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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    Media 411: The Dreaded Correction

    Friday, January 29, 2016, 4:54 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    No other word strikes fear in the heart of journalists like the word “CORRECTION.” Ooh, I just got the chills! We all do our best to get the facts straight, but sometimes we make mistakes. We’re human, right? But how can we avoid making errors and avoid that dreadful fix with which no one wants to be associated?

    Read on and click on these stories which will provide some insight on this important topic for any journalist:

    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: Alex Kasprak, BuzzFeed

    Monday, January 25, 2016, 2:44 PM [Spotlight]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Welcome to our SPOTLIGHT feature, where we highlight a journalist and ProfNet user to share their personal story and insight with you.

    Alex Kasprak is a science writer with experience as both a scientist and as a science communicator. Before turning to writing, he studied fossilized chemicals in ancient rocks in an effort to shed light on dramatic periods of environmental change during mass extinction events.

    As a writer, Kasprak has focused on science communication and outreach over traditional journalism. He has written features for NASA’s Visualization Explorer and worked for two years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the primary writer and content producer behind three of NASA’s websites geared toward elementary and middle school-aged kids.

    Now at BuzzFeed, Kasprak has written hundreds of science stories on topics that range from the realities of human courtship, near-death astronaut experiences in space, flatulence, dinosaurs, booze, marijuana and, obviously, animals. He firmly believes that Pluto should not be a planet.

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

    Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist or did you have another plan?

    Being a journalist wasn’t really on my radar when I was going through high school and college. Pretty early on as an undergrad at Skidmore College, I decided that I really liked geology and that I would love it if I could teach it someday at a small college like Skidmore. I finished all the coursework and internships needed to get into grad school and was ultimately accepted into a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Academia ended up not being for me, so I took my master's degree and left. In a panic, I looked into other jobs that people with a science background and writing skills could do.  I Googled “science” and “writing” and learned that “science writing” is totally a thing. I applied to one-year science writing program at Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a fellowship to attend. Ever since then I have been writing about science for a living.

    Where was your first job in journalism?

    My first unpaid gig was an externship with Earth magazine where I pitched and wrote earth science stories while working on my program at JHU. I also got my first paid gig during that program, as a weekly writer for the NASA Visualization Explorer app.

    What type of stories do you focus on at BuzzFeed?

    I generally cover shorter, lighter science stories or produce sort of “best of” lists of science facts and other science culture stuff for BuzzFeed. I typically don’t cover a single scientific study or breaking science story but focus instead on collections of science stories and facts about a specific topic or theme. Creepy animals, weird phenomena, outlandish ideas about humanity, evolution, consciousness, and stories with a strong visual component are always popular. I don’t have a specific beat per se, but I spend a lot of time writing about space, astronauts, and fossils.

    Do you pitch story ideas or are they assigned most of the time?

    I pitch almost all of my stories myself. BuzzFeed gives us a great deal of freedom in that regard.

    What do you like most about your role at BuzzFeed and is it as fun to work there as it seems? 

    I like that BuzzFeed allows me to experiment with bringing more science to their pretty considerable audience. Not only do I get a great deal of freedom on the topics I choose, but also I have the freedom to figure out new and creative ways to convey information or tell a story in a new way. I also have more of an opportunity to inject weird humor into my posts in ways that other outlets might avoid, which is always a hoot.

    BuzzFeed is probably is as fun as it looks. Though we don’t have a full-time kitten room for our pitch meetings and we have only a handful dogs in our office at any given time, I am always surrounded by a ton of cool and brilliant people whose interests are all over the place. Everyday is both challenging and fun. Also, one has to imagine that from a probability standpoint, the likelihood of there being a kitten room at BuzzFeed on any given day is probably orders of magnitude higher than most other offices.

    What’s your advice for those in PR or anyone else who may want to pitch you?

    People pitching stories to me should be familiar with the TYPE of stories that BuzzFeed Science writes — we rarely do single study findings, and most of our stories try to evoke some sort of human emotional response outside of simply “gee wizz, that’s cool.” Also, I will also always reject any pitch that is clearly just an effort to get me to advertise something corporate. That is not my job, and there is a whole other division of BuzzFeed for advertisers anyway.

    What should they always do?

    A strong pitch to me would involve not only an idea, but also why people on the internet would want to share it with a friend when they are done reading it.

    Never do?

    Pitch products or corporate campaigns. They should also avoid writing an entire post for me and ask me for my thoughts on it. It’s not a super efficient way of doing things, and BuzzFeed actually has a place for community members to write stories for the site directly.

    How can someone in PR/marketing approach you in order to develop some sort of work relationship?

    Shoot me an email! Let me know what you have to offer and I can let you know what kinds of pitches are most likely to work on my end.

    What advice do you have for members who respond to ProfNet queries?

    For me, I can never have too much information about why a given expert is indeed an expert in his or her field. It also helps to see that the expert is good with interviews and, best case scenario, has as good sense of humor as well.

    What type of experts do you prefer?

    My favorite experts are people who research quirky, specific, and esoteric things but who can also make those weird things appeal to a broader audience. One of my favorite interviews from ProfNet was with a professor of mechanical engineering who had an incredibly detailed knowledge of Star Wars and a very creative way of relating his expertise to that genre. He helped me write a post answering absurd science questions about the Star Wars universe.

    How do you use social media and what is the best thing about it?

    I use it both to promote my own work as well as keep a pulse on what’s happening in science journalism and with the world in general. The latter is my favorite part about social media.

    Can you tell us about one of the most memorable moments you’ve had covering a story?

    Without question it was working on a series of stories about retired astronauts. I got to speak with a number of insanely qualified and absurdly brave astronauts and have them tell me all kinds of crazy stuff about almost dying in space, about how gross some aspects of astronaut life were, and different mistakes that can happen, both big and small, while on missions. These were things that they probably couldn’t have said while still employed as astronauts. I could listen to those men and women for hours and not get bored.

    What advice do you have for new journalists and even for those who aren’t so new to the field?

    I think it’s important to be passionate not just about your own success, but also about some topic that you can really make your own. I got into science writing from science, so I already had a strong interest in fossils and evolution. I think building those specific interests and areas of expertise helps a great deal.

    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

    PR 411: Want National Coverage? Pitch Local!

    Thursday, January 21, 2016, 4:21 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Do you struggle to get your clients on national news outlets? Don’t forget your local/smaller news outlets! With many large media outlets scouring local newspapers for story ideas, what might seem like a small opportunity might actually be your ticket to the big leagues.

    Colleen Pizarev, a retired PR executive (with PR Newswire, no less!), can attest to this.

    Colleen’s cat Spock is a 46-inch, 27-pound Maine Coon who is just 2-1/2 inches smaller than the longest domestic cat on record. Spock loves to watch what’s going on in the outside world, and you can usually find him sitting by the front window of Colleen’s San Jose, Calif., home. 

    Unfortunately for Colleen, neighbors and passersby routinely mistook Spock for a wild animal. Some of them even knocked on her door to express concern that there was a lynx being housed in the neighborhood. 

    After the article ran in the local paper, the San Jose Mercury News then picked up the story, and it spread like wildfire from there.

    “The local ABC affiliate read the story, then called and said they’d be here in 20 minutes,” said Colleen. After that, it was a massive barrage of media requests from outlets in the U.S. and abroad.

    “I never pitched this,” said Colleen. “I did the interview with the weekly paper because I was tired of people knocking on my door. I had no idea that a free, local paper with a story on page six would get out of control.”

    In her former role, Colleen worked with international clients, advising them on how to get their stories in front of the media and get the coverage they needed. The irony that she built a career helping clients get coverage from the same outlets that were now reaching out to her is not lost on her.

    “When it happens to you, you freeze a little bit. It’s different when you’re in the middle of it, especially when you’re a private person,” says Colleen. “Had this happened to a client, I’d be thrilled. The PR person in me is thinking it’s very funny. You really don’t know what it’s like for your clients until you go through it yourself. I think every PR person should go through this to get a taste.”

    Spock’s story catapulted from a local story to an international story very quickly. Before Colleen knew it, the story was on “Good Morning America,” CNN, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail and many others. Spock’s Facebook page went from 100 likes to 800 likes in minutes, and then to 2,000 in five days. Today, the page has more than 6,500 likes.

    “A small paper turned international,” said Colleen. “It says a lot about how the Internet is voraciously consuming news.”

    Going forward, Colleen said she will tell clients to do things differently.

    “I will prep them for the possibility this could grow beyond their control,” she said. “Things will be said that are exaggerated and taken out of context, and I’ll give them my own example.”

    Colleen was able to shut down the media frenzy within six days. The way she did it was by giving interviews to major media and was very careful to control the story. "I wasn't afraid to demand the corrections or to insist the inaccuracies included elsewhere were not included in their story. I was careful to only allow photos that I supplied, but some outlets took whatever they could find from the Spock Facebook page and one outlet actually published pictures of a different cat. That was fun trying to get that one corrected," she says, sarcastically.

    She adds, "Once the outlets I decided to allow to run stories had finished, I stopped giving interviews and stopped allowing minor outlets to take photos from the page telling them this story has reached its end. By the end of Tuesday, the story arc completed and I was thrilled to get back to my regularly scheduled life."

    Colleen, who is also an artist, jokes, “I really did try to quit the biz, but it won’t let me quit.”

    Maybe now the only arcs she’ll need to focus on are the rainbows she paints on her canvas.

    Colleen writes about her adventures with retirement and media attention at www.retireddiva.com.

    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: Reporting in Bad Weather

    Friday, January 15, 2016, 2:47 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    If you're a TV news reporter or anchor, chances are you've had to report in severe weather and whether it's been rain or snow, tornadoes or hurricanes, we all know it's never fun being out there in the elements.

    Cristin Severance, a Dallas reporter for KTVT (CBS) provides some tips on how to prepare:

    The BBC also has some great tips and although almost three years-old, they still hold true today.

    What's your advice for journalists who have to cover severe weather?

    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: Becoming a More Productive Writer

    Friday, January 8, 2016, 2:55 PM [Media 411]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    The first week of 2016 has passed -- are you still refreshed and encouraged to do better? Are those resolutions still ringing in your head? 

    Perhaps you are inspired to become a better writer? That's definitely manageable! Let's start off the year with some tips on becoming more productive. Here are some great articles to inspire you:

    What are your tips? Feel free to share and let me know!

    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: Dale Buss, Author and Commentator

    Friday, December 18, 2015, 4:17 PM [Spotlight]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Welcome to our SPOTLIGHT feature, where we highlight a journalist and ProfNet user to share their personal story and insight with you.

    Dale Buss is an experienced author and journalist with deep credentials in the world of business publishing. He is a major Forbes.com contributor on the auto industry, a contributing editor to Chief Executive Magazine, and a regular contributor on business topics to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes and many other outlets.

    Buss also has been a regular commentator on the opinion pages of the Journal on issues of business, public policy, media, religion and culture. He is author of the book Family Man: The Biography of Dr. James Dobson.

    He also acted as an editorial consultant and cooperating author to business executives including Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld, for his 2013 book Love Works; Jeff Weedman, since-retired vice president of external innovation for Procter & Gamble; Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com; and Dennis Zeleny, one of America’s leading HR executives.

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

    Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist?

    Pretty much from a young age I started writing science-fiction stories, a “novel,” and even poems. Then when I was 12 years old I took over a gig from a friend who was writing up weekly reports on Little League baseball action for the local newspaper, the Reedsburg (Wis.) Times-Press. I was hooked; became the sports editor of the paper at age 15; and by age 16, thanks to a wonderful editor and mentor named Paul Dysart, I was winning statewide “best sports section” awards against experienced editors twice and three and four times my age. So I was hooked early.

    Where was your first job in journalism?

    At that little weekly newspaper, for real. During college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I enjoyed internships with the Wisconsin State Journal and Green Bay Press-Gazette, which landed me an internship in the summer of 1980 with the Wall Street Journal in Pittsburgh. A semester later after I graduated, I got my first full-time job as a reporter for the Journal in Dallas. 

    Can you tell is about the type of stories do you like to write and report about most?

    I enjoy noticing developments and trends in business and society ahead of the curve, putting 2 and 2 together to make 5, if you will. 

    What’s your advice for those in PR or anyone else who may want to pitch you?

    Use e-mail. Be concise, clear and succinct. Try to understand what might intrigue me about a subject, company or person – what I and my outlets such as Forbes, Brandchannel and Chief Executive might get out of it – instead of making the mistake of positioning the pitch only for the benefit of your client.

    What should they always do and never do?

    • NEVER respond to a Profnet query by offering a client, especially on a time-sensitive pitch, and then follow up by saying that it turns out the client isn’t available. Be sure before you offer.
    • Never insist on my submitting questions via e-mail before an interview; it just takes more time and makes the interview less worthwhile for me.
    • Never pretend that an e-mail “interview” is anywhere near as valuable as a phoner or in-person session.
    • Never use the excuse that someone is “traveling”; there are cell phones.
    • Never ask me what I’m “working on”; if I remembered it all, I probably wouldn’t share it with you anyway.
    • Never get insulted if you get no follow-up from me; it means I’ve had 100 responses via Profnet and can’t possibly respond to all of them.
    • Always tell your clients to stop faux complimenting journalists by saying, “That’s a good question.” It must be Day One of media training everywhere.
    • Always understand that my interest or lack thereof in your pitches or clients often is circumstantially based, depending on what I’m working on at the moment, and that the exact same pitch made to me a month later might elicit a different response.
    • Always understand that I may want to slice and dice material gained in an interview in multiple ways for multiple clients.

    How can someone in PR/marketing approach you in order to develop some sort of work relationship? What advice do you have for members who respond to ProfNet queries?

    Via e-mail, demonstrating a clear understanding from your own research of what I do, and starting out with one clear idea or pitch that would create a win-win-win-win situation for you, your client, me and my client. 

    What type of experts do you prefer?

    Those who have SPECIFIC and CERTIFIABLE expertise specifically in the topics I’m requesting, not just general expertise about an area. In other words, if I’m writing a story about a specific brand or industry and I’ve asked for experts on that topic, I’m not going to be interested in talking with someone who just happens to be a marketing professor.

    What has changed the most from when you began your career as a journalist/author?

    Digital demands. They’ve turned the job into a 24x7 pursuit for everyone. Some days I feel like I’m back to the Eighties when I was a reporter for the Journal. And, of course, the sad demise of newspapers. Also the obvious political bias at practically every media outlet. The rise of branded content lately is another huge development whose ultimate effect has yet to be understood.

    How do use social media and what is the best thing about it?

    I wanly tweet and post my stuff on Facebook but I’m too busy to spend my days doing that. The best thing about it is it creates new ways to communicate and provides real new means of transparency into people, organizations and areas where it didn’t exist before. The worst thing about social media, though, is that everyone has to keep track of it.

    What advice do you have for new journalists and even for those who aren’t so new to the field? 

    Your skills and enthusiasm will be enough to get you through a period that is difficult because of technological disruption. People will always need editorial gatekeepers, and the more “information” there is to digest, the more we’ll be needed. It’ll just be online instead of on paper. 

    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: 2016 Journalism & Media Predictions Roundup

    Thursday, December 17, 2015, 3:04 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    It’s that time of year! Everyone is making predictions about the presidential election, the economy, climate change -- well, everything it seems, and media is no different. What changes will take place within the world of journalism and social media?

    Below I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite articles discussing their 2016 predictions. A year from now we'll see if they come true!

    What do you think will happen next year?

    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 National and Local Morning Talk Shows

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 3:18 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The Publicity Club of New York held their final panel luncheon of 2015 featuring some of the top producers in national and local morning talk television.

    Peter Himler, president of the Publicity Club of New York hosts each event and brings top talent from the media world to every discussion. 

    This panel consisted of:

     

    Siobhan Schanda – The Wendy Williams Show 

    • The show is in its seventh season and airs in 52 countries. 
    • Very celebrity-driven, pop culture-oriented.
    • Looking for guests that can engage Wendy in conversation. 
    • Magazine editors are good guests for the show.
    • They do a lot of lifestyle segments.
    • Important for them to book people to whom she’ll have a connection.
    • Would like to see expert/guest ahead of time.
    • Book a couple of weeks ahead but currently booked through February 2016.
    • Email is best: sschanda@wendyshow.com
    • Don’t hesitate to call.

    Jessica Cohen – Good Day New York

    • 5 ½ hour show airs Monday through Friday and starts at 4:30 a.m on FOX 5.
    • Booking is mainly focused between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. with Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly.
    • The 7 a.m. hour is news-heavy with newsmaker guests and those with stories in headlines.
    • The 8 a.m. focuses on news and goes into lifestyle and health.
    • The 9 a.m. hour is more like a talk show. They like celebrities for this period.
    • They do things in fun ways and won’t do interviews in the typical Q& A, Q&A, Q&A format.
    • Looking for guests who will have fun and play games.
    • It’s important for them to do something in a creative and fun way for the 9 a.m. Guests won’t be sitting with a video clip.
    • It’s helpful to see your expert reel, to know if you have any media training. May do pre-interview on phone.
    • Be up front if you have a guest that has a product to pitch. Don’t try to sneak in a mention.
    • FCC guidelines and rules must be adhered to so tell them if you are pitching something. Be honest.
    • Like to show classic NYC experiences like skating. If it’s wild and crazy and Greg and Rosanna are willing to do it, they want to know your suggestions.
    • Email: jessica.cohen@foxtv.com
    • Call: (212) 452-3618

    Scott Eason – Live with Kelly & Michael

    • Not focused on heavy-hitting stuff 
    • Want things to make you laugh and start your day right.
    • They don’t take pitches for host chat -- when Kelly and Michael chat at start of show.
    • Looking for buzzworthy things that can create conversation between Kelly and Michael.
    • Want new blood for their segments such as gift guide, perhaps magazine staffers. People who are unique also get their attention.
    • Talking heads need to fit with the flow of the show so they need to be light and entertaining.
    • Nutrition and fitness folks are great for the show.
    • 99% of show is celebrity-driven and they always know the plug.
    • They’re looking for new places to send Travel Trivia winners – segment where Kelly and Michael speak to a contestant via the telephone, spin a wheel that picks a destination, ask a question and if correct send contestant to that destination.
    • It’s a good idea to call the show to pitch. Be specific. “I have a pitch for XYZ. Who would handle that?”
    • Guests may get tested on the phone to see if they would be a good fit. Prior appearances on other shows help.
    • Call: (917) 260-7400

    Marcia Parris – PIX Morning News

    • First few hours are straight news, how commute is affected and getting people out the door.
    • The 7 a.m. hour relates to topics you’re talking about. Watercooler items.
    • The 8 a.m. hour has more features – entertainment, lifestyle, health, fitness.
    • They look for trending and unique things and always looking for ideas.
    • Sports guests are featured often.
    • It helps if you have a reel showing your previous on-air experience. If that person is “the” person they want that person, will push them through interview with graphics BUT experience is definitely helpful.
    • They’re big on using Facebook.
    • Like attending community events for live remotes. Must be events that are attainable to viewers like a circus, skating, etc.
    • Email: mparris@pix11.com, mparris@tribunemedia.com or rhalperin@pix11.com

    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

    Meet the Media: Medical/Health Reporters

    Monday, December 7, 2015, 5:03 PM [Media 411]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society of Greater New York held a panel discussion at Lenox Hill Hospital with medical/health care reporters and producers to teach marketers and public relations professionals about the beats they cover, how they choose certain stories, the best ways to work with them, get in touch and much more.

    Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Freelance Science Reporter, Live Science/New Scientist


    • Her stories get syndicated by other outlets.
    • She focuses on new research, health, and medical.
    • Looking for experts to comment. Usually needs doctors that same day so she needs people who will respond quickly and are reliable.
    • She’ll respond right away if you have a good pitch.
    • She doesn’t travel.
    • Email is best, no phone calls.
    • Contact: agata.boxe@gmail.com
    • Twitter: @agataboxe

    Fred Mogul, Healthcare and Medicine Reporter, WNYC

    • “Only Human” podcast – digs into cost on physical and emotional level, social and economic trends.
    • Interested in individual stories, wants to deal with the frontline or the doctors, caregiving, government policy.
    • Not looking for the basic sunscreen or hay fever stories.
    • Feel free to give him ideas but prefers to work with those who give access to doctors, patients, medical students.
    • Likes to work researchers and scientists.
    • Recommends you always have an e-signature in your email.
    • Visual elements are good to include in pitches even though they may not get used.
    • He can travel locally or regionally.
    • Succinct subject lines are best.
    • Give him a day or so to respond.
    • With regards to social media, looking to be tagged by a doctor instead of an institution.
    • Contact: fmogul@wnyc.org
    • Twitter: @fredmogul

    Dr. Ivan Oransky, VP and Global Editorial Director, Medpage Today


    • News feature investigative site for doctors.
    • Reaches 700,000 practicing physicians in United States.
    • They share resources with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Vice.com, North Carolina Health News, etc.
    • Cover studies, clinical trials, conferences – attend approximately 80 conferences a year so staff will travel for a story.
    • Likes to profile doctors who are struggling in some way.
    • Getting their attention requires data – audience is made up of doctors
    • Prefers to have a relationship with the person pitching.
    • Will disclose where data is coming from, will provide credit.
    • Information from an infographic you send may be used but they may produce their own with that info and provide credit.
    • They shoot video.
    • Contact: mpt_editorial@everydayhealthinc.com
    • Twitter: @ivanoransky

    Heather Won Tesoriero, Medical Producer, CBS Evening News

    • Eight million viewers per night.      
    • Newscast does most medical pieces out of the other evening newscasts.
    • Major studies would be considered their bread and butter.
    • Enterprise features.
    • Please no blind pitches of an expert with whom she’s never worked.
    • Studies are vetted.
    • Pitch a story – not a product.
    • In your pitch, give specifics, provide names of doctors and patients, what I will have access to.
    • Usually stay away from early stage clinical work.
    • Include your email or phone number in signature and even voicemail. Makes it easier to reach you when a story has to be done with quick turnaround.
    • Uses content produced by third party but will always be transparent and provide credit to tell viewers where it’s from.
    • Will check YouTube or hospital site to see how someone appears on video.
    • Contact: tesorieroh@cbsnews.com

    Sumathi Reddy, Health Columnist, The Wall Street Journal

    • Writes “Your Health” column in the Personal Journal section which runs on Tuesdays.
    • Not behind the paywall, always accessible.
    • Has a layman audience.
    • Looking for stories to which people can relate.
    • Writes about studies but not healthcare, financial, drugs and pharmaceuticals.
    • Never pitch a story that appears in The New York Times or that will appear there.
    • Don’t pitch the same story to other reporters.
    • Not interested in “awareness” month stories.
    • Looking for exclusivity, seasonal ideas, and contacts.
    • Wants to get out of the office so give her a story where she can follow a doctor or patient.
    • Needs a week to get back to you.
    • Shoots own video and will not use anything produced by agencies, etc.
    • Is able to travel for a story.
    • She tweets her stories but doesn’t use Twitter too often.
    • Contact: sumathi.reddy@wsj.com

    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

    Understanding Middlemen in Media

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11:15 AM [#ConnectChat]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    On Tuesday, Dec. 1, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "Understanding Middlemen in Media," with our guest Marina Krakovsky

    Krakovsky discussed the definition of a middleman, the differences between middlemen in journalism and PR, how understanding the middleman economy can make you a more valuable journalist or PR person and much more.

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


    What is a middleman? 

    Although everybody knows that a middleman is a person between two others, I want to suggest a more useful definition. A *good* middleman is a person in a network who connects other nodes in the network to increase the value of the network. So it's all about adding value through the in-between position. Middlemen who fail to do that are the ones we resent or scorn.

    How are journalists middlemen?

    We're merchants of information--we offer our audiences access to information from our sources. For example, journalists are often scouting out information, story ideas, sources, etc. -- that's what Certifiers do. And when we put our name on the byline, we are staking our reputation on the quality of what we put out to our readers. 

    How are those who work in PR middlemen?

    In a way, publicists are merchants of information, too—but their primary loyalty is to their clients, not to journalists. And that means journalists can't be mere conduits for what the publicists offer them—we must filter, and verify, and package. 

    Journalists' gatekeeping means that the most effective publicists give journalists good information in the first place. The best publicists think like journalists, and can put themselves in the journalists' shoes so as to give them what they need. 

    In general, effective middlemen usually find a way to provide value to both sides—to both the buyer and the seller.

    Do people typically think of themselves as a middleman? 

    Most people don't—the word “middleman” has such strong negative connotations in English that most of us think of middlemen as other people.

    So journalists sometimes see publicists as gatekeeping middlemen between the journalist and a hard-to-reach interview source. While publicists often see journalists as gatekeeping middlemen between themselves and the broader public. 

    So we're probably more likely to see others as middlemen than to recognize that we are middlemen, too.

    For a journalist, how is understanding other people's roles as middlemen in other industries vital?  

    Much of our complex modern economy works because of middlemen. A supply chain is a series of middlemen. So any industry you cover will have middlemen playing key roles—brokers, agents, dealers, retailers, venture capitalists, etc. 

    At the heart of the so-called “peer-to-peer economy” is also a bunch of middlemen (Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit, and the like). Seeing these people as middlemen simplifies matters greatly, helping you quickly get to the heart of what all these people do or what they SHOULD be doing, and for whom.

    What about for those who work in PR? 

    It's the same idea: your client is either a middleman or must partner with middlemen. 

    What happens when you finally figure out that you are a middleman?

    That's when you can decide what problems you're able to solve for your partners—because that's what effective middlemen do. For example, some middlemen solve the problem of accountability -- these Enforcers are able to keep both sides honest. The classic way a journalist might play the Enforcer role is to do investigative/watchdog reporting.

    Scouting out and vetting sources is part of what I call the Certifier role, solving the problem of quality uncertainty. Many journalists solve the problem of information overload. There's this myth that because the Internet is full of information.

    Everyone can do it all themselves—but information takes time to process. The “Concierge” can do it for you more quickly. Science writers play this Concierge role through explanatory journalism.

    For PR pros, an important role is solving the problem of self-advocacy: it's hard for most people to toot their own horn. A publicist can play that “Insulator” role. But to do it credibly, the publicist needs to cultivate a reputation for honesty.

    Why is having this big-picture perspective a good thing? 

     It just helps you get to the crux of the issue more quickly, so you don't get mired in the non-essential details. It's not that details aren't important—but you want to be able to see the forest for the trees.

    Can understanding the middleman economy make you a more successful reporter or PR person?

    I certainly think it can make you a more valuable one. Alas, whether the market recognizes your value is another matter.

    How can anybody recognize who is a middleman and who isn’t?  

    I think it's pretty obvious—whenever someone is connecting people in some way, they're a middleman. The question is whether they're a good one—are they solving problems (facilitating commerce) or are they just standing there?

    What are three things you can do to immediately be a better middleman in media? 

    1) Figure out whom you want to serve. 2) Decide what to specialize in--be selective. 3) Read my book! Seriously.

    Reporters and publicists will find inspiration from seeing how middlemen in other industries deal with the same core issues.

    Can you please tell us about your book?

    It's called THE MIDDLEMAN ECONOMY:  How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit.

    I interviewed a bunch of social scientists and also middlemen from many industries to get at what middlemen do to create value.

    You can learn more about the book at TheMiddlemanEconomy.com  or through the book's Amazon page.

    Did social media and the internet kill the middleman?

    Definitely not! The opposite has happened, and economic data bears this out.

    It's true that social media helps people bypass traditional gatekeepers—but, to reach large audiences in a credible way, there's nothing like a reputable gatekeeper, and look at the new middlemen in social media (social media marketers)--this job didn't exist 20 years ago. Every new network creates demand for a new middleman.

    What did the rise of the internet do to media careers? 

    The answer is complicated because the Internet has had multiple effects, some conflicting. It enabled a service like Craigslist, which killed classified advertising and expedited the demise newspapers. On the other hand, the Internet enabled many other people to become publishers, with thriving media careers as bloggers, podcasters, etc.

    Is there a difference between a reporter as a middleman and an editor as a middleman? 

    At the most obvious level, editors take a bigger-picture view, creating the kind of balanced portfolio that no one reporter can. That also means that editors can be Risk Bearers -- enabling reporters to take bigger risks than they could on their own.

    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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