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Jun 30, 2010, 11:03 CDT
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- Area of Expertise:ProfNet, ProfNet Connect, media, PR
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Monday, January 9, 2012, 11:00 AM
If you haven’t checked out the Blogs section of ProfNet Connect lately, you’re missing out on some really great posts. Here’s a link to some of last week’s most popular blog posts:
In 33 Signs That You Work in PR, Beth Monaghan, principal and co-founder of InkHouse Media + Marketing, takes a humorous look at some of the characteristics that embody today’s PR professional.
Christine Cube, media relations manager for PR Newswire and a former journalist, asked journalists to what they do and don’t like in PR pitches. She shares the results in Tips for Pitching Business Editors.
Our first #ConnectChat this year featured Nathan Burgess, editor and publisher of the PRBreakfastClub blog, who shared his advice for bloggers on how to come up with story ideas, manage contributions, schedule posts and more. ProfNet editor Grace Lavigne, who hosted the chat, provided a recap of the highlights in How to Manage and Write for a Blog.
We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include any upcoming events we think will be of interest to our audience. Last week’s Upcoming PR/Media Events include details on events being hosted by PRPLI, IABC Detroit, several PRSA chapters and more.
In 2011 Highlights: Digital Marketing in Retrospect, David H. Deans, principal consultant for GeoActive Group USA, shared a few stories from the Digital Lifescapes archive that are noteworthy, from a marketing practices point of view.
Each month, PR Newswire's Audience Research department publishes the MEDIAware newsletter, which features media news and staff updates from across the U.S. The January MEDIAware issue featured news about the newly launches NFL Magazine, CBS Television, Reader’s Digest, The Chicago Reporter and more.
In his Weekly Roundup column, ProfNet editor Jason Hahn looks at 10 interesting PR/media-related stories found online. Last week’s Weekly Roundup included links to stories on old media, Ocean Marketing’s PR disaster, media pay walls, journalists and social media, trends in digital news, and more.
Every week, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet Connect community in our Interesting Expert of the Week column. With nearly 50,000 users that cover virtually every topic imaginable, we certainly have a lot to choose from. In Interesting Experts of the Year, we took a look back at all of 2011’s profile subjects.
Beth Monaghan made the list again with 10 PR Predictions for 2012, in which she shares her forecast for what 2012 will bring for public relations.
What were some of your favorite blog posts this week? Which ones did you find most helpful, interesting?
Friday, January 6, 2012, 10:18 AM
The Interesting Expert of the Week column spotlights experts from within the ProfNet Connect community that we think readers and reporters will find interesting and timely. With nearly 50,000 profiles, ProfNet Connect offers journalists a vast database of experts and influencers on virtually every topic imaginable. To search profiles by keyword, click here. To add your own profile to the site, click here.
With the obesity problem in America on the rise, it’s no surprise that the most popular New Year’s resolution is typically to lose weight. But it’s not enough to make the resolution – you have to stick with it. So we called on James Painter, Ph.D., R.D., an expert on nutrition and behavioral eating, to share some of his tips for weight-loss success.
Painter has more than 30 years of experience as a registered dietitian, and currently serves as professor and chair of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. He is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the Society for Nutrition Education and serves on the Pistachio Health Scientific Advisory Board.
A renowned expert on eating behavior, Painter has been the recipient of numerous grants and has conducted several studies in the field of Food Psychology and Mindful Eating, publishing more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presentations. His current studies focus on obesity and what causes people to eat the way they do, with particular emphasis on portion control, weight management, mindless eating and satiation. He coined the term “Pistachio Principle” to describe the phenomenon found in his research whereby in-shell pistachios help slow consumption and the empty shells offer a visual cue, reducing calorie intake and enabling people to “fool themselves full” by snacking on pistachios.
Painter has been featured on CBS’s “The Early Show,” produced the documentary “Portion Size Me,” and has been quoted in numerous publications, including "Women’s Health," "Shape" and "Men’s Health."
We asked Painter to share some of his weight-loss wisdom:
Dieting is typically the No. 1 New Year's resolution, but many of us never make it past the first month. What are some tips that can help people succeed in their diets?
Maintaining momentum behind your New Year’s resolutions throughout the year is challenging, particularly when it comes to diet and fitness resolutions, because we tend to focus on one large and ambiguous goal, such as “eat healthy” or “be fit.” Because our resolutions tend to be vague, they can feel unachievable and we lose our drive within a short amount of time.
To give yourself the best chance of success, acknowledge that changing your habits takes time and persistence. Break down your resolution into an actionable plan with smaller, specific and achievable tasks over time. Set yourself up for mental success by setting positive goals, such as including more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, rather than the negatives like restricting yourself from ever having sweets.
For example, in January, focus on adding healthy snacks into your routine, such as pistachios, dried fruit or whole-grain crackers. In February, maintain your good snacking habits and add the goal of controlling your portion sizes by using smaller dishes when you eat meals. Each month, build up to your goals and give yourself time to achieve them. By having an action plan with defined and realistic goals throughout the year, you are less likely to give up. And don’t forget to reward yourself for your accomplishments throughout the year; just make sure that the reward doesn’t sabotage your hard work.
What is the biggest mistake people make when they start a diet?
The biggest mistake most dieters make is to focus on deprivation rather than what they can eat, causing a huge mental block that can hamper their efforts in changing habits. Instead of quitting one particular kind of food or habit “cold turkey,” focus instead on what you can do. This tweak in mindset can be a huge factor in success and propel you through those moments when you don’t feel successful.
For example, when it comes to dieting – switch your thinking to what you can have, such as adding more fruits, vegetables and nuts and other healthy snacks into your routine. You don’t have to completely cut out your favorite foods – that could lead to overindulgence later. Instead, be mindful of how much of these foods you’re consuming.
Can you explain your "Pistachio Principle"? How can people apply it to their own eating habits?
The “Pistachio Principle” is a simple mindful eating concept to describe the research-based effect that visual cues -- specifically those created by in-shell pistachios -- may help you fool yourself full without feelings of deprivation.
The premise is that consumption of in-shell pistachios help to slow eating, while the leftover shells offer an important visual cue about the amount consumed, thereby reducing calorie intake. The technique is further enhanced by the fact that pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat and among the highest fiber snack nuts.
To illustrate the “Pistachio Principle” in action, my most recent research appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Appetite found that participants who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories compared to those who consumed shelled pistachios. Those who chose shelled pistachios consumed an average of 211 calories, while those who chose in-shell pistachios consumed an average of 125 calories.
In a second study – also appearing in Appetite – we found that snackers who left discarded pistachio shells on their desk throughout the day cut their calorie consumption of pistachios by 22 percent compared to those who routinely removed their nut shells. The shells alone provided the visual cue necessary to curb consumption.
The “Pistachio Principle” can be applied beyond snacking habits to other diet and fitness habits:
- Place healthy snack options in clear containers on your kitchen counter or desk at work and put away unhealthy options where you cannot easily see them
- Keep your running shoes or exercise equipment in plain sight – such as in front of your TV or right next to the front door – so it serves as a visual reminder get moving
- Place your resolution plan and goals in a place you cannot avoid them – such as the bathroom mirror – to remind and motivate you
What are three things people can do today to improve their eating behaviors?
Reduce the size of plates, bowls and glasses. Eat from smaller bowls, which allow you to eat less and still feel satisfied. Additionally, drink from tall, slender glasses rather than short, wide glasses to feel fuller on fewer calories.
Buy smaller portions. Purchase single-serving chips and small-size candy bars in place of family-size bags, or separate them out in smaller plastic baggies to reduce portions. Studies show that the large package size increases caloric consumption by an average of 22 percent.
Consider environmental factors. Bright light and fast music can encourage you to eat faster and consume more calories. One study found when participants were instructed to eat at a fast or slow rate, consuming food at the slow rate helped participants achieve satiation quicker with less food. This suggests that slow eating may prevent excessive food consumption.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
I love being able to share health information that helps people to make real and practical steps toward improving their quality of life.
Friday, December 30, 2011, 10:14 AM
Every week, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet Connect community in our Interesting Expert of the Week posts. With nearly 50,000 users that cover virtually every topic imaginable, we certainly have a lot to choose from.
This year, we profiled experts on everything from the space shuttle to the Knights Templar, from calculus to the origins of Halloween. Take a look at the profiles from this year. I hope you’ll find them as interesting to read as I did to write.
Judgment Day Edition: Miguel De La Torre, professor of social ethics at Iliff School of Theology
Memorial Day Edition: Christopher Michel, founder and chairman of Military.com
Donut Edition: Scott Oldham, editor-in-chief of Edmunds.com
Space Shuttle Edition: Ron DiIulio, director, University of North Texas Astronomy Laboratory Program
UPstander Edition: Omékongo Dibinga, director of UPstander International
Singleton Edition: Brandon Wade, CEO of WhatsYourPrice.com and SeekingMillionaire.com
Forensic Psychology Edition: Barbara Kirwin, Ph.D., forensic psychologist
Friends with Benefits Edition: Robert Moore, professor of anthropology, Rollins College
‘Fat Camp’ Edition: Tony Sparber, founder, Image Weight Loss Camps
Knights Templar Edition: Dr. Paul Crawford, California University of Pennsylvania
Rich Dad Edition: Robert Kiyosaki, author, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”
Healthy Brain Edition: Dr. Cynthia R. Green, founder and president of Memory Arts
Survivor Edition: Natasha Alexenko, sexual-assault survivor and spokesperson, Natasha’s Justice Project
Couponing Edition: Regina Novickis, consumer-savings expert
Cursive Edition: Michael Ray Smith, author, “A Press in Freehand”
Calculus Edition: Ed Meyer, aka “The Problem Guy,” physics professor at Baldwin-Wallace College
Turnaround Edition: Grant Cardone, National Geographic Channel’s “Turnaround King”
Karate Edition: Sensei John Mirrione, world-record holder for slowest one-arm push-up
Fraud Edition: Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog
Halloween Edition: Joshua Gunn, associate professor, University of Texas at Austin
Election Day Edition: Bruce Altschuler, professor of political science, SUNY Oswego
Fantasy Sports Edition: Joris Drayer, sports marketing professor, Temple University
Thanksgiving Edition: Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald, co-authors of “America’s Founding Food”
Identity Theft Edition: Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com
Furniture Edition: Lenny Kharitonov, president, Unlimited Furniture Group
‘A Christmas Story’ Edition: Brian Jones, owner of A Christmas Story House
Christmas Edition: Jeff Westover, chief elf officer of The Merry Network
Well-Being Edition: Walter Jacobson, M.D., counselor and mentor
It’s a pretty impressive group of experts, isn’t it? Want to be part of next year’s Interesting Expert of the Week profiles? Sign up for ProfNet Connect (it’s free!) and drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Thursday, December 29, 2011, 2:01 PM
It’s the time of year when we look back at the last 12 months and take stock of our successes and failures. Many of us make resolutions to improve ourselves in the year to come. But, let’s face it, how many of us are actually going to achieve the resolutions we make? Are we sabotaging ourselves by even making resolutions in the first place? And if we do fail, how can we help ourselves get back up and try again?
Luckily, we have Walter Jacobson, M.D. on our side.
Jacobson is a counselor and mentor that utilizes spiritual techniques and cognitive tools to help people build self-esteem, end self-sabotaging behaviors, and improve communication and intuition. He is a frequent blogger on ProfNet Connect, contributing columns on topics such as forgiveness, the law of attraction, fasting and more.
We asked Jacobson for his advice on fighting the holiday blues, sticking to resolutions, and using the power of visualization:
The holidays are supposed to be a time of cheer, but after all the family celebrations, holiday parties and gift exchanges are done, some people can start to feel the “holiday blues.” Why is that?
What I refer to as the "holiday blues" are a variety of feelings that may include sadness, loneliness, depression, emptiness, and a sense of isolation, alienation or disconnection from others. These feelings may manifest themselves just prior to, during and/or after the holiday celebrations.
Why do some people experience these painful emotions during a time that is universally associated with family, connection, joy, harmony, peace, acceptance and love?
Perhaps because those who suffer from the holiday blues are seeing their world through the eyes of the past, focusing on the disappointments, the losses, the rejections, the abandonments of the past, and bringing them into the present and feeling their devastating emotional impact as if they happened yesterday.
Perhaps because those who suffer from the holiday blues look at their current life situation and perceive it as empty and lonely, lacking in loving, nurturing relationships, lacking in meaningful, supportive family bonds, lacking in personal fulfillment, lacking in health and happiness.
Perhaps because those who suffer from the holiday blues fear the future will deliver them more of the same: more loneliness, more alienation, more frustration, more regret, more pain and suffering.
What can people do to overcome the holiday blues?
Best we not focus on the disappointments of the past. When thoughts of the past pop into our mind, we give them no power to terrorize us. We gently tell them to go away and haunt someone else. We don’t want those thoughts anymore. We don’t need them for our safety or protection. We don’t wish to victimize ourselves anymore with painful memories.
Best we not focus on the potential disappointments of the future. When anxious, fearful thoughts about the future pop into our mind, we give them no power to terrorize us. We gently tell them to go away and haunt someone else. We don’t want those thoughts anymore. We don’t need to dwell on all the horrible “what ifs” that might someday happen. We don’t need to fill our mind with anticipatory thoughts of failure, loneliness, pain and suffering possibly yet to come. We don’t wish to victimize ourselves anymore with the belief that we will not be able to handle what our life’s future has to offer.
The best way to overcome the holiday blues or any blues for that matter is to be here now. Be in the present. Appreciate that in this present moment is massive potential for happiness and contentment. In this present moment we can look at the beauty of nature all around us. In this present moment we can marvel at the miracle of life in all its myriad forms, animal, vegetable and mineral. In this present moment we can be love now: We can help a stranger, hug a friend, ease someone else’s pain, share a laugh or a smile, see the love in everyone despite how they’re behaving, forgive others for they know not what they do, accept the oneness of life despite the differences and diversity that sometimes can seem quite disorienting or frightening, appreciate the connection we have to the earth, to the wind and water, to all creatures big and small, and above all else, to each other.
We’re coming up on the time when people make resolutions about things they want to change in the new year. Are resolutions a good idea? Why or why not?
New Year's resolutions are a good idea because they help people to take an inventory of their lives. They help people reflect on those aspects of their lives which are self-defeating and unsatisfying. They help people recognize ways in which they can change and grow. They help people motivate themselves to make decisions and take actions that will move their lives in more self-empowering and successful directions. Obviously, resolutions by themselves have little value without follow-through, which is why it's important to revisit one's New Year's resolutions on a frequent basis to stay motivated and engaged in making the desired life changes.
Does the power of positive thinking or visualization really work? For example, if I visualize myself as being 20 lbs. thinner, will that help me attain my weight-loss goal? Why, and how does it work?
Positive thinking and visualizations absolutely work. The reason why they work is because they are ways to program the subconscious mind, which is the prime mover of change. Our subconscious mind manifests in the physical world what it thinks we believe about ourselves. If our desire is to lose weight, when we repeatedly affirm to ourselves a message such as: "Every day and in every way it becomes easier for me to avoid overeating," we are sending a powerful message to our subconscious mind which will, in turn, send us subconscious messages when we're eating that influence us to not overeat, which leads to us losing weight, which is our desired goal.
Visualizations work in a similar way. When we visualize ourselves at our ideal weight we are sending a powerful message to our subconscious mind that this is our reality. When our subconscious mind believes this ideal weight is our reality, it sends us subconscious messages that influence our choices so we become the reality we have visualized.
This is not new-age thinking. This is not magical thinking. This is the science of the mind. Our subconscious mind is extremely powerful in terms of creating our physical reality from our deeply embedded beliefs about ourselves. When we program our subconscious mind with positive affirmations and visualizations about ourselves, we are actively engaging our subconscious mind to manifest the reality we desire.
Thanks, Dr. Jacobson. May you, and all our readers, have a happy, healthy and peaceful new year!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 10:48 AM
We have seen thousands of educational, informative posts in the Blogs section of ProfNet Connect that explore everything from public relations to journalism, mobile marketing to grammar.
With the year coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most popular posts of 2011:
Do Journalists Care About the Pitch?
Beth Monaghan, principal and co-founder of InkHouse Media + Marketing, is one of our most popular guest bloggers, and her posts always rate among our most-viewed. This post, in which Monaghan shared 11 tips for PR pros when communicating with the media, was our most popular blog post of the year. Monaghan also contributed several other of the year’s top posts, including 10 PR Predictions for 2012, The Art of Pitching the Media, and The New Twitter Cheat Sheet.
Why is That Reporter Rude?
Heidi Rafferty has been a freelancer for more than 30 years, writing on a variety of topics, including military families, job hunting, career development, entrepreneur issues, human resources and more. With that experience comes wisdom, and Rafferty kindly shared some of her knowledge to explain why some reporters can be unprofessional or rude when dealing with PR professionals. The post was so popular, Rafferty followed it up with another one, Why Did That Reporter Stand Me Up?
Working with Reporters: What to Expect
This was Erin Lawley’s first blog post on ProfNet Connect, and she hit it out of the ballpark. Lawley, a senior account supervisor at Lovell Communications, used her experience as a journalist to share insight on what reporters need and how it can help you prepare for your next media encounter. Other popular posts from Lawley include Do MBAs Need More Reporter Training and The “Secret Sauce” of Good Media Relations.
Five Tips for Effective Live-Tweeting
Laura Paine Maas, an associate at InkHouse Media + Marketing, shared her advice on how to tweet in real-time from events – without losing your followers. Great advice for anyone who routinely tweets at industry conferences.
Writing for the (Social Media) Medium
Another first-time blogger on ProfNet Connect, Jennifer Izzo is an account executive at Costa DeVault. In this post, Izzo explained how writing for social media differs from writing for traditional news outlets.
PR, Meet SEO; SEO, Meet PR – Now Play Nice
In this post, Scott McIntosh, senior account supervisor, Web strategy, for Lovell Communications, explored how PR professionals can help their clients get publicity by utilizing better search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Other posts from McIntosh include Should My Company Have a Wikipedia Page and the What Can a Wrestler Teach Us About Marketing … and Life.
Making it on Mashable: Calling Guest Writers with Great Ideas
Diane Harrigan, account manager for PR Newswire, was a new contributor to ProfNet Connect this year, and if this post is any indication, we can expect more great posts from her in 2012. Harrigan spoke with Mashable’s San Francisco bureau chief, Chris Taylor, to get his tips for budding Mashable contributors.
Using Facebook for Public Relations
I’ve often referred to Sarah Skerik as brilliant, and that is not hyperbole. This was her most popular post of the year, but her other posts were just as brilliant. Take Common Press Release SEO Mistakes, Writing Press Releases That Don’t Sound Like Advertisements or any of the other posts you’ll find on her blog. Skerik has her finger on the pulse of PR – and she’s not afraid to share her knowledge. That’s a great combination.
How to Network Like a Pro
Grace Lavigne, an editor at ProfNet, introduced her Dear Gracie column earlier this year, and it has quickly become one of our most popular. Lavigne answers questions from readers on topics ranging from public relations and presentation skills to blogging and social media. Other popular posts include How to Create Useful, Eye-Catching Infographics, The Great Serial/Oxford Comma Debate and Branding vs. Advertising vs. Marketing vs. PR. Her new column, Grammar Hammer, is becoming quite popular as well.
The Health Care Beat: How to Pitch to Health Outlets
Jason Hahn, another ProfNet editor (we’re so lucky!), also had a great year in posts. This one, a recap of a Publicity Club of New York luncheon featuring health reporters, was his most popular. Hahn also pens Weekly Roundup, in which he links to some of the most interesting PR- and media-related stories found online, and Tool/App Spotlight, which looks tools, resources and apps that help PR and media professionals be more productive and effective.
So there you have it, the most popular blog posts of 2011. Want to be part of this list in 2012? Join ProfNet Connect to start sharing your knowledge and establish yourself as a thought leader in your area of expertise. The site is free, so this is definitely one resolution you’ll be able to keep!
Thursday, December 22, 2011, 11:50 AM
Finding Jeff Westover’s profile on ProfNet Connect was like finding an extra present under the Christmas tree.
Westover is CEO (“chief elf officer”) of The Merry Network, a family of more than 30 holiday-themed websites, including Santa Update and My Merry Christmas.
The Merry Network began in 1991 when Westover started faxing his stepdaughter a daily newsletter from an elf at the North Pole. Unbeknownst to him, his stepdaughter carried the newsletters with her everywhere and showed them to other kids at school. Before long, Westover was getting calls from parents asking to be put on the "North Pole distribution list."
Word eventually spread to someone in the military, and Westover found himself faxing the seasonal newsletter all over the world. In 1994, he took the newsletter online, allowing for more interactive features. Five years later, Westover established MyMerryChristmas.com, the most comprehensive Christmas site online and the world's largest Christmas community. Today, Merry Network manages 36 different holiday-related websites, two Christmas radio stations and an e-newsletter with more than 250,000 subscribers. The company also runs a Christmas directory, a Christmas Newswire, several Christmas blogs and a Christmas-specific search engine. They even have their own charity, Santa’s Sleigh.
Phew! No wonder Westover is an expert on all things Christmas!
Westover was kind enough to take a few minutes from his very busy holiday schedule to tell us more:
What do you do as chief elf officer?
I keep everything moving on all of our websites -- from editorial calendars to budgets to media relations. The toughest part about our business is the seasonality of it. We suffer from folks who don't take us seriously in the months of April, May and June, and then won't leave us alone come October, November and December. My job is to balance all that to keep us relevant and active year-round. There is a year-round consumer base, reader base and business base for Christmas, and we want to anchor that.
Can you tell us a little about your charity, Santa’s Sleigh?
Santa's Sleigh was started in 2005 as a simple effort to help one of our own. A beloved member of our community fell into a tough medical situation, and we rallied to help her one holiday season by just passing the hat around. That got us to talking about what we could do each year, and the effort was born. We generally try to focus on just one or two families in need. We'll work with a sponsoring agency, like a church or local service group, that is close to a situation and able to handle what we provide. One year, we helped a special-needs boy raise money for a van that could transport him to school. These days, the efforts are far simpler, with so many having trouble in this economy. We started with just two families this year and now we're up to four. It is a stretch, and fundraising is tough. Over the summer, as we kicked around new ideas, it was suggested we develop a cookbook for sale, with the proceeds going to Santa's Sleigh. So we have done that, a collection of recipes from our members all over the world, a unique work featuring the sweet treats of Christmas from places like Germany, Iceland, Australia, the UK, the U.S. and Canada.
Has the way Americans celebrate Christmas changed since you started Merry Network?
Christmas is ever-evolving. The age of the Internet has changed Christmas dramatically, not only for us and the part we play in it, but also most specifically in business. Online shopping has emerged, impacting the way we all shop or do business at Christmas. But other elements of the Internet are also re-shaping Christmas worldwide. Our main site, MyMerryChristmas.com, is a good example of how the world with differing cultures and slightly different traditions with Christmas can come together. Even the sacred and secular of Christmas come together now more than ever. The debates of Christmas are more instantaneously engaged, and the dialogue, while not always healthy for some, continues more vociferously than ever, specifically as it relates to Christmas in schools and public places. We see certain years providing a different kind of Christmas; 2001 was such a year, following the events of Sept. 11. I think the past three years, with economic issues and political turmoil, have kind of shifted the attitudes about Christmas. We're seeing trends of folks clinging to simpler traditions of Christmas -- music and decorations, for example, as opposed to lavish gift giving of times past. These things ebb and flow.
Do you have any special Christmas traditions in your family?
We have many! I have seven children, and Christmas has always been a cherished time for us. The story of our beginning as a business continues. That 5-year-old little girl is now 25 and still leads the Santa tracking in our home. Her name is Aubree, which means "rule of elves," so I suppose that shouldn't be a big surprise. We practice the "frugal" Christmas in our home, a more subdued celebration that focuses less on stuff and more on tradition, food, music and being together.
Feelings about Christmas run deep to just about everyone I meet. There are so many emotions tied to it, whether it stems from nostalgic memories of the past or simple hopes for the future. We don't desire to define it for anyone. But we do hope to bring people together to celebrate what they hold in common with Christmas. It is so unlike any other time of the year. It is not just a day or a season. In the end, we all end up like Scrooge, I feel -- we tend to work toward keeping it in our hearts year-round.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 12:29 PM
It’s that time of year where we look back at the past 12 months and take stock of our successes and our failures – and, hopefully, the lessons we learned along the way.
To that end, our latest #ConnectChat, which took place Tuesday, Dec. 20, on Twitter, did not feature a guest speaker. Instead, we asked our followers to share their biggest successes in 2011, what mistakes they made, what they learned from their mistakes, and more:
ProfNet: Hi, everyone. It's time for #ConnectChat! We typically have a featured guest answer questions about a predetermined topic, but today our guest is … you! Today’s theme is “Year in Review.” With the year coming to a close and a new one on the way, it’s a good time for reflection. We want to hear how your year has been, what you’ve learned, and your thoughts on what 2012 will bring. This is an informal chat, so feel free to jump on in! So, without further ado, let's get this #ConnectChat started! What was your biggest success in 2011?
@Traypml Other than being named to the Inc. 500/5000 list, it would be integrating social media into our offers and marketing strategy.
ProfNet: Congratulations! That's an awesome achievement.
@Traypml Thanks! We are proud as well. Now we aim for 2012!
@GnosisArts We had a few notable successes this year. Perhaps the biggest was forging the affiliate partnership with PR Newswire’s iReach.
ProfNet: That's great, Eric. What have the results been like?
@GnosisArts: It's going well. We have one client using it regularly who loves it, and we used it for our own publicity. Good value … excellent service. It actually generated three conversions for us the first time we used it. This iReach release produced three signups for the service featured therein: mrkt.ms/tj0Cwu
ProfNet: That’s great!
@GnosisArts: Other 2011 successes include building new SMS apps and hiring two awesome interns from @CambrianPR. In sum, this year’s successes revolved around building key business relationships with @PRNewswire, @CambrianPR, et al
@Traypml: How did you go about establishing the relationships?
@GnosisArts: Well, they just sort of evolved organically over time, via Twitter. There wasn't a conscious plan. I have been developing a relationship with Maria, Evelyn, Sandy, Dan, etc., via Twitter/email/ProfNet for some time. Through those relationships, you keep your eyes open and that's how the iReach partnership opened up. Notice I know all their first names.
@Traypml: Knowing the first names ALWAYS sets you apart!
@GnosisArts: The @CambrianPR also developed on Twitter. I had my ears peeled because I needed a couple of interns and Dr. Griffin tweeted. The relationship with Dr. Griffin has been among the most rewarding I've made on Twitter.
@Traympl: Yet another example we can give when asked, "Can Twitter = lead generation/partnerships?” I love having those!
@GnosisArts: Oh, definitely. Twitter accounts for a significant, measurable percentage of our firm's revenues.
@jgombita Any thoughts for a PR column on whether to close your "online" shop for the extended holiday?
ProfNet: I don't think so. Less noise = more attention. In my opinion, online efforts should continue during the holiday season.
@jgombita: I just had an offline discussion with #solopr's @kellycrane about how quiet it has been all week. I think next week will be worse.
ProfNet: For experts, though, this is a great time to connect with journalists, who might be having a hard time finding sources.
@jgombita: Interesting. @KristK said the same thing in last week's #solopr chat. And @debweinstein also sees "communication opps."
ProfNet: Great minds think alike. ;-)
@Traypml: Are people "listening" the same way over the holidays?
@jgombita: I don't think so, at all, and I really don't think next week will be any better. I’m calling it recalibration.
ProfNet: Ok, here’s a tough one: What mistakes did you make in 2011, and what lessons did you learn from them?
@GnosisArts: Not as many as in prior years. We're getting better! One mistake: getting too personal and (occasionally) too vulgar on Twitter. I have to watch that one.
ProfNet: It's a balance. You want to show your personality, but you still have to keep the business in mind. It’s not always easy.
ProfNet: What goals have you set for yourself and your business for 2012?
@Traypml: Know what you are great at and then share with potential customers why it is important.
@mvarmazis: Not being afraid to make the mistakes that help me grow. Taking risks. Staying humble.
ProfNet: What one piece of advice would you give to grads starting out in the industry next year?
@charlescosta: Networking is crucial, and keep developing your professional skills and never stop learning!
@GnosisArts: The advice I gave @BrittneyDWalker and @CaraSanfelice, my two stellar interns, was more about grooming them for NYC agency life. I think we, as managers, have responsibility to our interns not to just give tasks, but to groom for success. (They both want to move to NYC and get jobs in PR here, so I was admittedly tougher on them than I'd have been.) They were awesome. They rose to every challenge and exceeded every expectation. I'm so proud of both of them. They made this video, actually. Unbelievable work: mrkt.ms/tcb9Fm
@CJ_Powell: Old PR processes are going out the window. Keep the main objective in mind, and try to think strategically about how to get there. Also, wear a tie and spell-check your resume.
@celestemj: Take an unpaid internship at the place you would most desire working.
@CarrieFox: Keep an open mind and good things will come.
ProfNet: Excellent advice! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts and advice!
Monday, December 19, 2011, 10:23 AM
If you haven’t checked out the Blogs section of ProfNet Connect lately, you’re missing out on some really great reads. Here’s a link to some of last week’s most popular blog posts:
- In 10 PR Predictions for 2012, Beth Monaghan, principal and co-founder of InkHouse Media + Marketing, shares her predictions for the public relations industry for the upcoming year.
- In her weekly column, ProfNet editor Grace Lavigne scours the ProfNet Connect community for experts who can answer reader questions. This week’s column featured expert tips on What Makes a Speech Great.
- We regularly updated our ProfNet Connect calendar to include any upcoming PR/media-related events we think our readers might find interesting. In this week’s Upcoming PR/Media Events post, we shared info on several Social Media Club, PRSA and other events taking place over the following week.
- Hahn also shared his take on some of the most interesting PR/media-related stories found online. His Weekly Roundup: The Year’s Top News Stories column included links to stories on the year’s top news stories, how to prepare for “unintentional PR,” developing key messages for a PR campaign, five PR mistakes you’re probably making, 30 holiday gift ideas for journalists, and more.
- This week’s Interesting Expert of the Week column featured Brian Jones, owner of A Christmas Story House in Cleveland. If you're a fan of the movie, check out Jones' behind-the-scenes info on the road to purchasing the house, his most memorable holiday story, and more.
- In Words to Retire in 2012, contributor Samantha McGarry shares her list of words that need a permanent “time-out” in the coming year.
- From top U.S. dailies to local newspapers, regional magazines to industry newsletters, the list of media outlets that use ProfNet is wide-ranging – and, if we may say so ourselves, quite impressive. In List of Publications That Use ProfNet, we shared a sample of the hundreds of news outlets that used ProfNet last month to find sources.
- Each week, we spotlight some of the tools, resources and apps that can help PR and media professionals be more productive and effective. Tool Spotlight: Cuttings.me shows how the free website can be used by journalists, bloggers and writers to create an online collection of their work.
What were some of your favorite blog posts this week? Which ones did you find most helpful, interesting?
Friday, December 16, 2011, 1:34 PM
It’s that time of year where we look back at the past 12 months and take stock of our successes and our failures – and, hopefully, the lessons we learned along the way.
To that end, our next #ConnectChat, taking place Tuesday, Dec. 20, will not feature a guest speaker. Instead, we’ll ask you all to weigh in on what your biggest successes were in 2011, what mistakes you made, what you learned from them, what your work/career goals are for 2012.
Please join us on Twitter from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST and find out what others have to say about their year and share your own stories.
To join the chat, just follow the #ConnectChat hashtag to see the conversation (and hopefully chime in with some thoughts of your own). If you don’t have a Twitter account or won’t be able to make it to the chat, we’ll post a recap on ProfNet Connect the following day. To view past #ConnectChat recaps, click here.
I hope you’ll be able to join us!
Friday, December 16, 2011, 11:41 AM
From top U.S. dailies to local newspapers, regional magazines to industry newsletters, the types of publications that use ProfNet is wide-ranging -- and, if we may say so ourselves, quite impressive.
Following is a sampling of pubs that have used ProfNet over the last month to find sources:
Abilene Reporter-News (TX)
Accounts Payable Journal
ADVANCE for Nurses
Air Cargo World
American Medical News
Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
Austin Legal News
Baltimore Business News
Banking New York
Beauty News NYC
Belleville News-Democrat (IL)
Bend Bulletin (OR)
Bergen, Monmouth and Middlesex/Essex Health & Life magazines (NJ)
Better Homes and Gardens
Boston Business News
Briefings Media Group
Building and Construction Northeast
Business News Daily
Canadian Business magazine
Cheer Biz News
Christian Science Monitor
CIO Insight magazine
Civilian Job News
Clear Channel Radio
Construction Today Monthly
Corporate Compliance Insights
Crain's New York Business
Credit Union Management
Credit Union Times
Daily Gazette (NY)
Daily Herald (IL)
Desert Leaf (AZ)
Diario Uno (Argentina)
Digital Signage Today
Economist Intelligence Unit
Fifty Plus Advocate
Findlay Courier (OH)
Fox Business Network
Galveston County Daily News (TX)
Genetic Engineering News
Global Finance magazine
Globe and Mail (Canada)
Government Product News
Healthcare Risk Management
Hedge Fund Law Report
Horse Illustrated magazine
Hotel News Now
Human Resource Executive magazine
Indianapolis Business Journal
Industry Market Trends
InfoTech & Telecom News
International Business Times
Investors Business Daily
Iowa City Press-Citizen
Ivanhoe Broadcast News
Kaiser Health News/USA Today
Kentucky New Era
Kids' Sports Psychology
Lab Manager Magazine
Ladies' Home Journal
LI Kids Blog
Long Island Bride & Groom
Los Angeles Business Journal
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times Magazine
Managed Care Magazine
Managed Healthcare Executive
Mancow Muller Show
McKnight's Long Term Care News
Med Ad News
Medical Office Today
Medill News Service
Military Officer Magazine
Military Times Edge
MSN Business on Main
National Notary Magazine
NBC Universal's Home Goes Strong
New Jersey Realtor
New Nutrition Business
New York Observer
New York Post
New York Times
New York Times Upfront
Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Out Aloha Magazine
Palm Beach Post (FL)
Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor
Pharmalive Special Reports
Philadelphia Business Journal
Philadelphia Daily News
Physician's Money Digest
Physicians Practice Magazine
Plain Dealer (OH)
PT in Motion
Puget Sound Business Journal (WA)
Real Estate Forum magazine
Real Health Magazine
Renewable Energy World
Resource Investing News
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Paul Pioneer Press
State Tech Magazine
Statesman Journal (OR)
Suddenly Frugal/Philly on the Cheap
Sun and Wind Energy Magazine
Sun Sentinel (FL)
Sunday Times of London
The Bulletin (OR)
The Ledger (FL)
The Oath (Middle East)
The Record (NJ)
This Old House magazine
Time Out Chicago Kids
Times Higher Education magazine
Today's Dietitian magazine
Toginet Radio Show
Tribune Media Services
United States Radio Networks
University Business magazine
University Daily Kansan
US News & World Report
Voice of America
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog
Watch Newspapers (CO)
WCIU First Business News
Wealthy Reader Online
Weight Watchers Magazine
Western PA Hospital News
Whole Living magazine
WorkWise Syndicated Column
World Trade 100 Magazine
Want more info about joining ProfNet and connecting with journalists in need of expert sources? Email email@example.com to find out how.