In our Journalist Spotlight Q&A series, PR Newswire for Journalists and ProfNet users share their insight and advice on how PR professionals and experts can improve communications and increase their chances of being featured in their publications.
In this edition, we catch up with award-winning journalist Karen Appold.
Based in Lehigh Valley, Pa., Appold earned a B.A. in English (writing) from Pennsylvania State University, and has more than 20 years of editorial experience. She has owned an editorial business, Write Now Services, since 2003, and works with an extensive range of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and media.
For those not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about the topics you cover?
I write for trade publications in a variety of medical specialties and cover the healthcare industry for managed healthcare executives. I also write about retail for trade publications in the gift shop industry.
You’ve used ProfNet for a long time, so I’m sure you've gotten a lot of replies to your queries over the years. What are PR pros doing right – and what are they getting wrong?
It’s helpful when PR people respond with a source suggestion and include their employment details or a link to their bio. I usually can’t use sources from vendors, and it’s not always clear if someone is a vendor, so PR people should be upfront about that.
Is there anything PR reps can do to set themselves apart from other respondents?
Fast responses to my request, and offering sources who can answer questions via email.
Are you open to cold calls/pitches?
No, not unless I have a post looking for article ideas for a specific publication.
Do you use social media, either to connect with people or to promote your articles?
I’m on LinkedIn.
What’s your favorite or most memorable story you’ve written?
An article featuring an auctioneer -- which I won a Keystone Press Award for.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I really value the service that ProfNet provides. I’ve received hundreds of great sources from it.