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Aug 16, 2010, 13:54 CDT
- Member Type(s): Content Publisher
Media - Print Journalist
- Organization:DM Confidential
- Area of Expertise:Media
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Friday, September 7, 2012, 1:37 PM
ProfNet is a free service that provides journalists, bloggers, authors and other writers with links to experts and story ideas on the topics they cover. You’ll also find links to job opportunities and other news and resources we think you’ll find useful. To receive these updates by email, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition.
If you are in need of an expert source, you can also submit a free ProfNet query and have qualified sources come to you, or search the free ProfNet Connect database, which features nearly 50,000 user profiles, all searchable by keyword. If you are looking for Spanish-speaking experts, you can also opt to send your query via ProfNet en Español; just select that option when submitting your request.
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Search the ProfNet Connect experts database
- Change Happens: Now What?
- NYC Soda Ban: Bad Idea for Consumer Choice?
- Organic vs. Conventional Food: What’s Best for Our Kids
- Investigative Reporter - Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Reporter - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- NFL Reporter - Mclean, Va.
OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES
- Media News Highlight
- Socialympics: Social Media Favorites From 2012 Summer Games
- Weekly Roundup: Reddit, Respect in PR, and Twitter and Political Journalism
Expert Alerts are listings of ProfNet members who are available to discuss timely news topics. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact their media representative at the end of the listing. You can also find Expert Alerts online at bit.ly/pncalerts
Change Happens: Now What?
Life in Transition, What's Next
"Change happens over and over in your life, whether expected or unexpected. But how do you respond? 1) How do you make decisions? 2) What motivates you to make the change? 3) What really keeps you awake at night? Could it be a fear of leaving the part of you that you have known all your life and entering the unknown, more than the fear of mistakes or loneliness; or is it a combination of reasons? It helps to know if you are a spinner, collaborator, observer or leaper when making decisions or a combination of decisions. Know how you usually make choices. Dig deeper into why you are sleepless. Could it be the fear of sitting in the unknown without a net? If so, get curious about the unknown rather than panic. Curiosity and compassion are two best friends during changes."
Caine can discuss the answers to the questions above.
Websites: www.emptynestsupport.com and www.lifeintransition.org
Expert Contact: email@example.com
NYC Soda Ban: Bad Idea for Consumer Choice?
Jessica Levinson, RD, MS
"On Sept. 13, the New York City Board of Health has an important decision to make. Will they vote to remove personal choice or honor people’s right to make decisions that are best for their individual lifestyles? Whatever the decision, one thing is fact: removing choice is never the answer to big problems like obesity. Knowledge and education are key. As a registered dietitian, I counsel clients every day on the importance of including a variety of foods and beverages in a balanced diet -- even sugar-sweetened beverages like soda. The key is moderation and balancing calories taken in with those burned through exercise. If we’re not teaching people these basic principles for healthy living, then no amount of rule-making will help solve our city’s issue with weight."
Levinson, a registered dietitian (RD), is available to provide perspective on the impact of the soda ban and elaborate on the important principles of inclusion, balance and moderation when it comes to making food and beverage choices. She is a consultant to The Coca-Cola Company, Frito-Lay, Centrum, Avocados from Mexico, and the Corn Refiners Association.
News Contact: Kimberly Wise, firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-202-609-6015
Organic vs. Conventional Food: What’s Best for Our Kids
Founder, CEO and "Chief Mom"
"As a deeply passionate and involved member of the organic-food industry, I have a clear understanding of the benefits of organic food, but know many consumers face confusion in our cluttered landscape of food labels and certifications. I believe the recent Stanford University study is only adding to this confusion. I have always been a champion for organic, both as a mom and an entrepreneur, but today it’s not about my business -- it’s about the health and safety of the next generation. Organic food is crucially important for our children, and it’s not just because of the nutritional value. You don’t choose an organic strawberry over a conventional strawberry because it has more vitamin C -- you choose it because it’s free of harmful pesticides and toxins that can be absorbed by your child’s body. I encourage parents to look at all the facts, view this study with a critical eye and remember that choosing organic is about the safety of our kids and the health of the planet."
Visram is able to provide commentary on the subject of organic vs. conventional food for babies and children in response to the Stanford University study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
News Contact: Laura Herbert, email@example.com or +1-212-219-0321
Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board: bit.ly/pncjobboard
See more listings here.
OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:
Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
- MEDIA NEWS HIGHLIGHT: ProfNet Editor Evelyn Tipacti shares stories from the worlds of media and journalism: bit.ly/Q3UxnJ
- SOCIALYMPICS: SOCIAL MEDIA FAVORITES FROM 2012 SUMMER GAMES: PR Newswire's Christine Cube shares some of the more creative social media items from this year's Olympic Games: bit.ly/P1y6h7
- WEEKLY ROUNDUP: REDDIT, RESPECT IN PR, AND TWITTER AND POLITICAL JOURNALISM: ProfNet Editor Jason Hahn reviews 10 interesting PR- and media-related stories from the past week: bit.ly/RiUqpY
Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 12:03 PM
Welcome to Inside PR Newswire, a series that provides a special look into the people that make up PR Newswire. We'll share their stories about what they do, how they arrived at PR Newswire, and a little about themselves as individuals when they're not at work.
If you're wondering why we're profiling folks from PR Newswire, it's because ProfNet and ProfNet Connect are part of PR Newswire, and we'd like for you to know more about the organization and the people behind it. There's definitely more to us than just sending out press releases!
We hope you enjoy this inside look into PR Newswire.
Grace Lavigne is a senior editor of ProfNet. So Grace, tell us -- what do you do?
ProfNet is a service that connects journalists with expert sources.
Editing requests from journalists looking for sources is my main responsibility. I proofread, format and code these queries by topic for immediate distribution to ProfNet members. I also compile roundups of experts on trending news stories, respond to user questions and comments, and attend and blog about relevant industry events.
A chunk of my time is spent writing and researching two weekly columns: "Dear Gracie," which features advice experts on PR and media issues; and "Grammar Hammer," which makes the rules of American English easy and fun to learn.
Additionally, I rotate with two other ProfNet editors hosting the biweekly #ConnectChat, which is a discussion on Twitter featuring an expert guest on anything from media and PR to social networking and branding.
How did you end up at PR Newswire?
I started applying for media jobs right after I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, in the fall of 2009 with a degree in Linguistics. During my job search, I found a listing for an "assistant editor" position with PR Newswire, and thought the description was right up my alley -- so I applied!
What does a typical workday look like for you?
ProfNet opens at 8 a.m. EDT, so I'm at my desk by then with coffee in hand. I always edit the "morning queries" first (those are the queries that were submitted by journalists overnight when ProfNet is closed). After those queries are taken care of, I focus on other activities like compiling Experts Alerts (which are basically the reverse of regular ProfNet queries -- experts pitching to reporters), writing "Dear Gracie" and "Grammar Hammer," updating content on ProfNet Connect (like the homepage), answering calls and more. I edit queries as we receive them throughout the day too.
How large is your team?
ProfNet comprises four people including myself, but we rely on PR Newswire's product advocates, PRNJ employees and others for support.
What has changed since you started working at PR Newswire?
When I first started working at Harborside in Jersey City, PR Newswire employees were located on the non-window side of the building. About a year after I was hired, PR Newswire moved to the window side (score!) with a newly furnished office (double score!).
Additionally, for the first six months that I worked for ProfNet, ProfNet Connect was in the works and hadn't launched yet, so I didn't have any blogging responsibilities at that point.
How has social media changed your job or department?
Social media has been an incredible avenue for ProfNet to communicate with users directly and quickly. For example, if journalists need sources by the end of the business day (which we consider "urgent"), we can tweet the journalist's request out to @ProfNet's 18,000 followers.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in particular have been great ways to promote content from ProfNet Connect, including blog posts, featured experts, job openings and more.
What is the most important lesson you've learned on the job?
To always ask questions! This lesson has served me well throughout my entire life, but has been particularly valuable to me here at ProfNet. By asking questions, especially about issues that are not "need to know," I've learned about the back stories, back systems and back roads that make me a more efficient and aware worker. You can never know too much!
What motivates you to do your best?
Knowing that journalists, PR professionals and experts rely on ProfNet to do their jobs and be successful keeps me focused. When we get positive feedback from ProfNet users, it's a great feeling that keeps me going!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope I'll still be editing and writing, and somehow involved in media.
What do you do when you're not working?
I love reading (currently on "For Whom the Bell Tolls"), going to the gym and yoga class, lounging at the beach, watching horror movies, complaining about politics (lol), volunteering and relaxing with friends!
ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire, has helped journalists and experts connect since 1992. Writers can search the ProfNet Connect database of more than 50,000 profiles; send a ProfNet query by email to thousands of subscribers around the globe; or get timely experts and story ideas by emai
Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 4:21 PM
Following is a roundup of 10 interesting PR- and media-related stories found online last week:
The New Yorker Tweets an Entire Short Story: Novelist Jennifer Egan submitted a short story for The New Yorker, with a catch: the whole spy story was to be posted on Twitter in 140-character bits before being published in the magazine. The idea was embraced and will run in The New Yorker's May 29 issue. (NYTimes.com)
Goldman Sachs Unveils Twitter Account as Part of a PR Offensive: Goldman Sachs made its Twitter debut (@GoldmanSachs) on May 24, coinciding with the company's annual shareholder meeting. This is one part of the firm's public relations offensive. Jake Siewert, an industry veteran and Goldman Sachs' new head of PR, is aiming to make the company more open and friendly. (CNNMoney)
Copy Editing Has to Change: "Copy editing is the quality control function of a newsroom, and quality matters. But the economics and workflow of the news business have changed, and copy editing must change, too." Copy editors who hope to contribute to changing newsrooms should learn how to work quickly, focus on what's important, know how to aggregate, develop social media skills and blog, among other things. Meanwhile, copy editing tips for journalists include learning how to write SEO headlines, reading their stories aloud, and improve their grammar and word usage. (The Buttry Diary)
Newspaper Editors Are too Cautious: Buzz Bissinger, a reporter and author of "Friday Night Lights" and "A Prayer for the City," shares his thoughts on a variety of topics, including the sale of the sale of the Philadelphia Inquirer, starting in journalism in the 1970s and the editing process. "Newspaper editors are very cautious -- too cautious. One of the things that I don’t miss about papers is the constant -- as it goes up the food chain, one editor after another, after another, after another, and what happens is it loses its voice." (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Facebook Woos Media Companies: Facebook has been courting the media industry over the past year or so, but those companies appear apprehensive. "In fact, while it seems clear that while Facebook and the media business are becoming further intertwined, media has so far rebuffed Facebook’s larger ambition -- to be the place where media is consumed, talked about and shared for the majority of Web users." The key to more media companies offering content right on Facebook's site could be Credits. (Adweek)
Survey: NPR Listeners Are the Best-Informed: A survey from Farleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind found that NPR listeners are the best-informed on domestic and international current events. People who watch just FOX News or MSNBC, however, displayed an inferior knowledge of current events. (Mediaite)
We Need to Reinvent the Article: The foundation of journalism is broken, which means everything is fair game when it comes to considering what needs to be changed -- even the article. Here are a few "new rules" for online content: the article shouldn't be the default, not everything is a narrative and you should answer the user's demands. (SeanBlanda.com)
How to Teach Journalists to Effectively Use Social Media: Once upon a time, some journalists thought Twitter would never have relevance for journalism. With those days behind us, it's important to be open to teaching others how to use social media tools and integrate them into their workflow. Among the 10 tips for teaching journalists how to effectively use social media are: know about the teaching space, learn the backstory of reporters using social media in notable ways, make at least part of the teaching session hands-on, and include a primer on social media verification. (Poynter)
Inspiration From Graduation Speeches Delivered by Journalists: Despite all the darkness in the journalism industry, there are still many journalism students graduating and entering the profession. Here are three journalists who cut through the gloom and offered some inspiration in their commencement speeches: David Simon, Barbara Walters and Connie Schultz. (Mediabistro's 10,000 Words)
Why Journalists Should Consider PR: "Despite their industry turmoil and uncertain future, reporters always find comfort knowing they’re not doing PR." This former journalist who crossed over to the dark side shares eight reasons journalists should consider "selling out": 1) you still get to tell compelling stories, 2) you get to shape the story, 3) you get to be an advocate for worthy agendas, 4) you get to learn something new on a regular basis, 5) you don't become jaded, 6) you get to be optimistic, 7) you still have constant deadlines and 8) you can use your news judgment to prevent awful pitches. (PR Daily)
ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire, has helped journalists and experts connect since 1992. Writers can search the ProfNet Connect database of more than 50,000 profiles; send a ProfNet query by email to thousands of subscribers around the globe; or get timely experts and story ideas by email.
Thursday, April 12, 2012, 3:20 PM
ProfNet has been in business for 20 years, but that doesn't mean it has to look that way. In honor of the momentous occasion, ProfNet is bringing its users a new and improved interface. The changes aren't just aesthetic -- they're also functional.
Here's a rundown of some of the major improvements you'll see when the new site goes live on April 20, along with a few screenshots:
- A new home page, with a sleeker look that makes it simpler for visitors to navigate to pages where they can learn more about the benefits of being part of ProfNet
- An updated inbox and simplified "My Organization" view
- Simplified expert profile forms and immediate posting of new profiles
- Options to adjust search filters
- Easily accessible tools, such as FAQs and case studies
- Queries can be viewed on ProfNet.com in real time
- Auto-forwarding queries to experts by interest categories or keywords
- Forwarding queries within an open query
- Easy-to-use "My Experts" view
- Updated "Create Member Inquiry" form
Many of these changes were in response to feedback and suggestions from the ProfNet community. We hope they will help our members do their jobs better as they manage queries and interact with the media.
Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 2:25 PM
This is part of a biweekly series on tools, resources and apps to help PR and media professionals be more productive and effective.
All Our Ideas is a free online tool for crowdsourcing answers to questions. Though it's a research project led by an assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University, the platform is a useful resource for journalists and other professionals looking to get insights into what people are thinking.
"All Our Ideas is a platform that enables groups to collect and prioritize ideas in a transparent, democratic, and bottom-up way," the researchers proclaim on the home page. "It’s a suggestion box for the digital age."
Users who want to use All Our Ideas have to go through four simple steps:
1) Create your website: This step requires users to enter the text of their question for their audience.
2) Choose your URL: Users are asked to customize the URL where their question will appear (i.e., enter what will appear after "http://www.allourideas.org/").
3) Upload lots of ideas to seed the site: This is where users are asked to enter options to be voted on. One option should be entered per line, and each entry has a 140-character limit.
4) Create an Account: Users are asked to enter their email address and a password so they can get the results and administer the site.
An optional fifth step asks users to tell All Our Ideas what they're looking to achieve with the page, or share anything else the project might want to know.
Once a dedicated page is created, visitors can see the question followed by two blue boxes with two potential responses (which the creator has selected). Underneath the two presented choices is a gray box with the words "I can't decide." If a visitor clicks this box, they'll see a box appear with possible reasons why they can't decide on a response (e.g., "I like both ideas," "I don't know enough about either idea," "I just can't decide," etc.).
If the creator enables the option, below the "I can't decide" box will be a green box with the words "Help your community / Add your own idea." Clicking this will show the visitor an open field where they will have 140 characters to add their own response.
Responses, or "ideas," are attributed scores on a scale of 0-100. All Our Ideas explains that each response's score is "the estimated chance that it will win against a randomly chosen idea."
Once a page is created for a question, the creator can access an admin page where they can activate or disable ideas, require a password for voters, upload a logo to be shown on the page, add a welcome message and request CSV files of data, among other things. Each page can also be embedded into another site.
The website's simplicity and easy-to-use interface make All Our Ideas an accessible resource for just about anyone. Journalists and news organizations can use the platform to get an idea of what their readers are thinking about certain topics, or to see what their readers want to see from their website/publication. Professionals from any industry can also utilize All Our Ideas internally to determine what employees want to see changed, improved, etc., within their organizations.
All Our Ideas isn't just a neat way to get the pulse of an audience -- it adds layers of fun (the voting system and scores) and participation (the ability for voters to add their own ideas, which are then included in the vote) that aren't found in a simple poll. As a result, the results can be more useful, engaging and insightful.
- All Our Ideas facilitates crowdsourcing -- of opinions (Nieman Journalism Lab)
- All Our Ideas: "About this project"
- All Our Ideas blog
- An example of an All Our Ideas question
- All Our Ideas on Twitter
Another tool for reporters is ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire, has helped journalists and experts connect since 1992. Writers can search the ProfNet Connect database of more than 50,000 profiles; send a ProfNet query by email to thousands of subscribers around the globe; or get timely experts and story ideas by email.