Maria Perez

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    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
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    • Title:Director, Audience Content
    • Organization:ProfNet
    • Area of Expertise:ProfNet
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    ProfNet Success Story: Michelle Dutro, The Game Changer Podcast

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 9:16 AM [Success Stories]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    For this month’s featured success story, we caught up with Michelle Dutro, host of The Game Changer Podcast (www.thegamechangerpodcast.com), which features stories from “game changers” – men and women who are willing to look differently, act differently and swim in their own direction. The show looks at their challenges, successes and, most importantly, the “why” behind what they do.

    Dutro tells us she has had a lot of success using ProfNet to find guests (for an example, see www.thegamechangerpodcast.com/andrew), so we asked her to share her insight on how podcasts can use ProfNet to find sources, and how PR pros can best use ProfNet to get their experts featured in podcasts.

    Michelle, can you tell us a little more about you and the show?

    For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by people who are willing to risk it all to pursue their dream, stand up for what they believe, or go above and beyond to help another. Right behind that fascination is the curiosity of the mindset of these individuals and what sets them apart. One thing they all have in common is their realization that they need to be willing to leave the pack and go their own way. That is the reason behind the artwork I chose for this show. One must be willing to not only head in a different direction, but also look differently, act differently, to simply be different from the masses. These are “the game changers” that I look forward to bringing on the show.

    It is my hope that people are inspired by those who are just like you and who are making a difference. They will see that it doesn’t take a million dollars, quitting their job, or knowing Bill Gates in order to contribute in a significant way. They can do amazing things from where they are right now. And if there are beliefs that are holding them back, hopefully they will see that some of these people had doubts at one time as well. We look at what it takes to push through those fears and confidently swim in your own direction.

    How has ProfNet helped you with your podcasts?

    Finding quality guests is the part of podcasting that takes the most amount of time. ProfNet has helped me with this exponentially! There are many services and PR agencies, but I find ProfNet and the people in their database to be top-notch.

    How do you choose which ProfNet users to work with when you submit a query?

    I look for those people that I really feel are game changers – people who are willing to swim in their own direction and follow their passion.

    What do you look for in responses?

    Responses that are not cut-and-pasted. It is very obvious when I receive a response that has nothing to do with my show or what I'm looking for in a guest. I also look for people that have great passion about what they are doing.

    Do you have any tips for PR pros for responding to ProfNet queries?

    See my above answer. And be authentic. Your uniqueness has to shine through. Read through your response and ask yourself if what you wrote is really intriguing and leaving the reader wanting to know more. And respond only to what is a fit. Know your audience.

    Do you have any advice for other media professionals considering using ProfNet?

    Try ProfNet. The people they work with are unique and take the time to respond mindfully to the submissions. I believe you will find this source of great talent -- for whatever it is you are looking for -- to alleviate a great stress. Finding quality people is always a challenge. This is truly a great resource, and one I am happy to have connected with!

    What are you working on now?

    I’m finishing an online course and a book, both of which will be released under my parent company at: www.innernorthstar.com

    If you’re a writer, producer, blogger or any other type of content creator, find out how ProfNet can help you find the sources you need. Just go to www.profnet.com to sign up or go directly to the query form at www.prnewswire.com/profnet/journalist-qu... to submit your query.

    And if you have a ProfNet success story to share, email us at profnet@profnet.com and you might see your smiling face on the Times Square sign!

    ProfNet Success Story: Style Expert Courtney Cachet

    Thursday, April 7, 2016, 11:09 AM [Success Stories]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Do you ever wonder what happens to your product when you pitch it for a TV segment?

    We asked celebrity designer and media personality Courtney Cachet, a long-time ProfNet user, to share some insight into how she uses ProfNet to find items for her segments and to share some advice for getting your product on the air. Courtney has had a lot of success using ProfNet queries to find products for her segments for WPIX-TV, NBC, FOX, AOL, Huffington Post and many others.

    You can listen to Courtney tell you in her own words, or read the interview below:

    Courtney, how has ProfNet helped you with your on-air segments?

    ProfNet has really – and I mean really -- helped me a lot. As an on-air personality, I’m constantly looking for tons of products. Sometimes I have a lot of time, but most of the time I have a little bit. I look for everything from items for gift guides for kids, to stylish must-haves, products for the home, and things for big scale makeovers. You name it, I’ve pretty much asked for it. I really don’t think it would have been this easy and I don’t think I would have had as much success if I wasn’t using ProfNet.

    How do you choose which ProfNet users to work with when you submit a query?

    I usually work with PR agencies and corporations, since those are the users most appropriate to my needs -- showcasing products. Since I speak as an expert, I don't have a need for other experts or bloggers.

    That's a feature unique to ProfNet that I recommend others use. The ability to focus your audience is much more efficient and eliminates a lot of off-topic emails that can take a lot of time to sift through.

    What do you look for in responses?

    I like people who get right to the point and have something I am interested in. If I ask for "stylish products for the home," I don't want to hear about Mother's Day gifts. Images are also important.

    Do you have any tips for PR pros for responding to ProfNet queries?

    Keep it simple, stay on topic and be nice. This is a business built on relationships, not just one-time placements. Also, know the person you're pitching. A 30-second Google search can make a difference in your email getting deleted or answered.

    Do you have any advice for media professionals considering using ProfNet?

    Take advantage of ProfNet’s feature to filter queries by region and institution type. Not only am I able to reach a ton of people, but I can really target it. Sometimes I’m just looking for people on the East Coast. Sometimes I just want to talk to companies in North America. Sometimes I want to include people from Europe, which is also a big market for me. This is very unique to the ProfNet service and has helped me a lot.

    And if you are a blogger, an on-air expert, a journalist, or a producer who doesn’t use ProfNet, you should be. You’re going to love it, and you’re going to thank me later.

    What are you working on now?

    Right now, I'm working on spring looks for the home, new products I can use in upcoming makeovers, and gift guides for mom, dad and grads. I am also looking for new and interesting luxury hotels to profile on TV and online.

    About Courtney Cachet

    Courtney started her career more than a decade ago as a home design contributor on Miami’s NBC affiliate, WTVJ. As the world of design television expanded, Courtney quickly found herself in high demand. Her chic style and likable personality soon led to appearances on MSNBC, HSN, Fox Business, VH1 and Open House NY. Her skill to connect with viewers has led to well over 1,000 TV appearances and thousands of followers across the globe, and features everywhere from Elle Décor to Vogue Italia. She also contributes to various outlets, including The Huffington Post.

    Courtney parlayed that success into high-profile design projects, product licensing agreements and spokesperson contracts with major corporations. She has designed several product lines that sell everywhere from Gilt and One Kings Lane to Sears and Walmart. Her ability to speak multiple languages has led to projects in Europe and Asia with companies like Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Four Seasons and Franciacorta Wines.

    You can check out some of her clips here, which featured products she sources through ProfNet queries:

    You can learn more about Courtney here: courtneycachet.com

    If you’re a writer, reporter, producer, blogger or any other type of content creator, find out how ProfNet can help *you* find the sources you need, whether they’re experts or “real people.” Just go to www.profnet.com to get started or go directly to the journalist query form to submit your query.

    And if you have a ProfNet success story to share, let us know and you might see your smiling face on the Times Square sign!

    ProfNet Success Story: David Giannetto, Author of ‘Big Social Mobile’

    Thursday, February 25, 2016, 12:48 PM [Success Stories]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    For this month’s featured success story, we caught up with David Giannetto, author of “Big Social Mobile: How Digital Initiatives Can Reshape the Enterprise and Drive Business Results.”

    Giannetto has been featured in numerous publications as a result of ProfNet, including Forbes, Strictly Marketing, and VentureBeat. Check out all of his clips here: davidgiannetto.com/category/article/

    Very impressive!

    We asked Giannetto to share his advice for making the most out of ProfNet queries:

    David, how do you choose which ProfNet queries to respond to each day?

    I try to respond to ProfNet queries that are very close to my expertise and something that I have both a unique perspective on and real experience working with actual clients on. Since my goals are to build long-term relationships with media who consistently write about my topics and to use those media placements to reinforce me expertise, I've found that the closer I stick to the topics I really know most intimately -- progressive technology and techniques that use information to drive business strategy -- the more successful I am at getting the media's attention. These writers and outlets are then more likely to come back to me unsolicited for future comments.

    Also, I only respond when I will have time to actually do the work they are asking for. If I know my schedule won't really allow me to work on a big article for someone, then I don't offer, because chances are, if I disappoint them the first time, they won't work with me in the future.

    What do you include in a typical response?

    When I respond to a ProfNet query, I typically open with a statement that gives me credibility -- so they know my insight is based upon real-world work and not simply my opinion -- and then go right into a very short description of what my unique perspective is. I try to stay as close to their request as possible, and provide them exactly what they are asking for so they know I care about what they are writing about, and not just promoting my own agenda.

    From there, I might tie it into why I believe what I do (based upon some example of a company that I've worked with) and perhaps tie it to a topic that is important that they might not have seen from another ProfNet respondent.

    After that, I point them at my website or my book's description and the positive reviews that it has gotten, so that if they are interested, they can jump right out to it and verify my credibility very quickly. I believe they appreciate the brevity and by giving them everything they need, they will feel I am someone they want to work with.

    Do you have tips for others for responding to ProfNet queries?

    When working with the media through ProfNet, I believe the most important thing to do is respect their time and request. They are interested in working with someone who has something insightful to say on the exact topic they put into their query. If their topic is wide or loosely focused and they want broad responses, they'll ask for that. If not, stay as much on topic as possible. This is important because, over time, you will see the same writers in your field, and they will remember how helpful you were in the past.

    And remember, getting into the media is only a part of it. You are going to want to share your media placement with your audience, and if the topic you are commenting on isn't close to your overall message, then it won't be effective for you down the road. So, if you are busy, don't waste your time on every query you could respond to; respond to the ones you can really put some thought into so you are more likely to get the placement and can then use it more effectively.

    That is a great point we haven’t heard much before, but makes so much sense. Thank you for your insightful advice!

    Here’s more about Giannetto:

    David F. Giannetto is SVP of professional services at Astea International and a nationally respected thought-leader in the areas of business intelligence, enterprise performance management, information management, big data and analytics. He helps organizations leverage information -- providing both the technology and the methodology necessary to create, understand and utilize it to improve performance. He has led some of the most complex information-driven initiatives for today's leading brands and has been listed as a thought leader by the American Management Association, Business Finance Magazine and Consumer Goods Technology Magazine.

    In “Big Social Mobile: How Digital Initiatives Can Reshape the Enterprise and Create Business Value” (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), Giannetto explains how organizations can integrate social media, mobile technology, and big data to create tangible improvements in revenue and profit. The book builds on his first, the award-winning management methodology, “The Performance Power Grid, The Proven Method to Create and Sustain Superior Organizational Performance” (Wiley, 2006), which defined how organizations use internal information to improve performance.

    A former columnist for USBusiness Review, Giannetto currently writes for the American Management Association and Huffington Post, is a columnist for Strictly Marketing Magazine, and has contributed to numerous national magazines. He is a frequent keynote speaker on topics ranging from improving the effectiveness of digital initiatives, organizational performance, risk management and the impact of technology on organizations and consumer behavior.

    You can learn more about Giannetto and “Big Social Mobile” here: www.BigSocialMobile.com

    If you’re a writer, reporter, producer, blogger or any other type of content creator, find out how ProfNet can help *you* find the sources you need, whether they’re experts or “real people.” Just go to www.profnet.com to get started or go directly to the journalist query form to submit your query.

    And if you have a ProfNet success story to share, let us know and you might see your smiling face on the Times Square sign!

    ProfNet Success Story: Alexander Ruggie, 911 Restoration

    Thursday, December 17, 2015, 1:41 PM [Success Stories]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    For this month’s featured success story, we catch up with Alexander Ruggie, PR director for 911 Restoration, a home restoration company that specializes in water damage and disaster recovery solutions.

    911 Restoration was featured in a Chicago Tribune article earlier this year (Sale Away: Tenacity, Knowledge and People Skills Drive Best Reps) after Ruggie replied to a ProfNet query.

    “We’ve had other publication successes, but the Chicago Tribune piece was especially important to me because I grew up in Chicago reading this paper,” said Ruggie.

    Some of the other publications 911 Restoration has been featured in as a result of ProfNet queries include Chief Executive Magazine, CMSWire, Military Transition News, TheStreet.com and Middle Market Thought Leader.

    With so many success under his belt, we asked Ruggie to share some insight and advice for his fellow PR professionals:

    Alexander, how do you choose which ProfNet queries to respond to each day?

    I choose ProfNet queries to respond to based off my expertise, or that of the people I represent for the questions being asked. This is done in concert with the potential return on time investment relative to the source of the question. Put simply, if I know a lot about what is being asked in the query, then I will respond with my expertise or that of my clients, but I do so aiming as high as possible, and this is also where the resources go in terms of time spent on each question.

    What do you include in a typical response?

    My responses always include a short bio of myself as an intro to what I will be talking about. I find that this is a nice segue into the topic, and it also gives some credibility to my words, so that a reporter with an inbox jammed full of responses will recognize that mine is trustworthy.

    After the intro portion of my response, I dive directly into how I can help them with whatever the query topic is. I don’t waste time with conjecture and I get straight to the facts of the situation as I see them.

    I also take the subject line of the reporter’s query and use it as the subject line of the email I am sending out. I find (and have talked with reporters who agree) that by doing this, it gives them the ability to easily search for the topic in their inbox. This helps when reporters are working on multiple stories at once, making it easy to find the sources they need because they don’t have to go hunting through emails. Instead, they simply put their own question back into the search field and (hopefully) my response is at the top of the list.

    I also always sign off my responses with an offer to provide the information that has been sought in more detail through whatever means needed, whether that is a phone interview, answering follow-up email questions or putting them in touch with an expert in my company who can provide more information.

    I also tell everyone to have a great day. As much as we may use ProfNet for business purposes, I think adding a human element to the end of the conversation makes people realize that we are all trying to help each other, and sometimes that just means being told to have a nice day.

    Do you have tips for others for responding to ProfNet queries?

    Start with the truth. That starts within. If you like the title of a query but open it up and find you are woefully underqualified to answer it, don’t. If you are highly overqualified and the query is slightly out of the scope of your business realm, indicate that, but answer it anyway and provide your expertise. This will not only help the reporter out in the instance, but it will potentially help you the next time that reporter does something that is within your business purview. They will remember how helpful you were and hopefully return the favor.

    Don’t be afraid to aim high. As you can see, this works out quite well sometimes, because the best approach is to give your best every time you respond to a query.

    Try to avoid giving trite or easily Google-able answers to a query. If it were that easy, your expertise wouldn’t be sought after. If you can Google it, so can they. So, if you respond, make sure it comes from not only a place of confidence, but also authority on the subject.

    Know your audience. Don’t be afraid to be a bit silly or a bit serious depending on the query. Sometimes the query will be more playful, and that should engender a playful response. If the post is serious, then you should probably return with a serious response.

    Avoid shock-and-awe subject lines. We’ve all done this from time to time when we are too excited to think it through. It’s best to put the subject of the query as the subject of your email, unless the reporter requests otherwise. Subject lines such as “Legitimate Sighting of Loch Ness Monster” may get you noticed, but it might also get your email blocked.

    Thanks so much, Alexander!

    If you’re a writer, reporter, producer, blogger or any other type of content creator, find out how ProfNet can help you find the sources you need, whether they’re experts or “real people.” Just go to www.profnet.com to get started or go directly to the journalist query form to submit your query.

    And if you have a ProfNet success story to share, let us know and you might see your smiling face on the Times Square sign!

    ProfNet Success Story: Tara Kachaturoff, Michigan Entrepreneur TV

    Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 10:35 AM [Success Stories]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    A couple of months ago, we received a notification on Facebook that ProfNet user Tara Kachaturoff had posted on our wall:

    “Thanks for helping me connect with amazing entrepreneurs for my TV show, Michigan Entrepreneur TV! I really appreciate your service!”

    We always love hearing from ProfNet users, but especially on Facebook and Twitter, so we decided to talk with Tara and find out more.

    Tara is the creator, producer, and host of “Michigan Entrepreneur,” a weekly television talk show featuring businesses from startup to stellar. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the program, which has featured hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout Michigan. Building on a successful career in finance in the tech sector, Tara provides business coaching and consulting services to entrepreneurs and executives.

    Tara started using ProfNet a couple of years ago. Since that time, she has connected with Steve Lowisz, founder/CEO, Qualigence; Gary Cone, founding partner, Global Productivity Solutions; Sue Voyles, founder, Logos Communications; Ronia Kruse, CEO, OpTech, LLC; Vladimir Gendelman, founder, Company Folders; Bob Marsh, CEO, LevelEleven; and Dr. Perry Daneshgari, founder, president and CEO, MCA, Inc.. All of those connections were made via ProfNet queries.

    We sat down with Tara to find out more about how she uses ProfNet and what advice she has for other users:

    How do you choose which ProfNet experts to work with when you submit a query?

    The first thing I look for is the format of the information they submit. I provide an easy (and required) template for responses so the PR representative (or the expert) can copy it into the body of an email, add their client information, and hit send. It’s fast, easy, and efficient. Due to time limitations on my end, I only review information submitted in the required format.

    Second, I delete inquiries that are irrelevant. For example, although the program focuses exclusively on Michigan-based entrepreneurs and companies, I still receive inquiries to interview guests who are located in other states or who don’t meet any of the other required criteria.

    Finally, I review for interest. Would I be interested in interviewing this entrepreneur? Is this business new or unique? Would others find their story or product fascinating? If there’s a fit, I send the PR representative or expert a short application to complete. I use this information for show prep.

    The application, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete, eliminates a number of potential guests because some representatives don’t want to spend the time to fill it out. Their clients would be quite disappointed if they ever found out they were invited to a 30-minute TV interview and missed out because of their PR firm! No one should ever bypass an opportunity for their client to practice their “on-air” presence!

    Once I receive the final application, we determine a date and time for taping and the guest is booked. It’s easy to complete all of this -- from beginning to end -- with just a couple of emails.

    What do you look for in responses?

    I look for:

    • Innovation: something out of the ordinary. I’m looking for guests who have unique businesses or an interesting twist to an ordinary business. I especially love interviewing inventors and founders of technology companies.
    • A great story. I review responses to see if there’s an interesting personal story that inspired the entrepreneur. If I find it interesting, I think others will, too!
    • From startup to stellar. I enjoy interviewing entrepreneurs at all stages of the business lifecycle -- like my tagline says -- Michigan Entrepreneur: Businesses from startup to stellar! I enjoy interviewing new entrepreneurs who are barely off the ground as much as seasoned veterans who are making millions!
    • Variety. I interview men and women, best friends, families -- there’s always an interesting story to discover. I find it particularly interesting to learn about how business partners first met or how a business became a family legacy. I’ve even interviewed one young entrepreneur who appeared on a popular network television program featuring entrepreneurs.
    • Generations. I’ve interviewed entrepreneurs aged 16 to 94. Young business owners are inspiring the next generation of Michigan entrepreneurs. You’re never too young or too old to start a business!
    • Responsiveness. I’ve worked with some amazing PR representatives over the years. I can tell they truly love what they do and that they care about the success of their clients.

    Do you have any tips for PR pros and experts for responding to ProfNet queries?

    Here are some quick and easy tips for pros and experts:

    Tip #1: Read the query thoroughly prior to responding. Read it again and note any special requirements. Make sure your client is a fit – otherwise, don’t respond. Your time is valuable, so focus your efforts on opportunities that align with the needs of the media outlet.

    Tip #2: Submit information in the required format. The best way to get your client booked is to submit the information requested -- nothing more and nothing less. Make it easy for the media outlet to review your information. The harder you make it, the less likely they’ll respond.

    Tip #3: Be responsive. When you see a great opportunity or when you receive a reply from a media outlet that they’re interested, get back to them right away! The early bird often gets the opportunity!

    Tip #4: Be prepared. Make sure you have all the information you need to respond on behalf of your clients. The more prepared you are, the faster you can respond.

    Tip #5: Be organized when handling PR queries. If you’re disorganized, you can miss important opportunities. Create a simple spreadsheet to track all the details so you can easily reference them and follow up.

    Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    I’ve enjoyed working with ProfNet over the last few years to source top guests. ProfNet makes it easy for me to connect with experts or those representing experts. I like your simple system, which takes me a minute or two to post what I need. And, you send it out within 24 hours. Your staff has been friendly and helpful since the very first time I used the service. I highly recommend ProfNet for any media outlet that wants to connect with top experts!

    Thanks so much, Tara!

    If you’re a writer, reporter, producer, blogger or any other type of content creator, find out how ProfNet can help you find the sources you need, whether they’re experts or “real people.”

    Just go to www.profnet.com to get started or go directly to the journalist query form to submit your query.

    And if you have a ProfNet success story to share, let us know and you might see your smiling face on the Times Square sign!


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