One of the most common questions we hear from ProfNet members is: What’s the best way to respond to a ProfNet query?
We decided to go right to the source and ask reporters for some examples of the best query responses they’ve received.
I am reaching out to you in response to your ProfNet posting: “HEALTH: The Danger of Young Women Telling Themselves Health Lies.”
I wanted to introduce the California Optometric Association as a potential resource for you. With an extensive network of practicing optometrists, we have a number of optometrists available to give expert advice on how young women may be at risk for eye health issues even if they have perfect vision. Additionally, many of the optometrists in our network are media trained, and would love to participate and provide material for your article.
Lie: I have perfect vision, so I do not need to have my eyes checked.
Danger: Even if you believe that you have perfect sight, your stronger eye could be overcompensating for an undiagnosed vision problem in your other eye. Additionally, you could be suffering from a quiet eye disease such as glaucoma. Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss. Optometrists can also detect health issues like Diabetes through a comprehensive eye exam.
What to do: Realize that you are not immune to eye health problems just because you have perfect sight. Visit your local optometrist each year to protect your sight and overall health.
California Optometric Association is a not-for-profit, professional trade organization for optometrists in the state of California. Dedicated to promoting the highest standard of eye care, COA strives to increase awareness about the importance of routine, comprehensive eye exams.
For more information, please visit The COA's websites, COAVision.org and Eyehelp.org.
Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have or for any additional information you require.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Lauren Weil | Burson-Marsteller for California Optometric Association
What made this great: The reporter loved that the response was packaged based on her query and included little things often forgotten, like contact info, websites, etc. The PR person also delivered – “something that’s only a given about 50 percent of the time these days,” said the reporter. It can be very frustrating to have a PR person contact a writer with an enthusiastic promise their source is the best, only to have the PR person backpedal, saying their client isn’t available or can’t comment.
This is for you from Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine, and the author of 15 books, including Self-Help Without the Hype. He has also taught university courses on self-control and self-management:
"The explosion of new self-monitoring tools is a positive step. Research shows clearly that heightening awareness of one's performance virtually always improves that performance - smarter eating, higher productivity, superior performance in sports, and so on. I'm aware of only one general exception, and that's fine-motor performance. If a pianist starts to focus on how his or her hands are moving, he or she will probably stumble. As I explain in my book, Self-Help Without the Hype, in general, self-monitoring helps you get where you want to go, period. It's one of what I call the 3 M's of self-management: Monitor Your Behavior, Modify Your Environment, and Make Commitments."
I can put you in touch with Dr. Epstein by phone or email if you need additional material.
What made this great: What the reporter liked about this is that it includes a quote from the expert, which gives the reporter an idea of what the expert has to say. This often makes all the difference when a reporter receives many responses to one query.
I saw your ProfNet query on transferring skills from the military to the civilian workforce and thought you might be interested in exploring a possible skills preparation angle for your story.
There is a misperception that military personnel are not properly equipped to enter the civilian workforce when they leave the military. However, many members of the military actually receive valuable training while they’re deployed that can be applied in civilian positions and enhance any resume.
Skillsoft is a learning and on-demand training provider that serves both military and civilian organizations. Their online training products are used by active duty, reserve and civilian personnel representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard as well as the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
Military personnel use Skillsoft programs to enhance business, information technology, leadership, professional and technical skills necessary to excel at their current, and future civilian, jobs. In fact, the company has been recognized for its military training programs five out of the past six years by Military Training Technology (MT2).
I would be more than happy to arrange a briefing between you and a Skillsoft executive if you would like to discuss training for military personnel in more detail. I will be out of the office on vacation from December 24-28, but would be happy to arrange an interview when I return on December 31.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year!
Caroline Pennartz | Senior Account Representative
Lois Paul and Partners
What made this great: The reporter loved the thoroughness of the response, so while she had already lined up all her sources for the story by the time she read this, she was willing to entertain the PR person's sources in the future.
Do you have a great query response you want to share? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I may include it in our next update.