Maria Perez

    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
      Communications Professional
      Media - Freelancer
      Media - Broadcast
      Media - Print Journalist
      Media - Student Journalist
      Media - Web-only/Blogger
      Media - Other
    • Title:Director, Audience Content
    • Organization:ProfNet
    • Area of Expertise:ProfNet

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    Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 12:56 PM [General]
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    It’s my favorite time of year -- time for all the “best of 2015” lists. We had a lot of fantastic content on ProfNet Connect this year, but we know you’ve been busy and might have missed a few posts here and there. So, to recap the year, here are the top 10 blog posts of 2015:

    Pitching to National Morning and Daytime TV Talk Shows.
    The Publicity Club of New York held a fantastic panel luncheon featuring some of the most prominent journalists in daytime television: Debbie Kosofsky, senior producer (food), "Today"; Melissa Lonner, senior talent executive, “The Meredith Vieira Show”; Jesse Rodriguez, senior producer, “Morning Joe”; Carl Leibowitz, booking producer, “Wake Up With Al”; and Sarah Kunin, senior producer, “Good Morning America." Here are some highlights from the luncheon:

    How to Turn a Reporter off With Just Five Words. If you were on Twitter in mid-August, you might have seen tweets with the hashtag #sourcefromhellin5words. The brainchild of Linda Formichelli, co-founder of The Renegade Writer and, the hashtag gave writers the opportunity to share five-word phrases that make them never want to interview a source again. We put together a roundup of some of the top phrases shared by writers:

    Using Social Media to Land Writing Gigs and Make Money. As writers become more familiar with multimedia storytelling, social media has developed into a powerful tool to gather an audience and promote content -- that is, if you know how to use it. At the ASJA Writers Conference, five journalists shared their experiences with social media and how they use it to their advantage:

    A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Google News Lab. Realizing that ways of creating and sharing news changes constantly, Google released News Lab, an online network that aims to connect journalists with programs, data and other resources to aid in their reporting. We sat down with Daniel Sieberg, head of media outreach with Google News Lab, to find out more:

    Pitching to National and Local Morning Talk Shows. The final Publicity Club of New York panel luncheon of 2015 featured some of the top producers in national and local morning talk television: Siobhan Schanda, supervising talent producer, “The Wendy Williams Show"; Jessica Cohen, senior producer, “Good Day New York”; Scott Easton, producer, “Live with Kelly & Michael”; and Marcia Parris, senior producer, “PIX Morning News.” You can read highlights from the luncheon here:

    A Conversation With CNBC’s Kerima Greene. What does it take to get your brand, story or executive on TV? Is it magic, luck or actual hard work, and does it have to be tied to a big trend or news of the day? Today on ProfNet Connect, Elizabeth Yekhtikian of InkHouse shared her conversation with Kerima Greene, Senior Talent & News Producer for CNBC's “Power Lunch”:

    Meet the Media: Medical/Health Reporters. The Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society of Greater New York held a panel discussion with medical/health care reporters and producers from WNYC, Medpage Today, CBS Evening News, Wall Street Journal and more. The panelists discussed the beats they cover, how they choose certain stories, the best ways to work with them, and much more:

    There’s No Place Like Newsrooms for the Holidays. Contrary to popular belief, all the media wants for Christmas is a public relations pitch. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but reporters, editors and producers staffing the newsroom for the holidays generally welcome a good lead on a unique story idea. That's particularly true as hard news often slows to a trickle despite all the hustle and bustle of the season. Here are a few tips for a successful holiday pitch strategy:

    8 Writing Tools for Faster, Professional Content. Today’s content cycle moves at breakneck speed, and a writer’s mind is never at rest. Fortunately, there are tools available that make the writing process easier every step of the way, from jotting down notes and editing, to finding sources and multimedia. Here are some of our favorites:

    Journalist Spotlight. There are a lot of articles out there on what PR professionals should and shouldn't do when pitching the media. Each month, via our Journalist Spotlight series, we find out straight from the journalists themselves. This year, we caught up with Sean Powers of Georgia Public Broadcasting, Mike Fitzgerald of the Belleville News-Democrat, Laurie Mason Schroeder of The Morning Call, Thomson Reuters’ Melissa Sachs, George Putic of Voice of America, and more. Check out all of this year’s Journalist Spotlight posts here:

    Want to see more? Check out the Blogs section of ProfNet Connect to view all of the blog posts from this year, and keep an eye out for some great ones coming in 2015. Happy new year to all!

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. The best part? It’s easy and free! Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR professionals in the ProfNet network.

    How to Pitch and Perform on Network News

    Monday, December 7, 2015, 12:47 PM [General]
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    Becoming a panelist on TV is not easy, but there are strategies you can use to increase your chances of reaching the right producers – and to showcase your skills and be featured again.

    Here are eight quick tips for getting on TV, courtesy of Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel, founder of Reel Media Group:

    1) “Don’t suck!” Having a good on-camera presence doesn’t come naturally to everyone and you have one shot, says Tsoflias Siegel. Practice your skills and learn as much as you can about what producers are looking for.

    2) Set up a Google Alerts using keywords that will show up in stories you can speak to. For example, if you’re a pain specialist, set up an alert with words like “pain,” “medicine,” and “chronic.” This way, you’ll get an alert when relevant stories pop up in Google News and you can pitch yourself in a timely fashion.

    3) Have knowledge to talk about timely, topical stories. Make sure you stay on top of the news and what is going on in your industry.

    4) Embrace the power of social media. Most, if not all, producers are on social media. If you haven’t yet embraced the most popular platforms, now is the time to start.

    5) Know the balance of fact and opinion, and utilize both on-air.

    6) Make friends with TV folks. Attend industry networking events. Connections go a long way.

    7) Learn how to speak in powerful soundbites, and know when to pause for follow-up questions.

    8) Give producers the problem and a solution.

    Tsoflias Siegel will join other panelists -- including producers from CBS, political pundits, media bookers, and more -- at a workshop being hosted by the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 8, on “How to Pitch and Perform on Network News.” The panel of industry influencers will share do’s and don’ts on pitching story ideas, performing on TV, and how to reach them. After the panel discussion, participants will answer mock interview questions and will shoot a two-minute demo tape.

    ProfNet users are being offered a registration discount of $75. Just use “ProfNet” as your coupon code when registering. Full event info here:

    Whether you are an expert who wants to be featured as a guest, or a TV producer (or other media professional) looking for guests, ProfNet can help you. Find out more at or send a request for experts here: Send a query.

    Expert Roundup: 2016 Presidential Election (Continued)

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 1:23 PM [General]
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    Following area additional experts who are available to discuss various election-related issues. You can view the original roundup here:

    You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it’s easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started:

    Will McInnes
    “It’s no secret that social is changing almost every landscape, including politics. It’s also not surprising that, traditionally, presidential candidates might not know how to draft a tweet, yet they do understand the power social yields and surround themselves with people proficient at creating and sustaining social campaigns. For 2016, social will be critical for reaching various demographics – just take a look at how each candidate chose to announce their candidacy and it’s clear that the battleground for the popular vote in the 2016 presidential race will take place largely via social. This week’s first GOP debate is the first indicator of who’s leading the race – on social.”
    McInnes can speak to trends in the industry that will impact the race. Brandwatch has up-to-the-minute data on which candidates are winning in the battle for buzz and which topics are getting the most social traction.
    Contact: Marissa Toselli,

    Matthew Gerber, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Communication
    Director of Glenn R. Capp Debate Forum
    Baylor University
    “A good public debater should have strong presence. Presence is a little hard to define, but it entails confidence and the ability to communicate one’s expertise and qualifications to the audience. It is often not the candidate with the most political experience that ultimately wins the election. It is the candidate who has the ability to persuade the audience that they he or she is the most qualified for the job, even if he or she lacks significant political experience. At least part of that persuasive ability rests in the candidate’s presence and rhetorical skill.”
    Gerber, who directs Baylor University’s nationally recognized debate program, is a seasoned debate coach and judge who can provide expert commentary on the U.S. presidential debates. As a college debater, he qualified for the National Debate Tournament three times. He’s judged hundreds of college, high school and public debates during his career. His research areas include argumentation and debate, rhetorical criticism and, specifically, the rhetoric of American foreign policy. Baylor’s debate program has been represented at the National Debate Tournament more than 50 times since 1947, including three national championships and nine Final Four appearances.
    Contact: Eric Eckert,

    Harlan Ullman
    The Killowen Group
    “Not one candidate at the Republican debate had specific plans for how to repair a government that was badly broken along party lines -- only the belief it could be done. And many were simply ill informed or not informed on basic facts. Some of the biggest whoppers, for example, concerning only the Iranian nuclear deal were: abrogate the agreement on taking office irrespective of whether it was working or not; deny Iran all nuclear capacity even though the non-proliferation treaty guarantees nuclear power for peaceful purposes; re-station missile defense in Europe to protect against a nuclear Iran even though, over the next few years, the process is underway to deploy such systems. Equally blunt critique could be liberally applied to the other topics. That is not to say Democrats are any better. Perhaps because that field is a quarter of the size, their debates will be less entertaining. But the Democrats have one big advantage Republicans ignore at their peril: to win the presidency, the magic number is 270 electoral and no popular votes. Arguably, the Democratic candidate most likely over 200 electoral votes virtually assured. Demographics for women and minorities are also skewed in their favor, especially as the Republicans in the debate had little to say to change that dynamic. And Mr. Trump's answer to a question of why he has described women as "pigs" and worse did little to gain the female vote. If Republicans are truly serious about winning the White House, they need to come to their electoral senses. First, facts matter. Words are cheap. Basic understanding of reality, rather than fantasy or whim, must underwrite policy prescriptions. Second, women and minorities most likely will determine the next president. Third, politics in Washington and internationally are far tougher, more complex and complicated. The naiveté shown by many of the candidates will not survive prime time. Will their prescriptions improve? One hopes, but hope may be the only possibility.”
    Washington, D.C.-based Ullman is a former naval officer with combat commands in the Vietnam War and later in the Persian Gulf. He chairs The Killowen Group, which advises leaders of government and business at the highest levels, including presidential candidates here and abroad, through a brains-based approach to strategic thinking. Since the 1980s, he has developed a reputation as a strategic thought leader and thinker in the public and private sectors. He is known for the doctrine of shock and awe and sits on advisory boards for the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander US Forces Europe. Currently a senior adviser to the Atlantic Council and Business Executives for National Security, he was a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the National Defense University and professor of military strategy at the National War College. A student and practitioner of global economies, he writes often on the financial crises in UPI and other media, and sits on the boards of both private and public companies in the high-technology and financial services sectors. His latest book is “A Handful of Bullets -- How the Murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Still Menaces the Peace.”
    Contact: Ryan McCormick,

    How to Turn off a Reporter With Just Five Words

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 11:27 AM [General]
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    If you were on Twitter yesterday, you may have seen tweets with the hashtag #sourcefromhellin5words.

    The brainchild of Linda Formichelli, co-founder of The Renegade Writer and, the hashtag gave writers the opportunity to share five-word phrases that make them never want to interview a source again.

    Here is a roundup of some of the top phrases shared by writers:

    • “Can I review before publishing?” (@joyfc)
    • “I must approve final draft.” (@write4income)
    • “Oh, don’t use my name.” (@seanfdriscoll)
    • “It’s all off the record.” (@lisarab)
    • “Don’t quote me on that.” (@Steph_Steinberg)
    • “Hey don’t use this, but…” (@josephcurrency)
    • “Don’t use any of this.” (@seancolahan)
    • “Has this been published yet?” (@urbanmusewriter)
    • “Make me sound good, okay?” (@sheehanwriting)
    • “Just quote from my book.” (@gwenmoran)
    • “Read Chapter 7 of my book.” (@urbanmusewriter)
    • “Answers are in my book.” (@caroleenoury)
    • “It’s all on my website.” (@anngol)
    • “Just get quotes from my website.” (@write4income)
    • “Can’t you just email me?” (@urbanmusewriter)
    • “Just email me the questions.” (@clarionev)
    • “Totally forgot about our interview.” (@savvysuburban)
    • “My idea’s better than yours.” (@cassiemccorvey)
    • “My lawyer has to approve.” (@mariannevill714)
    • “We’re creating a new paradigm.” (@lformichelli)
    • “That publication isn’t big enough.” (@willieshamorris)
    • And, my favorite (albeit more than five words): “Write the story, let me read it, and then I’ll decide if I want to be interviewed.” (@annielogue)

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. All you have to do is fill out a quick form telling us what you’re looking for, your deadline, and how you want to be contacted, and we’ll send it to the appropriate experts in our network. The best part? It’s free! Get started here: Send a query.

    Upcoming Events for PR/Media Professionals

    Thursday, April 30, 2015, 2:28 PM [General]
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    Here are a few events from around the PR and media worlds that are coming up over the next few weeks. Have one you’d like to add? Email us the details and we’ll include it in our next post.

    Event: Beyond Social: Blog Marketing Tips to Reach and Engage New Audiences
    Host: PR Newswire
    Date: May 7
    Location: Webinar
    Summary: Tweeting, pinning and posting to Facebook are essential pieces in the blog promotion puzzle. However, when over 2 million Facebook shares, 275,000 tweets, and 3,400 pinned images happen every minute of the day, organizations need to find other ways to stand out. This webinar is will look at ways to leverage a range of tactics and tools for companies to discover new audiences and promote their blog’s content.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: How to Think and Advise Management Strategically During Tough Situations and Crises
    Host: PRSA
    Date: May 7
    Location: Dallas
    Summary: Join senior communicators and communication managers in this two-day immersion session to expand your strategic skills. You will work through a series of communication management problems and resolution scenarios that are designed to challenge your ability to counsel senior managers and leaders during prolonged difficult situations and crises.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: The Investigators
    Host: Press Club of New York
    Date: May 11
    Location: New York
    Summary: "Who's Who" panel of investigative reporters will discuss the state of their art in contemporary New York, joined by the City's new investigations commissioner, Mark G. Peters. Other speakers: Greg Smith, New York Daily News; William Rashbaum, New York Times; Michael Schwirtz, New York Times; Murray Weiss, New York.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Is There Life After News? How to Transition From News to Business
    Host: PBS MediaShift
    Date: May 13
    Location: Online
    Summary: Whether by choice or necessity, many journalists are moving out of news and into the larger world of business. While some enter entirely different areas, most transition to communications-related fields such as marketing, PR and social media. This training, featuring Terri Thornton, founder of Thornton Communications, will look at the many types of opportunities and sectors now open to them, tips on successfully moving into new areas, and what some of those positions may be like.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Tactics for Effective News Media and Social Media Relations During a Crisis
    Host: PRSA
    Date: May 14
    Location: New York
    Summary: When a crisis hits, how will you cope with the media spotlight? This workshop will help you choose the right tactics to effectively communicate with employees, customers, public officials and other key stakeholders during an issue or crisis.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: 2015 IRE Conference
    Host: IRE
    Date: June 4-7
    Location: Philadelphia
    Summary: The best in the business will gather for more than 150 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: IABC World Conference
    Host: IABC
    Date: June 14-17
    Location: San Francisco
    Summary: Come explore new ways of approaching communication with some of the most innovative thinkers and visionary leaders of our time. This year’s theme is “Changing the Landscape: Informing the future.”
    Complete event info here.

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