Evelyn Tipacti

    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
      Communications Professional
      Media - Freelancer
      Media - Broadcast
      Media - Print Journalist
      Media - Student Journalist
      Media - Web-only/Blogger
      Media - Other
    • Title:Community Editor
    • Organization:ProfNet Connect (PR Newswire)
    • Area of Expertise:Media Relations, Hispanic Media

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    Upcoming PR/Media Events

    Friday, November 15, 2013, 12:44 PM [Upcoming Events]
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    We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include upcoming events we think will be of interest to PR and media professionals. Here are a few events coming up over the next few weeks:

    Event: Online Hate Speech Around the Globe
    Host: Online News Association DC
    Date: Nov. 19    
    Location: Washington, DC
    Summary: For the upcoming ONA meetup, Internews Project Director Will Ferroggiaro will discuss Internews’ human rights program, which focuses on the role of media in conflict, whether inciting violence or mitigating its causes. Currently, Internews works with local partners in Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Burma to monitor media for hate speech.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Peer Group with former president Kathy Gilles
    Host: PRSA Westchester/Fairfield
    Date: Nov. 22
    Location: Purchase, NY
    Summary: Join our well known and highly respected guest-advisor Kathy Lewton, MHA, MSJ, APR, Fellow, Public Relations Society of America --  former national president of PRSA -- who will lead a discussion of your issues and objectives plus value-added and organic growth including:
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Beyond the Ordinary: Improving Coverage of Disability
    Host: Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
    Date: Nov. 25
    Location: Phoenix
    Summary: Ryan Gabrielson of California Watch, winner of the inaugural Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, discusses reporting on disability issues. Introduction by Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Inside Social Marketing
    Host: Mediabistro
    Date: Dec. 3-4
    Location: New York
    Summary: a comprehensive look at social media innovations and monetization issues impacting top digital media and marketing experts. Our case studies and real-world perspectives offer attendees a deep analysis of the latest Facebook and Twitter tools, metrics, and advertising trends. Navigating the big opportunities and fast-changing risks that are impacting brands, retailers, publishers, and agencies across the entire social media landscape is what ISM is all about.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Cocktails & Conversations: Where is the Print Industry Going?
    Host: New York Women in Communications    
    Date: Dec. 5    
    Location: New York
    Summary: That tactile sensation of holding something tangible as you read is still a powerful draw. Yet, to remain vital, traditional publishers must follow the audience to their preferred platforms. So, magazines, books, and newspapers are morphing, and digital is more and more part of the mix. Yet, how it all shakes out depends on where media brands place their bets today. We'll ask our panelists about strategy, content, and the industry's outlook for the future.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Region 5 Conference
    Host: National Association of Hispanic Journalists
    Date: Dec. 7
    Location: Dallas
    Summary: Get ready for the December NAHJ Region 5 conference “Voces Unidas” in downtown Dallas.  Meet recruiters, local news managers and national news correspondents, producers and executives.  Univision’s Maria Antonieta Collins and CNN’s Ramon Escobar plan to be at the conference. The conference starts on Friday, December 6 with an opening reception at the Fairmont Dallas.  On Saturday, December 7 expect a packed day of informative panels with some of the best experts in journalism.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: The Weekend
    Host: The Publicity Club of NY
    Date: Dec. 12
    Location: New York
    Summary: Luncheon followed by panel discussion with journalists.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Obamacare: Covering What Comes Next
    Host: Poynter Institute
    Date: Jan. 22-24
    Location: College Park, MD
    Summary: The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, raises complex and often very personal questions for Americans. Reporters can learn the facts and nuances of this program, how it works, what it means and how to localize this story at a three-day Poynter workshop in January.
    Complete event info here.

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

    Media 411: Where is the future of media?

    Thursday, November 14, 2013, 12:58 PM [Media 411]
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    Last night I was studying my almost two-year-old daughter and it dawned on me that she is completely mesmerized by my cell phone, my tablet and my laptop. She eagerly reaches over to grab my iPhone and screams to watch, “Mini! Mini! Agnes! Agnes!” (She just can’t get enough of anything Despicable Me.) Although I try to keep her television viewing to a minimum, it can be very difficult to keep a mobile device away from her sweet little hands.

    This same girl squirms and screams during diaper changes and most times she gets placed into the car seat, and the only thing to exorcise this toddler possession is -- you guessed it -- my iPhone.  Those tiny fingers somehow manage to open the many apps I have for her and also find their way to my camera roll where she happily announces, “Photo! Photo!” each time she finds an image. This little person is the future. Can you imagine what the future will be like for her if she’s already gravitating towards mobile technology? I think she knows more about the iPhone than I do.

    Many, many, years ago, who would have thought that people would pay for television? Then in the blink of an eye the dawn of cable and satellite arrived. What about coffee? Would you ever have thought we’d pay $5.00 for a cup of coffee? Then a chain seemed to take over the world.  Things we didn’t see as possible are now the everyday and we don’t really question it. So back to my original question: Where is the future of media?

    I think it falls within mobile but the challenge among media outlets and even other industries is how to make money with mobile devices and the internet? Online departments are going to have to seriously study the habits of people.  As it is, most people click on “Skip Ad” when give the option and anytime commercials play before a selected video make people leave the site. I don’t have the patience, personally.

    Many newspapers have struggled to reach the level of online paying subscribers they wanted when they went behind a pay wall system which undermined what the newspapers thought was valued content by readers.  The internet has always been free to a certain extent and people just aren’t willing to open their wallets for something they’ve never had to pay for.

    But just like television and coffee, times change and a new audience will be ready to use mobile in a way we haven’t yet. My baby will likely be part of that revolution.

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

    #ConnectChat Recap: Breaking Into Freelancing for Magazines

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 4:43 PM [#ConnectChat]
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    On Tuesday, Nov. 12, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "Breaking Into Freelancing for Magazines" with Linda Formichelli (@LFormichelli), a full-time freelancer who has written for more than 150 magazines and websites. 

    Linda discussed everything from starting out, query letters, pay, if you need your own blog and much more. If you're new to freelancing or have some experience, you need to read this recap.

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

    Welcome & thank you for joining today’s #ConnectChat with @LFormichelli. This is Evelyn Tipacti, taking over @ProfNet for the duration of the #ConnectChat.

    Our guest today is Linda Formichelli, a full-time freelancer who has written for more than 150 magazines and websites.

    Hi, Linda! Thanks for being our guest on today's #connectchat!

    Hi, everyone -- thanks for being here! I'm excited and a bit nervous! :)

    Can you please tell us about yourself and how you started your career as a professional freelance writer?

    Finished MA degree in 97 in Slavic Linguistics but really wanted to be a writer. I taught myself how to write pitches and got started. Now been freelancing full-time for 16 years: Mag writing, copywriting, content marketing, blogging, teaching.

    What is the biggest mistake people make when trying to break into freelancing for magazines?

    Writing for content mills like Demand Studios to gain experience and clips. They pay badly & DON’T make good clips. You CAN get great clips without writing for bottom-feeders. 1 way is to pitch small & local magazines, other is to write for free for nonprofit or hobby magazines you love. Also, don’t be afraid to pitch big magazines right off. A kick-ass query can get you in the door. I had one student in my Write for Magazines class who broke into SELF with NO clips at all.

    No clips? Is that really possible?

    Yes. Sometimes a GREAT idea and pitch trumps clips. Also, your blog or website can be a sample. We all start with no clips!

    What should be the first step made?

    Build a writer website, get a LinkedIn profile set up and start pitching. No need to know everything there is to know. Too many writers want to learn and learn before they pitch - but you learn best from experience!

    Many people fear writing query letters -- what are they and what do they do?

    Query letters are sales letters that tell an editor what your article idea is and why you’re the best person to write it. It’s an art form that takes a while to learn but once you get the hang of it you can write them fairly quickly. In most cases you would write a query, not a whole article - that way editor can give you specs.

    What should a query letter include and never include?

    A great query includes an eyeball-grabbing lede just like one you’d write for your proposed article. A query should have a “nut graf” - paragraph after the lede that summarizes what you want to write. A great query shows your research with stats and quotes from pre-interviews you did with experts. Whatever credentials you have that make YOU the perfect person to write this, include near the end. You need to ask for the sale: Can I write “Title” for you? OR: Thanks for considering my article idea for Magazine-I look forward to your reaction! A query should NEVER tell an editor what you CAN’T do -- only what you CAN. No clips? Don’t bring it up.

    Can you pitch different magazines with the same idea?

    Yes, it’s called simultaneous querying. You HAVE to do this because often editors don’t answer when they’re not interested - or they take weeks to get back.  May want to pitch your A-list magazines first, then B-list etc. That way you don't risk selling to C-list first then hear from A-list.

    What happens if two editors want to take you up on your idea? What do you do then?

    That happened to me only one time in 16 years, with Family Circle and Woman's Day. Told 2nd editor it sold and they said "I better be faster next time!" But in short, it happens RARELY so don't worry about it. More common you don't hear back at all.

    How many query letters should be sent?

    It depends on your success rate. But when you’re starting, ALL the time you have available you should be pitching and marketing.

    How is a letter of introduction (LOI) different from a query letter?

    LOI introduces yourself and your credentials and works best with trades and custom publications.  Never had one work for consumer/national magazine.  FYI, custom pub is mag published FOR a company - like mag you get from your bank or insurance company. Find a ton at customcontentcouncill.org 

    What do you do when you don't have any published articles to show that you can write?

    First, your query IS a sample of your writing, so make sure it’s great. No clips? You can go without and at first pitch topics you have some credentials in. For ex, if you’re an RN, pitch health topics. Or send the editor to your best blog posts or guest posts you’ve done. Chances your article will be exactly what magazines need are slim. If you wait till you get an assignment, editor will tell you what she wants so you don’t have to guess.

    How do you go about writing an article? Do you have one prepared in case someone likes it or do you wait for someone to tell you to write something?

    No, in most cases write a query before you spend time writing an article that may not sell. But if you're passionate about it and just want to write it, go ahead! This is called a "spec query." Article is written on spec.

    Lisa Glover sent in this question last week: Is it possible to be a travel publicist and a freelancer at the same time?

    Yes, but you have to set clear boundaries. DON'T pitch articles re: the destination you represent. Also, how does your employer feel if you pitch articles about other destinations? Could be sticky.

    Does it take long to get paid?

    Often, yes. Redbook took 9 months. Typical terms are net 30 but magazines are often late.  Once you have a lot of clients, it's not so bad because you have steady stream of checks, though.

    How long can the cycle take from start to finish, from query letter to acceptance to writing and finally being published?

    Varies greatly, but big magazines have 6-month lead time, so you need to pitch 6 months in advance Smaller magazines and trades are less.

    How do you make yourself stand out?

    By not being crazy! Seriously, editors run into some crazy &^%$ from writers. Be professional, be on time and write well. That’s it.

    Should you create your own website? That takes me back a bit to what do you do when you don't really have enough to create a site yet if you're just starting out?

    You DO need a site. Ed once told me if he’s on the fence re: giving writer assignment, he checks their site. No site=no sale. If you have no money and a lot of time, you can create something simple on Wordpress. It does NOT need to be fancy. Your site IS a sample of your writing, so don’t worry if you have no clips yet. Put up a great About Me page, Hire me, Contact. Add clips when you have them.

    Is a blog better?

    Blogs are good clips but you have to be really committed to it because no editor likes seeing a dead blog, so make sure you like your topic enough to write about it consistently for a long time.

    If you haven't been published before, is the content you write for your blog acceptable?

    I always say “You gotta use what you have.” So if a blog is all you have, that’s what you use.  The BEST clips are published articles from established magazines but what you have you use and don't forget your pitch is a sample

    How can a PR person target a freelancer and develop a relationship with them?

    Learn the freelancer’s beat. I couldn’t stand it when I used to get press releases on, say, travel destinations when I was a health writer. Don’t add freelancers to a press list without their permission. When you offer a source to a freelancer, follow through. Can’t count how many times a PR rep suggested a source who then wasn’t available. That puts the freelancer in a tough spot with their assignment!

    How do you personally work with PR reps?

    I’m now focusing on blogging, coaching and e-books, but in the past I liked to approach reps when I needed a source. Only once did I work with a representative who sent me a random pitch. Usually liked to come up with my own ideas and find sources.

    If a publication asks you for a free article, what do you recommend?

    Ask self: WHY would you write for free? Do you really want/need this clip? DON'T be fooled into writing for exposure. People die from exposure. You get better exposure from paying magazines, which tend to be bigger and more respected. But sometimes writing for free makes sense if you have 0 clips and want some fast.

    Please tell us about your latest book and where we can find it.

    It’s called Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race...And Step Into a Career You Love & will help you quit your job to write. Buy Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race...And Step Into a Career You Love on Amazon for just $2.99: qub.me/bGwkqC  Or check out more on the Write Your Way website: www.therenegadewriter.com/write-your-way....

    How do you find the right person to email for magazine pitches?

    The editor of the department you’re pitching - for ex., Health Ed, Features Ed, Science Ed. If in doubt, a senior or associate editor is often a good bet. For small magazines and trade magazines, can sometimes have luck w/EIC or managing editor.

    Any tips or tricks for crafting the best email subject line to get your query read?

    The trick is to let editor know you're a freelancer not a PR rep and want to grab the editor’s attention. I like to write "Query from Freelancer: KickButt Title.”

    What is an average word count for clips?

    Clips can be any word count - it depends on the assignment you had. Don't worry re: clip length!

    Do you have a different approach to the way you pitch ideas for consumer vs. trade publications?

    For consumer magazines I write full researched query and with trades usually a letter of introduction with a few quick ideas.

    I have a LinkedIn profile for my day job. Should I create a second one for freelance writing? Have writer site, no LinkedIn.

    I think LinkedIn wants you to have just 1 profile. Would need to combine your experience but I'm not a LinkedIn expert. You may want to check to see what other freelancers do.

    I'm a science journalist with clips. Want to write A LOT for trades in STEM, recs to find and pitch/LOI?

    For trade pubs, try tradepub.com . Also Google "trade mag" plus your keywords - simple but powerful!

    It feels like everything has been done. Any ideas to inspire fresh writing ideas?

    True, they HAVE all been done. You need to put your personal slant on it. For example, what's the OPPOSITE of the idea? Can you broaden a narrow idea into a round up or take round-up and expand each part into an article? Make a local idea national & vice versa?

    Do you include clips with the query, or wait to be asked? And how are they sent: pdf attachments, links, both?

    Mention your clips but don't include – editors may ditch emails with unasked-for attachments. When asked for them, you can send PDFs, Word files, links to your online articles...whatever works! BUT I've heard editors don't like to be sent to your website - why put it on them to find and download your clips?

    I want my niche to be health and wellness, what advice do you have for becoming a good writer on a certain topic?

    It really is about practice. Keep pitching and eventually you'll have a niche and will develop a list of sources, etc. When you develop a niche, pitching will be faster and you'll be in many editors' "stables" of freelancers they turn to.

    Can I offer to take my own photos? Or does editor make decisions on his own about photos?

    It depends on publication. You could offer but most big magazines have their own photographers.

    My niche is becoming geocaching and I'm not sure how I like that but I keep getting paid assignments. How to break the niche rut?

    Pitch outside your niche! A great query plus good clips in ANY topic shows you can write on anything.

    Do you recommend starting w/ magazines w/ a high rate of freelancers?

    I wouldn't bother trying to figure out freelance rates. It’s better to spend time pitching ANY magazine you're interested in.

    I'm a freelance writer/blogger and have been trying to pitch women's magazines but haven't had luck. Any advice?

    Women's magazines are a TOUGH nut to crack. It took me tons of pitches. If you're getting "nice rejections" you're on the right track. No-answers & form rejections=not quite right.

    Do you recommend pitching same/similar story idea to numerous pubs at one time or spacing a few weeks in between?

    All at once, but I divide up into tiers: A-list magazines first, then B-list, etc.

    After Writer's Market, what is your next favorite source for finding magazine markets?

    There are SO many - Google, tradepub.com , customcontentcouncil.org , newsstands, libraries, doctor offices.

    Is there at professional title for writers most appealing to editors and publications? Freelance writer vs. writer vs. content creator, for ex.?

    Not sure it matters. Don't over think! I just have "Freelance writer" on my website.

    Do you ask for some pay up front?

    Only for copywriting clients, never magazines - they just don't work that way.

    How do you handle raising rates with existing clients?

    With magazines, every once in a while I asked for a raise. If they said no, considered whether I wanted to keep writing for them or wanted to spend that time looking for better-paying clients.

    Do you write a working title before crafting an article or do you work on title after?

    DEFINITELY need an awesome title. You want editor to be able to picture your article on her cover. Also, title gives editor instant view of what your article is about and draws her into pitch.

    We're calling it a day for today's #ConnectChat! Linda thanks so much for an incredible chat this afternoon!

    Thanks so much for having me, and THANK you to all the writers who participated!

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

    Measurement, Social Media Privacy and Slow PR: Last Week’s Top Blogs

    Monday, November 11, 2013, 2:19 PM [TopBlogs]
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    If you haven’t checked out the Blogs section of ProfNet Connect lately, you’re missing out on some really great posts. Here’s a link to some of last week’s most popular blog posts:

    The Q&A Team: Shifting Gears Into Slow PR. Most people have heard of the “slow movement” (slow food, slow art, etc.). This installment of our biweekly The Q&A Team looked at the "slow PR" movement: what it is, how it compares to traditional PR, the benefits, how to transition into it, and successful examples of it: bit.ly/1b9CC5C

    Pitching the Home & Garden Beat. At a recent Publicity Club of New York luncheon, editors and producers of home and garden outlets shared their tips for pitching your stories to their publications. Panelists included John Newlin of Livingly Media, Tracey Eyers of NBC/LX Open House, Orli Ben-Dor of Hearst Design Group, Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy, Kim Velsey of New York Observer, and Jill Fehrenbacher of Inhabitat: bit.ly/17FoKVq

    Blog Notes: Tech, Men’s Lifestyle & Personal Finance Blogs. As PR Newswire's media relations manager, Christine Cube comes across great blogs that cover a wide variety of topics and interests. Each week, she offers brief profiles of blogs you might not have heard of but that might offer pitching opportunities for your clients. In this latest installment, she shared reviews of a few technology, personal finance, and men's lifestyle blogs: bit.ly/1cMXfak

    Using Executive Voice to Increase Social Media Engagement. Your executive voice can be a powerful addition to your social media strategy. The key is to integrate your executive’s social media presence within the overall brand’s social media strategy. By doing so, it will help prevent one from overpowering the other. Even though your CEO might be an established brand within his industry offline, social media will potentially reach a much wider segment of your audience globally. Therefore, you’ll need to start building your CEO’s credibility out of the gate. Sandra Coyle, founder of Coyle Communications, shared her tactics: bit.ly/19viDkJ

    Influential Media Outlets That Used ProfNet in October. Check out this list of some of the hundreds of influential media outlets that featured ProfNet experts in October: bit.ly/18WEGfJ

    Master Digital Press Releases and Get More Journalism Coverage. Bulldog Reporter recently hosted a PR University webinar, "Mastering Interactive News Releases: 7 PR Secrets of Digital Press Releases That Woo Editors and Wow the Public." The powerhouse panel of social media and PR experts included Taylor L. Cole, director of PR and social media for Hotels.com; Melanie Moran, executive director of integrated communications for Vanderbilt University News and Communications; Shade Vaughn, director of PR and events for Rosetta; Serena Ehrlich, director of social and evolving media for Business Wire; and Sarah Skerik, vice president of social media for PR Newswire/MultiVu: bit.ly/1hmCCb2

    Measurement & Connection: Takeaways From the PRSA International Conference. This year’s PRSA International Conference in Philadelphia reprised many themes common to public relations, but with a new twist. The influences of social media, content marketing and digital marketing measurement were common threads, linking discussions about pitching, strategy and measurement. There’s a good reason for this -- digital activities are incredibly measurable, and our peers in marketing gleaning spectacular amounts of insight about audience interests and behavior from their data, and that data is impacting other communications practices. Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire's vice president of content marketing, shared some takeaways from the conference: bit.ly/17ETFRL

    Grammar Hammer: Into the Great Wide Open. Are you unsure of when to use "into" vs. "in"? That's the topic of the latest Grammar Hammer, which includes both an explanation and some examples: bit.ly/18KHJYx

    MEDIAware Media Moves and Updates. MEDIAware, PR Newswire’s audience research newsletter, has gone from monthly to weekly! Each issue is chock-full of media news and job changes. In this issue, you'll read updates on Associated Press, The Atlantic, AARP Bulletin, Glamour, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Redbook, Sun-Sentinel and more: bit.ly/1iHV0Xr

    Protecting Your Privacy on Social Media. Many of us are concerned about social media privacy, whether for ourselves or for the brands we represent. In our latest Twitter chat, Joanna Belbey, social media and compliance specialist for Actiance, Inc., discussed some of the precautions companies and consumers should take to ensure they are safely using social media: bit.ly/19SCD00

    What were your favorite blog posts last week? Which ones did you find most helpful/interesting?

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

    Media 411: Can Newspapers Still Be Considered Mass Media?

    Friday, November 8, 2013, 10:30 AM [Media 411]
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    Most of us get our news online, on our mobile devices, or maybe even on TV every now and then. With the decline in newspaper readership, is it appropriate to still consider newspapers a “mass medium”?

    Fewer and fewer people rely on newspapers to get the majority of their information, and if you count in that most folks probably aren’t paying to read more than the allotted free articles per month, it may be safe to say that the days of calling newspapers a mass medium are almost over. Almost, but not quite yet.

    Although we don’t read a print version of a particular newspaper as we did in years past, the content lives on through their online presence. That needs to be taken into consideration.

    Each paper copy of a newspaper is also likely viewed by more than one person, which helps increases the paper’s value, but it’s almost impossible to get any metrics on that.

    Many get their news via social media, but those articles come from somewhere and aren’t created by the social media platforms themselves. Each of these “shares” increase the number of views to each newspaper’s site.

    Newspapers are still a mass medium, in my opinion. Regardless of the number of them declining and staffs shrinking, the content is still being produced and making an impact.

    What do you think? Please read the article on which this blog post is based here and make sure to include your comments below.

    Breaking Into Freelancing for Magazines

    Thursday, November 7, 2013, 1:37 PM [#ConnectChat]
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    Our next #ConnectChat, "Breaking Into Freelancing for Magazines," will feature Linda Formichelli (@LFormichelli), a full-time freelancer who has written for more than 150 magazines and websites.

    The chat will take place Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST. To submit questions for Formichelli in advance, please email profnetconnect@prnewswire.com or tweet your question to @ProfNet or @editorev.

    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.

    About Linda Formichelli
    Linda Formichelli has written for more than 150 magazines, from Pizza Today to Redbook. She runs the Renegade Writer blog (www.therenegadewriter.com) and is the co-author of “The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success.” Her latest e-book is “Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race...And Step Into a Career You Love.” She lives in North Carolina with her freelancer husband and homeschooled almost-5-year-old.

    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, or get timely experts and story ideas by email. Both are free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Media 411: Struggling Newspapers Sell off Old Headquarters

    Thursday, October 31, 2013, 12:59 PM [Media 411]
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    It seems impossible not to come across a story each week that describes the woes of the newspaper industry.

    The New York Times recently reported that, to make money, many newspapers are selling the buildings that served as their headquarters. The article mentions The Washington Post selling their headquarters in Arlington, Va., as an example. The more troubling part of that is that the building used for producing the paper could be worth more than the actual paper if it’s in a good location.

    That same article states that the “August sale of The Washington Post for $250 million to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, included more than 700,000 square feet of printing plants and warehouses and more than 60 acres of developable land, according to CoStar.”

    Many newspapers across the country have already sold their properties, including The Times Argus, Seattle Times and San Jose Mercury News.

    However, this change in the day-to-day operations could turn things around in some way. By selling enormous properties, they can move their operations into smaller venues, manage to make a profit, and not worry about ridiculous overhead costs.

    The days of showing off grand structures are over. And are huge work spaces really necessary these days? Technology and smaller staffs make it much easier to use a smaller space.

    What are your thoughts?

    To read the Times article, please click here.

    SPOTLIGHT: Grace Lavigne, Journal of Commerce

    Friday, October 18, 2013, 5:15 PM [General]
    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.

    This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Grace M. Lavigne, an associate web editor at The Journal of Commerce in Newark, N.J.

    We hope you find SPOTLIGHT both enjoyable and informative.

    Grace, tell us about what you do at The Journal of Commerce.

    I am the associate web editor for JOC.com, the website of the biweekly, glossy magazine The Journal of Commerce. The publication’s online presence provides the latest news on global supply chain issues to logistics and transportation decision-makers. 

    Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist or did you consider something else?

    Throughout my childhood, I toyed with many other ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up. At times I imagined myself becoming a scientist, an art curator and a linguist.

    However my passion for writing was always present and I decided for sure that I wanted to become a journalist when I was the editor of my high school’s newspaper. That experience solidified my interest in the media industry and gave me a confidence boost.

    Where was your first job in journalism?

    I interned during college with the Washington, D.C.-based Youth Today, a national newspaper for social service workers that work with minors. I wrote up short news articles, helped find stories, posted content online and occasionally attended meetings on Capitol Hill.

    My first full-time job was with ProfNet! As associate editor and later as senior editor, I learned how to edit other writers’ work in AP Style, create and maintain columns, manage social media for a brand, cover industry events and more. My experience at PR Newswire was irreplaceable!

    What type of stories do you usually cover?

    I write about 10 short to medium-length articles about international trade and transportation news on a daily basis. JOC covers issues specifically concerning global container cargo.

    Are your stories usually assigned or do you also get to make suggestions?

    My boss and I work together to identify and prioritize stories. We maintain a general news inbox that is subscribed to a variety of media lists and receives a daily slew of press releases from PR contacts, JOC associates and sources and other JOC writers.

    I am encouraged to pitch story ideas to my managers and work on longer articles, especially multimedia stories like slideshows and infographics.

    Do your managers also go to you for ideas?

    Sometimes JOC’s executive editor will coordinate collaborative stories that include submissions from multiple writers. For example, JOC recently published a “list” story on the Top 10 best transportation movies, which was based on suggestions from several writers, including me.

    Is there a 'best part' about doing what you do?

    I love the steps involved in bringing a story together. Sometimes I have to dig around online, call someone, find a picture, sift through a report or ask an editor something to get to the final version of an article. Finishing a story is (usually) a satisfying and proud moment.

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

    Because I’m catering to an online audience, I am always more likely to cover a story if it includes a multimedia element, such as a photo or video.

    What should they always do and never do?

    It is useful when PR professionals email the JOC news inbox with a press release and post it online on their company’s website. I source articles whenever I can with a link to the original news announcement, which boosts visibility for both JOC.com and the company in terms of SEO. I also appreciate it when PR professionals send press releases with descriptive subject lines.

    I don’t like it when press releases have a lot of flowery language. That basically just makes it harder on me to pinpoint what the real news is and cut out the promotional wording when I write it up.

    What type of experts do you like working with? Do you prefer the high-level executive or is someone at a lower level acceptable? 

    I like working with experts who have backgrounds in trade, transportation, logistics and economics. Because JOC caters to high-level executives, that’s probably the type of expert I’m usually interested in interviewing, but it would depend on the subject. 

    What's the best way for someone in PR to start a working relationship with you?

    I think emailing me directly and offering additional resources, such as an interview with a source or exclusive photos, is the best way to establish a working relationship.

    What is the toughest part about being a journalist?

    Time management – knowing when to keep pursuing a story and when it’s time to call it quits is not easy. I have pursued leads that gave JOC’s coverage an edge up from our competitors, but I have also pursued leads that just ended up being a waste of time. Unlike the magazine version of JOC, every story for the website has an ASAP deadline and reduced shelf life, so balancing timeliness with comprehensiveness is tough.

    Is there a career highlight that stands out so far?

    I usually cover stories from my desk, and not from the field, so it was really cool when I recently visited the Port of NY-NJ to see five cranes being unloaded from a ship from Poland. The crane company’s project manager gave me a tour of the enormous vessel and showed me how the ship is able to unload such heavy machinery. The experience really brought my work to life and gave me a taste of the logistics industry firsthand.

    How do you use social media as part of your job?

    JOC’s marketing manager and I regularly update JOC’s Twitter presence (@JOC_Updates). We send out links to news articles; provide information about JOC events, webinars, podcasts and more; and interact with our readers.

    When you're not busy on the field, what do you do in your spare time?

    I volunteer with Literacy Volunteers of Monmouth County, a nonprofit that addresses the low literacy needs of adults. Every week for two hours, I tutor a man from Mexico on how to improve his English-language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

    In my spare time, I enjoy reading fiction, practicing yoga, watching HBO shows and hanging out with my boyfriend and two cats.

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

    Media 411: Journalists selling subscriptions?

    Thursday, October 17, 2013, 1:06 PM [General]
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    Long gone are the days of the stereotypical trench coat-wearing journalist with a fedora on his head, notepad and pen in hand, making calls to find the big story, creating his magic on a typewriter. (A what?)

    The job of a journalist has changed drastically in the 21st century where one is expected to write, shoot video, edit video, take photos and now -- gasp! -- sell subscriptions! Can it be? Oh yes, it has come down to that. Well, kind of.

    Forbes had an interesting article this week regarding how The New Republic came up with an idea to motivate their journalists via a contest. All the staff had to do was pitch the magazine to people and the staffer with the most subscriptions sold would win and iPad Mini. Sounds fun, right?

    In my humble opinion, this may actually become the norm. Journalists will also become salespeople since social media makes it a lot easier to ask people for money. No awkward and uncomfortable phone calls or knocking on doors trying to save face while begging people to buy a subscription. Unless you’re selling Thin Mints or Samoas, the door is either unlikely to open or more likely to be closed painfully onto the tip of the nose with the first, “hello.”

    Journalists are being asked to do more everyday so it really wouldn’t be too surprising if a contest like this becomes standard fare for journalists at newspapers and magazines who depend on subscriptions to stay afloat, especially smaller outlets. Bottom lines are falling below acceptable levels everywhere so anything that can help may be asked of journalists.

    Do you think this idea would work? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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

    Upcoming PR/Media Events

    Friday, October 11, 2013, 5:51 PM [Upcoming Events]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include upcoming events we think will be of interest to PR and media professionals. Here are a few events coming up over the next few weeks:

    Event: Region 6 Chicago Conference
    Host: National Association of Hispanic Journalists
    Date: Oct. 12
    Location: Chicago
    Summary: Latin America: Coverage & Challenges will include workshops and panels and an awards presentation.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: David Burkus on the Myths of Creativity
    Host: PRSA Westchester/Fairfield
    Date: Oct. 16
    Location: Rye, NY
    Summary: "For anyone who struggles with creativity, or who makes excuses for delaying the work of innovation David Burkus, author of the book Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Ideas (Wiley) will help you overcome your obstacles to finding new ideas."
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Author 101 University
    Host: Author 101 University
    Date: Oct. 24-27
    Location: Las Vegas
    Summary: "Expand your brand, your earnings and your reputation as the authority in your field. After 3 days at Author101 University you'll leave with the precise tools to propel yourself into the top 3% of any industry."
    Complete event info here.

    Event: La Jolla Writer's Conference    
    Host: La Jolla Writer's Conference
    Date: Nov. 1-3
    Location: San Diego
    Summary: "Whether you are an aspiring author who has yet to put pen to paper, someone intent on writing a book to augment your business, a writer on the cusp of submitting to agents, or someone who wants to know more about the different and ever-evolving methods of publication, the La Jolla Writer’s Conference is the place for you."
    Complete event info here.

    Event: ScienceWriters2013
    Host: National Association of Science Writers presents, "ScienceWriters2013," Nov. 1-5 in Gaine
    Date: Nov. 1-5
    Location: Gainesville, FL
    Summary: "A mix of professional development workshops, briefings on the latest scientific research, extensive networking opportunities, and field trips, it is a meeting for science writers, by science writers, with content to appeal to both the newest writers and seasoned professionals."
    Complete event info here.

    Event: JournCamp
    Host: Society of Professional Journalists
    Date: Nov. 2
    Location: Minneapolis
    Summary: "In this daylong workshop, you'll get practical, skills-based professional development that will help you be a better journalist."
    Complete event info here.

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

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