill that’ll expand your skill set and increase your marketability. But no to side jobs if the work is taking you away from marketing time. You may be better off devoting that time to marketing each week and may make more money that way.

    How do you keep the momentum going and keep getting clients?

    Never neglect marketing! Always keep looking for new clients. From reaching out to local businesses to asking clients for referrals, there are always ways to grow your writing business. .@kellyjamesenger and her books have great marketing ideas.

    Can you tell us about this year’s ASJA conference?

    Oh, so pumped about the conference! #ASJA2016 takes place @RooseveltNYC May 20-21. We’ll bring together hundreds of authors, nonfiction writers and journalists with editors and agents.

    We've got highly anticipated keynote and welcome addresses coming from @lvanderkam and @JoshLevs. We’re thrilled that New York Times Book Review editor @PamelaPaulNYT will be among the boldface names and the editor of @Harpers, @jamesamarcus, is among the many key speakers.

    Business publications whose editors will field pitches include @Inc @FastCompany @FortuneMagazine @TheAtlantic. Editors from @BBCTravel @BudgetTravel @buzzfeedtravel @AARP will also field travel pitches. I could go on and on about the value of #writers #conferences in general and #ASJA2016 in particular.

    Where can you register for it?

    Register for #ASJA2016 at Asjaconferences.org . See you there!

    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


    Upcoming #ConnectChat: Smart Freelancing Strategies for 2016

    Friday, April 29, 2016, 11:02 AM [#ConnectChat]
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    Our next #ConnectChat, "Smart Freelancing Strategies for 2016,” will feature Lynn Freehill-Maye, an independent writer and co-chair for this years American Society of Journalists Conference (ASJA).

    Lynn is a graduate of Drake University’s top-ranking School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

    Before becoming an independent writer, she worked as the tourism and environment reporter at the Pulitzer-winning Virgin Islands Daily News and as editor of the University of Texas’ 200,000-reader alumni magazine, The Alcalde. 

    Lynn will be discussing how to make the most of your time as a freelance writer, managing your subjects and clients, how to keep it fun so you can continue to thrive, the ASJA conference in New York and much more.

    The chat will take place Tuesday, May 3 from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT.


    To submit questions for Lynn in advance, please email profnetconnect@prnewswire.com or tweet your question to @ProfNet or @ProfNetMedia. We'll try to get to as many questions as we can.

    Of course, you can also ask your question live during the chat. To help you keep track of the conversation, we’ll use the #connectchat hashtag. Please use that hashtag if you are tweeting a question or participating in the chat.

    If you can't make it to the chat, don't worry -- a transcript will be provided on ProfNet Connect the next day.

    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

    Pitching to Entertainment Media

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 3:57 PM [General]
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    The Publicity Club of New York held a panel luncheon, featuring some of the most influential journalists who cover the entertainment beat.

    A special thank you goes to Peter Himler, president of the Publicity Club of New York, who hosts every single event which also provides access to the panel after each discussion.

    This panel consisted of:

     Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

    Christine Fahey, Access Hollywood

    Christine was the bureau chief for a long time and is now the head booker.

    “Relationships are the key to world in this business.”

    “I want exclusives and will do right by you.” 

    Access Hollywood does not want to look like the other shows.

    Not doing as many junkets as before which doesn’t make studios happy.

    Looking for something “dazzling.”

    There are two shows: 11 a.m. and the evening show.

    AH has a huge web counterpart but there’s a different audience for web than there is for television.

    Celebrity takeovers are popular on social media. They love Twitter, they do Snapchat.

    Also cover some political news.

    Email follow-up is preferred.

    Marie Hickey, Extra

    They have an outdoor studio at Universal in Los Angeles and a New York studio deal with H&M but they’re on the second floor window that overlooks Times Square and also have a jumbotron which projects celebrity interviews.

    Mario Lopez hosts out of Los Angeles.

    A celebrity client for New York or Los Angeles is advantageous to Extra and to the one who pitches. The piece becomes bigger if it can be done with host or one of the main correspondents.

    Someone is in office by 6 a.m., rundown is ready by 10:30 a.m. and show feeds out at 4 p.m.ET. Keep that in mind when pitching because if you call at 2 p.m. it’s too late unless it’s a major story.

    For a future show, the best time to pitch is the late morning or early afternoon.

    It’s good to know if the pitch is exclusive. It helps with the relationship to know we can have a back and forth and trust each other.

    “When you work in news it’s about the sound bite, when you work in entertainment it’s about the relationship.”

    Broadcast and social media present a different demographic.

    Some content doesn’t work for show so will do a tease for the web.

    They do travel specials a few times a year so pitch if you have an idea.

    Email is best way to reach Marie: marie.hickey@extratv.com

    Tony Maglio, The Wrap

    Based in Santa Monica, CA with a three-person staff in New York.

    Smallish but not super small.

    They try to stay true to the business side.

    They’re not celebrity news, they’re business news.

    They don’t cover births, weddings, divorces, but do cover deaths because it’s newsworthy.

    Cover a lot of earnings, ratings and box office stories.

    Since they’re probably the youngest of the Hollywood trades they can do fun stuff. If there’s a fun way in with a client, they’ll find out.

    They cover upfronts.

    Active on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat.

    They do break news on social media but it’d more of a “feeling out” type of thing. If it’s good they want it on the main site and then will tweet.

    Sharon Waxman leads up TheGrill, a yearly media conference with people who make the news. If you want to attend or participate let him know.

    Email is preferred. They’ll likely get back to you as long as it’s not a form email. Use info@thewrap.com. Everyone sees that and they're not dismissing you.

    Gillian Telling, People Magazine

    It’s all about access and having celebrities open up about personal things.

    They want celebrities to tell them things that aren’t out there.

    Somehow things come up organically. For example, actress Hayden Panettiere was pitching Carl’s Jr. and she gave People some time to talk about postpartum depression.

    If you have a celebrity pitch and you say People can’t ask about certain topics then it’s not as interesting and interview will go online – which is no longer second fiddle.

    People doesn’t mind following a competitor who may report something first as long as they have it too and don’t have to peg it to the other outlet. They’d rather talk to the source or rep so they can say, “People confirms…”

    Different verticals – entertainment, style, home, body.

    Gillian takes pitches that don’t fit these verticals and she’s always willing to pass along a pitch to the right editor if it’s not for her.

    Launching a new home vertical.

    There are six pages of photos and five pages of scoop.

    Sourcing is important. If you’re in the know, pitch Gillian!

    A 10-minute celebrity interview can yield five different articles.

    “You can pitch just for social, if you want.”

    Human interest is big. Real people stories are great.

    Email is best and Gillian doesn’t mind receiving attachments.

    Caitlin Hacker, Pop Sugar

    Pop Sugar was started 10 years ago by Lisa Sugar in her living room.

    Number one independent media and technology for women and reached one in three millennial women in the U.S.

    Has 85 million unique visitors per month.

    Offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, England, Australia, France and the Middle East.

    “We love being present where our readers want to be.”

    They cover mom news, technology, Latina-oriented, fashion and much more.

    It’s easy to tell when someone knows them and when they don’t via the pitched received. If you send a dog food pitch, you don’t know them.

    It’s easy to find their contact information on their site.

    They’re good at sharing so if you pitch something that doesn’t work for one editor, they’ll pass it along to another editor who might use it.

    “We love exclusives but we don’t need that word in a pitch to look at it.”

    “We love one on one time with talent that readers love.”

    They do celebrity social media takeovers and are on Snapchat. Video studio is in Los Angeles but they also do Facebook live from red carpet and other events.

    Pop Sugar is not judgmental. “We’re fans, not critics.”

    Readers like inspirational stories of people, too.

    “We would never write anything about a celebrity that we wouldn’t say to their face.”

    Email is best and follow up within a week since a day or two is too soon for them.

    Don’t assume they’re covering an event you pitch.

    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

    Journalist Spotlight: Bob O'Brien, The Deal

    Friday, April 22, 2016, 1:57 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.

    Bob O'Brien is a senior writer at The Deal, covering private equity. He writes both breaking news stories and feature articles for the website.

    Previously, O’Brien spent 18 years at The Wall Street Journal, including covering the daily performance in the equities market. He was featured as an on-air reporter on CNBC television, as part of the WSJ's licensing agreement with NBC Universal. He wrote feature stories for Barron's magazine as well as an investment blog for Barron’s online.

    We hope you find Bob's SPOTLIGHT enjoyable and informative. 

    Where was your first professional job as a journalist? What was your role?

    I was a newspaper delivery boy for the Philadelphia Inquirer when I was 11. Though perhaps that doesn’t count. In college I had a semester’s full-time internship at The Wilmington (Del.) News and Journal, followed by a summer’s paid position with its Rehoboth Beach office, covering local news. That wasn’t as glamorous as a paid job at a beach bureau might have seemed, since I was drawing something on the order of $100 a paycheck, and two thirds of my pay went to rent: a cottage I shared with six housemates.

    My earliest paying jobs were with newsletters in Washington, D.C., covering telecommunications, just after the Justice Department broke up AT&T. I mostly worked for newsletters and trade magazines during this time – you know, the ancestors of blogs.

    Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist?

    Yes. My stint as a newspaper delivery boy came during the Watergate scandal, and I devoured the coverage of the event every day. The prospect that a journalist could upend the presidency was very powerful stuff. My understanding is that the number of colleges offering journalism programs and journalism degrees – my own degree is a Bachelor of the Science of Journalism, which qualifies as a malaprop – tripled in the mid-70s, so obviously I wasn’t the only one reading about Watergate. 

    What type of stories do you look for?

    The easy answer is “stories I’d want to read.” However, since I pursue what would be considered a form of specialty journalism, as a business writer, I can’t just go by the standards of, “Hey, man bites dog - that’s a neat story.” Our stories have to, first and foremost, convey information, and for a sophisticated audience that’s busy, pressed for time, and subject to information overload. So the imperative is to tell them something they didn’t know or debunk some assumptions they might be holding. That said, these accounts can still be interestingly written. But they must be, primarily, informative.

    That’s not to say there’s not a role in our coverage for quirky stories that just address interesting topics, without having any real money-making, investment return angle. I recently had occasion to ask myself, “What was the first private equity firm, and what was its earliest deals?” Nobody’s going to make money off this. But I found a couple experts (some with the help of my friends at Profnet, I’d add) and learned that the first PE firm funded what eventually became Minute Maid orange juice. If the story engages me, and is on point with my coverage, chances are it will find traction with our audience. 

    Are your stories assigned or do you also pitch them?

    It’s a mix. The rule of thumb would be that the day-to-day stories – reporting on transactions, or fund closings or personnel moves, etc.  – typically are assigned by my editors. However, features stories about trends or more compelling events … those I’m typically sourcing and pitching to my editors. 

    What is the best part about what you do?

    Not having to work weekends or holidays when the capital markets are closed. That’s seriously close to it. Think of the average reporter working for a general interest publication or broadcast, or a blogger. Those poor folks don’t know what it means to have a family dinner on Thanksgiving.

    However, on a slightly loftier level, the best thing is the access to really smart, important people who influence our society. Absent my journalism role, I wouldn’t have conversations with someone who is running a $100 billion buyout shop (unless I was asking if I could get him or her a drink, while waiting tables at one of Danny Meyer’s restaurants). Witnessing historic events – I was covering the equities market for The Wall Street Journal when the Dow crossed 10,000 points for the first time – is also pretty neat.

    Do you have any advice for those who may want to pitch you a story idea?

    Think about my needs, not just your clients’ needs, or your needs. (My, how self-absorbed does that sound?) But if I’m writing a story on startup firms that are engaging in their first fund raising initiative, don’t pitch me experts on crowdfunding – that’s an entirely different topic. If your client or (if you’re in-house) employer isn’t appropriate for the story topic, hold off pitching them. Chances are I’ll get around to a topic they will be appropriate for down the road.

    Now, that said, if you see an angle I haven’t explored – if I say I’m writing a story about regulation of alternative asset managers, and you’ve got a client who’s an expert in compliance and  transparency, and can talk constructively about how compliance can stand in for regulation – then offer that suggestion.

    What should they always do? Never do?

    Be mindful of my deadline. (Again, this guy is so full of himself. Geez – it’s all about him.) If I say I need an interview sometime in the next two days, don’t pitch a source who is traveling through the emerging markets for the next week.

    Don’t ask to read the story before it’s published so you can see how your client comes across. The answer will be “no.”

    Also, it’s not helpful to call a week after I’ve written a story on, say, investing in some exotic instruments – investing in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance - and tell me, “Hey, I’ve got someone who invests in those instruments. Do you want to talk with him?” No, I probably don’t, because I already wrote that story, and I’ve moved on. I once did a story for the WSJ about investing in golf courses – and I don’t play golf, or know anything about it – and for the next four months I got approached about talking to experts who invest in golf courses – or people who wanted to sell their golf courses - countless times.

    The last thing you want to do is make me part of a blast email solicitation. If I think you’re pitching three competing publications with the same proposal, I’m not interested. We never want to be second with a story.

    How can a PR rep, marketer or someone who wants to pitch a story approach you in order to develop regular communication?

    With a single malt and a selection of snacks. Really, it should happen organically. Especially if you’re just trying to make contact, in order to make me aware of your deep client base, or the management of your firm. That is, you’re just trying to present yourself as a resource. Offer something compelling: a one-on-one interview with a CEO, especially one who is usually press shy. Or a story angle that I haven’t covered before: “Hey, I see you write about private equity. My client sells financial technology tools geared to that business. Maybe you two could find something interesting to talk about.”

    Or simply bring me a story or a contact, and keep it relatively light: “Hey, my client invests in consumer products. I’m going to send you a bio, and the next time you’re writing about investing in consumer products, keep my client in mind.” It doesn’t hurt to be persistent, as long as neither one of us feels badly that the answer is often “no” or “not at this time.”

    What advice can you provide to members who respond to ProfNet queries?

    The recommendations are about the same. Is your client’s input germane to my story? Can they work within my deadline? Do they have a modicum of fluency with the media? Interviewing someone who wants to play the “define your terms” game every time I pose a question seems combative, and I might find reasons not to quote that person. And I like to quote the people who were gracious enough to give me their time and insight. 

    What type of experts do you prefer to use?

    Well, that’s a tough question to answer informatively. If I’m doing a story about a trend in private equity – the IPO market has effectively closed down, so how will PE firms monetize their assets? – I’d like to talk to PE professionals, but also securities lawyers and professors of business. If it’s regulation, I’d want more lawyers, and preferably those with some regulatory experience in their background, but also consultants and accountants. If it’s fund raising, I want institutional investors, as well as fund formation advisors. Understand the story – even if I have done has sloppy job of describing the thesis, which happens an unfortunate number of times – and figure out how your client fits in the narrative.

    Not all journalists like social media –how do you use it and is it something you enjoy using?

    I’m not personally a significant generator or consumer of social media. We have professionals on staff who tweet our content.

    Can you tell us about one of your most unforgettable experiences as a journalist?

    Obviously, the aftermath of 9/11 was unforgettable, as – from a business journalists’ perspective, and not a humanistic one – I was reporting on how the capital markets were trying to put themselves back together. But everybody has a 9/11 experience. I’d mention the day, during my time covering the equities market, when the market went into such a dramatic decline that it triggered the so-called trading curbs on the NYSE and halted trading for the day two hours before the market would otherwise have closed.

    There was just chaos; as this happened so infrequently, very few people knew the rules, and the ones who did weren’t available. (They were busy trying to fix the problem.) It was a fairly remarkable day. We sent out headlines on the newswire within a second after trading was halted. 

    What advice can you give for someone just starting their journalism career?

    Two words: Business. School. Seriously, journalism is a tough business these days. Journalism is going through a structural change: the evolution from the print/broadcast model to the digital/video model has revolutionized journalism, much the way the advent of television affected news reporting on radio. I talk with the people who started in the business when I began my career – when print or broadcast ruled, and there was no such thing as the Internet – and almost to a one, they say if they had anticipated the evolution of the industry, they might have chosen a different career. If there used to be two or three newspapers in a metropolitan area, or three local newscasts, there are now thousands or tens of thousands of digital news outlets for the same audience. Reporting, and reporters, have become commoditized. Even though the dislocation began more than a decade ago, the business hasn’t fully figured out how to deal with it. How does a publisher monetize a news site? (Analog dollars equal digital dimes.) What impact does that have on the paychecks of a journalism enterprise’s staff? (Hint: it’s not constructive.)

    That said, if you’re starting out, the current conditions are apparent. So you’re going in with your eyes open. Be realistic about your ambitions. You might have to accept a job that doesn’t align with your interests. Sure, you know a lot about music. Or films. Or pop culture. Saying, “I could be a music critic” is tantamount to saying, “I like living in my parents’ basement as a 30-year-old.” (The corollary to the old joke that saying, “I’m an actor” garnered the reply, “Really? What restaurant do you wait tables at?” is saying “I make YouTube videos for a living.”) Coverage is increasingly stratified: where The Wall Street Journal once covered all of Wall Street, in its many permutations, now that landscape is covered by literally thousands of digital publications. The need for specialized information has grown exponentially. Which is good: thousands of sites means lots of job opportunities. But it also means cutting a compensation pool into smaller and smaller slices.

    Not to be completely curmudgeonly or pessimistic: content is king. Find a role where you can excel. Find a voice that distinguishes you from the pack. (And – if you haven’t already – learn to type, spell and write a grammatical sentence.) Even if your ambition is to be in front of a camera: everybody multi-tasks these days. So learn to write. (And if you plan to write, learn to talk to a camera.)

    How do you see journalism in 10 years?

    Vastly different. I’d say almost entirely mobile, presuming technology advances beyond the pad/phone platform, which certainly seems likely. Content carried on something akin to a very sophisticated Google Glasses platform? I wouldn’t rule it out. Physical newspapers and television screens largely disappear? Could well be. Journalists may also be less of a filter that stands between newsmakers and news consumers. The latter may simply be able to access those news events on their own. Watching an ECB meeting live, virtually attending a White House press briefing, joining a rally for whoever succeeds President Trump. That doesn’t mean that journalism, as we know it, disappears. It just may make the journalist purely an analyst, rather than someone reporting breaking news. There will always be a role for fact-checking and for someone to shine a light on news makers.

    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 

    Media 411: Preparing for a TV News Live Shot

    Friday, April 15, 2016, 4:09 PM [Media 411]
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    Live shots are one of those things all reporters have to do. There’s no getting out of it if you want a career in TV news in front of the camera. The first time can be absolutely terrifying, but the fear will wane over time.

    If you’ve never done one and are just starting out in the news business, these following articles provide some excellent advice to lessen your fear. Make sure to click on the link to the original article:

    Top 5 Live Shot Tips for TV News Reporters -- About.com

    A live shot is a tool for reporting, just like a TV interview, graphics or other parts of a news package. While you can't control everything that happens the moment you "go live", you can decide how being live will improve your story.

    Many live shots happen outside buildings, such as city hall. So while you won't have the incredible visuals of a fire behind you, you can reinforce the "now" aspect of your report: "I'm live in front of city hall, where inside these doors just moments ago, the city council voted to cut 1,000 employees from the payroll." You are telling the audience you are on the scene, covering the latest developments the moment they happen.

    How to Do a Breaking News Live Shot for TV News -- eHow

    The job of gathering information should start before you even arrive on the scene. Talk with your producers and assignment editors at the station to find out all the details they know, and establish a line of communication -- such as text messages, for example -- with your colleagues who are monitoring the situation via police scanner or helicopter, so you all can share information. Make notes of the five "W's" of the situation and any questions left unanswered, so you'll be able to deliver a coherent report as soon as you get on the scene and get set up.

    Live Shots -- School Video News

    Choose a location that allows you to tell as much of the story visually as possible. The site should keep you out of danger, while at the same time giving you access to any witnesses who may have been there. If the situation is serious enough, you'll have multiple "hits" with your live report -- time enough to allow you to find witnesses to interview live. Have your photographer take a few shots of the scene right away, and send them back to the studio so you can use them for cutaways. If you're able, also interview any available witnesses so you'll have sound bites to use later.

    Face time: Elements of successful live shots – RTDNA

    Change the background between your introduction and tag Take mobility a step further. When possible and appropriate, change the background between your introduction to a package and its tag. While the story runs, turn the camera 180 degrees or move somewhere else to give viewers a different look. - See more at: rtdna.org/article/face_time_elements_of_...

    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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