Maria Perez

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    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
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      Communications Professional
      Media - Freelancer
      Media - Broadcast
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    • Title:Director, Online Community Relations
    • Organization:ProfNet
    • Area of Expertise:Media, PR
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    The Online Education Writing Market: How to Get Involved

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 11:38 AM [Freelance Focus]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    As a freelance writer, you’re likely always looking for new markets to break into. One you may not have considered is online education.

    “The incredible growth of online education represents the largest financial opportunity for freelance writers in history,” says Laura Town, owner and president of WilliamsTown Communications, an editorial services company.

    Online education in the U.S. is a $60 billion industry, and many online learning institutions are reaching out to professional writers to provide content, such as online courses, assessment questions and instructors’ guides.

    If this sounds like an area you’d be interested in pursuing, read Town’s great piece in the ASJA’s blog, The Word: Freelance Writing Meets Online Education: How to Get Involved

     * Image via DigitalCowboys.com

    Newspapers, Press Releases and Perfect Pitches: Last Week’s Top Blogs

    Monday, August 12, 2013, 1:34 PM [ProfNet Connect]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    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:

    Anatomy of a Perfect Pitch: Reporters Share Query Responses That Hit the Mark. One of the most common questions we hear from ProfNet members is: What’s the best way to respond to a ProfNet query? We decided to go right to the source and ask reporters for some examples of the best query responses they’ve received: bit.ly/14Azh2R

    Newspaper Upheaval: A New Chapter. In the past week, three venerable U.S. newspapers -- Washington Post, Boston Globe and Cleveland Plain-Dealer -- experienced a breathtaking turnabout. Greg Berardi, founder and chief marketing strategist for Blue Marlin Partners, shares this take on these deals and what they will mean to the future of the industry: bit.ly/19PGdKh

    Three Keys to Writing Press Releases That Drive Discovery Over Time. One of the most popular press releases on PRNewswire.com right now is an item that was released in March. How is that possible? The release, issued by the American Academy of Neurology, outlines the organization’s sports concussion guidelines and specifically states that athletes with concussions should be immediately removed from play. Sarah Skerik, vice president of content marketing for PR Newswire, breaks down what makes this release so popular: bit.ly/1esgghF

    Grammar Hammer: That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger. "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Nietzsche’s famous quote serves as the lead-in for this week’s Grammar Hammer topic: when to use "that" vs. "which": bit.ly/1cR1eUC

    What You Should Expect From Your PR Agency. In this oldie but goodie, Beth Monaghan, principal and co-founder of InkHouse Media + Marketing, posts the first in a two-part series about how to work with a PR firm. Monaghan shares her thoughts on some important qualities you should expect form an agency that is committed to your success: bit.ly/UkFTdW

    Social Media Angels: Small Steps in Speech. With all of the negativity that can be seen through social media, it’s nice to find people whose words are uplifting and positive. Twice a month, we spotlight a person or organization that is making an impact on their followers using social media as platform. This week, the focus was on Small Steps in Speech, a nonprofit that helps children with speech and language disorders: bit.ly/13Rfupn

    MEDIAware: August Moves. The August issue of MEDIAware, PR Newswire's audience research newsletter, is now available and is chock-full of media news and updates. This month's edition has info on CNN, Gannett, Tribune Co., Canada's Sun Media, Al Jazeera America, The Plain Dealer and more: bit.ly/13foQLz

    Why Writers Need Math. In our latest #ConnectChat, Laura Laing, author of “Math for Grownups,” discussed why writers need math, how they can use it in their writing, and the various ways they can overcome that fear: bit.ly/19aU0vE

    Influential Media Outlets That Used ProfNet in July. Check out this list of some of the hundreds of influential media outlets that featured ProfNet experts in July, including the Associated Press,  Al Jazeera America, CNN.com, U.S. News & World Report, New York Times, Fortune, Forbes and more: bit.ly/12XTyhJ

    Blog Notes: Car, Movie & Energy Blogs. As PR Newswire's media relations manager, Christine Cube comes across great blogs that cover a wide variety of topics and interests. Each week, she offers brief profiles of blogs you might not have heard of but that might offer pitching opportunities for your clients. This week, she shares reviews of a few car, movie and energy blogs: bit.ly/11HQkfb

    What were your favorite blog posts last week? Which ones did you find most helpful/interesting?

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Anatomy of a Perfect Pitch: Reporters Share Query Responses That Hit the Mark

    Thursday, August 8, 2013, 12:59 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    One of the most common questions we hear from ProfNet members is: What’s the best way to respond to a ProfNet query?

    We decided to go right to the source and ask reporters for some examples of the best query responses they’ve received.

    Response #1

    I am reaching out to you in response to your ProfNet posting: “HEALTH: The Danger of Young Women Telling Themselves Health Lies.”

    I wanted to introduce the California Optometric Association as a potential resource for you. With an extensive network of practicing optometrists, we have a number of optometrists available to give expert advice on how young women may be at risk for eye health issues even if they have perfect vision. Additionally, many of the optometrists in our network are media trained, and would love to participate and provide material for your article.

    Lie: I have perfect vision, so I do not need to have my eyes checked.

    Danger: Even if you believe that you have perfect sight, your stronger eye could be overcompensating for an undiagnosed vision problem in your other eye. Additionally, you could be suffering from a quiet eye disease such as glaucoma.  Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health, and when possible, preventing vision loss. Optometrists can also detect health issues like Diabetes through a comprehensive eye exam.

    What to do: Realize that you are not immune to eye health problems just because you have perfect sight. Visit your local optometrist each year to protect your sight and overall health.

    California Optometric Association is a not-for-profit, professional trade organization for optometrists in the state of California. Dedicated to promoting the highest standard of eye care, COA strives to increase awareness about the importance of routine, comprehensive eye exams.

    For more information, please visit The COA's websites, COAVision.org and Eyehelp.org.

    Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have or for any additional information you require.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks,

    Lauren
    Lauren Weil | Burson-Marsteller for California Optometric Association

    What made this great: The reporter loved that the response was packaged based on her query and included little things often forgotten, like contact info, websites, etc. The PR person also delivered – “something that’s only a given about 50 percent of the time these days,” said the reporter. It can be very frustrating to have a PR person contact a writer with an enthusiastic promise their source is the best, only to have the PR person backpedal, saying their client isn’t available or can’t comment.

     

    Response #2

    This is for you from Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine, and the author of 15 books, including Self-Help Without the Hype.  He has also taught university courses on self-control and self-management:

    "The explosion of new self-monitoring tools is a positive step.  Research shows clearly that heightening awareness of one's performance virtually always improves that performance - smarter eating, higher productivity, superior performance in sports, and so on.  I'm aware of only one general exception, and that's fine-motor performance. If a pianist starts to focus on how his or her hands are moving, he or she will probably stumble.  As I explain in my book, Self-Help Without the Hype, in general, self-monitoring helps you get where you want to go, period.  It's one of what I call the 3 M's of self-management:  Monitor Your Behavior, Modify Your Environment, and Make Commitments."

    I can put you in touch with Dr. Epstein by phone or email if you need additional material.

    Cordially,

    Laura Craig
    OutInFrontPublicity

    What made this great: What the reporter liked about this is that it includes a quote from the expert, which gives the reporter an idea of what the expert has to say. This often makes all the difference when a reporter receives many responses to one query.


    Response #3

    I saw your ProfNet query on transferring skills from the military to the civilian workforce and thought you might be interested in exploring a possible skills preparation angle for your story.

    There is a misperception that military personnel are not properly equipped to enter the civilian workforce when they leave the military. However, many members of the military actually receive valuable training while they’re deployed that can be applied in civilian positions and enhance any resume.

    Skillsoft is a learning and on-demand training provider that serves both military and civilian organizations. Their online training products are used by active duty, reserve and civilian personnel representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard as well as the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

    Military personnel use Skillsoft programs to enhance business, information technology, leadership, professional and technical skills necessary to excel at their current, and future civilian, jobs. In fact, the company has been recognized for its military training programs five out of the past six years by Military Training Technology (MT2).

    I would be more than happy to arrange a briefing between you and a Skillsoft executive if you would like to discuss training for military personnel in more detail. I will be out of the office on vacation from December 24-28, but would be happy to arrange an interview when I return on December 31.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year!

    Best,

    Caroline

    Caroline Pennartz | Senior Account Representative
    Lois Paul and Partners

    What made this great: The reporter loved the thoroughness of the response, so while she had already lined up all her sources for the story by the time she read this, she was willing to entertain the PR person's sources in the future.

    Do you have a great query response you want to share? Drop me a line at maria.perez@profnet.com and I may include it in our next update.

    Want more tips? Check out Tips for Responding to Reporter Queries and our Guidelines for PR Pros and Experts.

    Influential Media Outlets That Used ProfNet in July

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 10:40 AM [ProfNet]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, or get timely experts and story ideas by email. Both are free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    ProfNet has been helping journalists and experts connect for more than 20 years. In that time, we have seen queries from just about every type of outlet imaginable – from newspapers and magazines to radio shows and blogs. And while the media times are always changing, there are still a great many stories being written, and writers still need expert sources.

    Here are just a few of the influential media outlets that used ProfNet last month:

    News Services
    Associated Press
    Bloomberg News
    Medill News Service
    Morris News Service
    Reuters

    General News
    AARP
    Al Jazeera America
    Catholic News Service
    CBSNews.com
    Christian Science Monitor
    CNN.com
    Connecticut Magazine
    Consumer Reports
    Cronkite News Service
    FOXNews.com
    Huffington Post
    La Opinion
    Mental Floss
    Mint Press News
    MSN.com
    National Geographic
    Newsmax Media
    Newsweek and the Daily Beast
    Parade
    Postmedia Digital (Canada)
    The New Yorker
    Time.com
    U.S. News & World Report
    Univision.com
    WSJ Digital Network
    Yahoo! News

    Newspapers
    amNewYork
    Baltimore Beacon
    Baltimore Sun
    Belleville News-Democrat (IL)
    Bristol Herald-Courier (VA)
    Caller-Times (TX)
    Chicago Sun-Times
    Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)
    Daily Herald (IL)
    Detroit News
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
    Fresno Bee (CA)
    London Free Press (Canada)
    Los Angeles Times
    Metro newspapers
    Miami Herald
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Montgomery Advertiser
    Morning Call (PA)
    New York Observer
    New York Post
    New York Times
    Newsday (NY)
    North Dallas Gazette
    Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
    Orlando Sentinel (FL)
    Philadelphia Inquirer
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Port Huron Times Herald (MI)
    Providence Journal (CT)
    Pueblo Chieftain (CO)
    San Antonio Express-News
    Star-Ledger (NJ)
    St. Joseph News Press (MO)
    St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
    The Columbian (WA)
    The Guardian (UK)
    The Ledger (FL)
    The Record (NJ)
    The Sussex Newspaper (UK)
    Traverse City Business News (MI)
    USA Today
    Wall Street Journal
    Washington Post

    Radio/TV Outlets
    American Italian Radio
    CBS Chicago
    Everest Productions
    First Business News
    Frankie Robinson Show
    Game On Business Talk Radio
    Iowa Public Radio
    Marketplace
    Michigan Entrepreneur TV
    New England Cable News
    Teach Me Law Radio
    Voice of America
    WBEZ (IL)
    WKLB (MA)
    WNYC Public Radio (NY)
    WUSB 90.1 FM (NY)

    Business/Industry News
    American Express OPEN Forum
    ANA Magazine
    AOL Jobs
    Asian Fortune
    Athletic Business magazine
    Bank of America’s Small Business Community
    Bar Business Magazine
    CEO Communications (South Africa)
    CFO Magazine
    Chain Pulse Magazine
    Chief Executive Magazine
    Chief Marketer
    CMO.com
    CNBC.com
    CommPRO.biz
    Compliance Week
    Corp! Magazine
    Corporate Compliance Insights
    Crain’s New York Business
    DM Confidential
    EContent Magazine
    Entrepreneur
    ExecSense Webinars
    Executive Matters
    Executive Outlook Magazine
    Fast Company
    FierceMarkets
    Forbes
    Future of Commerce
    Hispanic Career World
    Hispanic Executive magazine
    HR Magazine
    HRWire/Thomson West
    Human Resource Executive
    IndustryWeek
    International Business Times
    Intuit Small Business Blog
    JobWeek
    Leader’s Edge
    Managing Your HR
    Medium magazine
    Monster.com
    NFIB.com
    PIA Magazine
    Private Label => Store Brands
    PRWeek
    QSR Magazine
    San Fernando Valley Business Journal
    SHRM.org
    Specialty Coffee Retailer
    Success Magazine
    Supply Chain HQ
    Venture Capital Journal
    Vows magazine
    World Trade WT100

    Education News
    College Planning & Management
    Community College Campus News
    NEA Member Benefits
    Scholastic
    Schools.com
    University Business
    Yahoo! Education

    Energy/Environment News
    Energy Digital
    Mining & Power
    MSN Weather
    NRDC Switchboard
    Oil & Gas Monitor
    Power Engineering International
    Riviera Maritime Media
    Sierra magazine

    Finance/Personal Finance News
    Accounts Payable Journal
    AFP Exchange
    Best’s News Service
    Better Investing
    Credit Union Times
    DimeSpring
    Fidelity.com
    Franklin Prosperity Report
    GlobeSt.com
    Insight Magazine
    Institutional Investor
    Investopedia
    Investor’s Business Daily
    LearnVest
    Loans.org
    M Report
    MainStreet.com
    Market Watch Magazine
    MarketWatch.com
    MSN Money
    National Underwriter Life & Health
    Plan Adviser magazine
    Plan Sponsor Magazine
    Tax Notes Today/Tax Analysts
    TheStreet.com
    Transaction World

    Health/Medicine News
    Advance for Long-Term Care Management
    Advance for Nurses
    AgingCare.com
    American Medical News
    Arthritis Foundation Newsletter
    Electronic Health Reporter
    Everyday Health
    Fierce Biotech
    Fitness & Physique Magazine
    Healthcare Briefings
    Healthcare Risk Management
    HealthDay
    Managed Care Contracting and Reimbursement
    Managed Healthcare Executive
    Massage Envy Magazine
    Max Sports & Fitness
    Medical Dealer Magazine
    Medical Design magazine
    Medical Economics
    Medical Office Today
    MedicineNet
    Nurse.com
    NurseZone
    Oncology Times
    OnFitness
    Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor
    Physician’s Money Digest
    Radiology Today
    SOS Children’s Safety Magazine
    WebMD
    Whole Life Times

    Law/Government News
    Federal Times
    Government Product News
    Hackney Publications
    Hedge Fund Law Report
    Law360.com
    Medill National Security Zone
    Military Retailer
    Military Times Edge
    National Law Journal
    Patriot News Organization

    Lifestyle/Women’s News
    AARP Magazine
    All You
    Body & More
    Canadian Living
    Divine Caroline
    eHow.com
    Endless Beauty
    Every Day with Rachael Ray
    Fifty Plus Advocate
    First for Women
    Fit & Fab Living
    Gannett’s YES! Your Essential Shopper
    Good Housekeeping
    HomeStyle Weekly
    Honey Colony
    Jewish Exponent
    Ladies’ Home Journal
    Life & Beauty Weekly
    Life Reimagined
    Maxim
    Modern Man
    Pittsburgh Parent
    Redbook
    Self.com
    SheKnows
    SheKnows Canada
    ShopSmart magazine
    TheAsianParent
    Weight Watchers Magazine
    Woman’s World
    Yahoo! Mujer

    Pets/Veterinary News
    Pet Age Magazine
    The Dog Daily
    The Horse magazine

    Real Estate/Building News
    AOL Real Estate
    Construction Today
    Equipment World
    HomeClick.com
    HomeWerks
    HouseLogic
    Multifamily Executive
    Officing Today
    The Cooperator
    The Electrical Distributor
    This Old House
    Yahoo! Homes

    Religion News
    Catholic News Service

    Technology/Science News
    Area Development Magazine
    BizTech Magazine
    ChannelPro
    CNET News
    Computerworld
    Database Trends & Applications
    Desktop Engineering
    E-Commerce Times
    HackSurfer
    Home Defender Magazine
    KM World
    Network World
    Popular Mechanics
    SaaS in the Enterprise
    SC Magazine
    Service Provider IT Report
    Small Business Computing
    StateTech Magazine
    Winds of Change Magazine

    Travel News
    About.com Business Travel
    American Express Executive Travel
    Business Travel Executive
    Global Traveler
    Hemispheres
    Smart Meetings
    Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine

    Where did your experts pop up last month? If you have a success story to share, drop me a line at profnet@profnet.com with “Success Story” in the subject line. Or “like” our Facebook page and leave your success story on our wall, and you might see your picture on the big screen in Times Square!

    Not getting queries? Email profnet@profnet.com with your contact info, and we’ll send you details on how you can become a ProfNet member and get publicity for your experts.

    Upcoming PR/Media Events

    Friday, August 2, 2013, 11:14 AM [Upcoming Events]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include upcoming events we think will be of interest to PR and media professionals. Following is a summary of the events taking place over the next week or so:

    Event: Annual Media Panel Luncheon with Media Training Morning Seminar
    Host: PRSA-Georgia
    Date: Aug. 8
    Location: Atlanta
    Summary: The session also provides interview and control techniques, do's and don'ts, plus tips for enhancing speaker presence.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Power, Persuasion & Influence
    Host: PR Newswire
    Date: Aug. 8
    Location: Online
    Summary: Ginny Pulos, founder and president of Ginny Pulos Communications, will discuss how to use basic storytelling to move your business results.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Beyond Green PR
    Host: Bulldog Reporter’s PR University
    Date: Aug. 8
    Location: Online
    Summary: Cause-marketing experts from Yum! Brands, Caesars Entertainment, SAP AG, For Momentum and Edelman reveal best practices in communicating sustainability and CSR.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: From Guerilla Warfare to Guerilla PR
    Host: PRSA Cincinnati Chapter
    Date: Aug. 29
    Location: Cincinnati
    Summary: Mike Robinson, president of LaVERDAD Marketing & Media, will share how lessons learned as a former U.S. Army Green Beret shaped his approach to marketing and PR tactics at Procter & Gamble, and now as his multicultural agency conducts "below the line" and grassroots campaigns for clients such as Toyota North America.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Author 101 University
    Host: Rick Frishman
    Date: Oct. 24-27
    Location: Las Vegas
    Summary: Top pros will share their expertise, reveal the inner workings of the publishing industry, and discuss various approaches to common marketing and publishing challenges.
    Complete event info here.

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

    How to Use Twitter to Land Writing Assignments

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:32 AM [Freelance Focus]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    You’ve likely heard the refrain, “All writers should be on Twitter.” You’ve also likely gone ahead and signed up for Twitter. And now you’re likely on Twitter but aren’t sure how to use it to your benefit.

    A great many writers are not only using Twitter to share their stories and make connections, but also to land assignments. How?

    “No magic wand here,” writes Katrina Woznicki in a recent article in The Freelance Strategist. “I followed these publishers, showed an interest in what they had to say, eventually shared an idea, which eventually led to a one-on-one email or phone conversation, which led to an assignment -- and a relationship.”

    In the article, How to Use Twitter to Yield Writing Assignments, Woznicki and other freelance writers share their secrets of success. If you’re a writer on Twitter but haven’t yet figured out how to use it to land writing gigs, you’ll find this article a great read.

    Photo via Chestnuthillpa.com

    Inside PRN: Meet the Product Advocate Team

    Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 9:22 AM [ProfNet]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    If you’re a ProfNet member, chances are you’ve spoken with a member of our Product Advocate team at some point, whether to renew your subscription, switch users or just check on the status of your account.

    So, for this month’s Inside PRN column, we thought we’d put some faces to the names of the folks who are there to help.

     

    Clockwise, from top left:

    Tim Scarberry has been with PR Newswire for more than six years, five of which have been with the Product Advocate team. Tim graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor's degree in theater and lighting design. He recently built his own double-neck guitar and is currently working on restoring a 1966 Chevy Biscayne.

    Brian Bolden joined PR Newswire five years ago. He is mild-mannered during the week but turns into a would-be rock star on the weekends, moonlighting with multiple local bands in the Cleveland area. He is a superhero to his two beautiful girls, ages 5 and 2, “and proud of it!”

    Marc Olivas joined PR Newswire six years ago and is a pro at helping ProfNet members with their questions. His two favorite TV shows are “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad.”

    David Ramsey joined PRN as a customer advocate, later moving to the Customer Content Management team. David is currently working on internal communication of product knowledge to other departments, as well as the group’s intern program. A tattoo enthusiast and sneaker collector, David will celebrate his third anniversary with PR Newswire in September.

    Stephen Tretinik has been with PR Newswire for five years, almost three years of which have been with the Product Advocate team. He is a self-published author and an avid reader, with particular interest in graphic novels and old horror/sci-fi works of authors like HP Lovecraft and Philip K Dick. He also closely follows the sport of mixed martial arts.

    Marcos Medina has been at PR Newswire for five years. When he’s not in the office, he spends as much time as possible at this family’s ranch in northern New Mexico. He also enjoys skiing/snowboarding in the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado in the winter.

    Brett Bradley has worked at PR Newswire for approximately three years. She formerly worked in PRN’s Customer Content Services department before moving to the Product Advocate team, and is a specialist in the ProfNet service. In her spare time, she loves to travel.

    Leah Cardillo has been with PR Newswire for about three years, and joined the Product Advocate group last April. When she’s not working, you can find her outside. She loves the outdoors, and tries to get out of town almost every weekend for a new adventure. Rock climbing is her most recent obsession.

    Michelle Rasmussen has been at PR Newswire for a little over six years. She started with the company as a demo specialist before joining the Product Advocate team, where she currently specializes in Agility. She loves to bake and make specialty and custom cakes.

    Jasmine Stupica currently manages the Product Advocate team, but has also worked in customer service and product sales in her 5-1/2 years with PR Newswire. Based in Cleveland, she enjoys exploring all the city has to offer. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy hiking and keeping up on the latest movies. She also is an avid baker and likes to bring in treats for the team.

    Privacy, Press Releases and the Royal Baby: Last Week’s Top Blogs

    Monday, July 29, 2013, 1:17 PM [ProfNet Connect]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    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:

    Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing With Reporters. Last week, we hosted our latest Twitter chat, "Do's and Don'ts of Dealing With Reporters." Heidi Russell, a freelance writer/editor and ProfNet user, talked to us about her likes and dislikes, how best to approach her with a story idea, and more: bit.ly/171Teu2

    The Really New Rules of PR and Marketing. MarketingProfs recently hosted a webinar featuring author David Meerman Scott, who offered his perspective on how the communications arena has changed since he published the first edition of "The New Rules of Marketing & PR" in 2007 and the opportunities available to PR and marketing pros today: bit.ly/12QcdGI

    Three Ways to Capitalize on the Longer Lives of Press Releases. How long do the press releases you issue maintain news value? A few years ago, the majority of views would have accumulated within the first several days of issue. Today, that timeframe is significantly elongated -- on average, releases acquire the majority of their views over a period of four months. Sarah Skerik, vice president of content marketing for PR Newswire, shares three ways PR pros can capitalize on the long lifespan of press releases: bit.ly/18xkpA2

    Angie’s Social Media Angels: VolunteerMatch. With all of the negativity that can be seen through social media, it’s nice to find people whose words are uplifting and positive. Twice a month, we spotlight a person or organization that is making an impact on their followers using social media as platform. This week, the focus was on VolunteerMatch, which connects people with various nonprofits that are in need of volunteers: bit.ly/167y6Wi

    Grammar Hammer: Lay Your Hands on Me. Do you mix up the words "lay" and "lie"? This week's Grammar Hammer will set you straight (just don’t blame us if you have Bon Jovi stuck in your head the rest of the day): bit.ly/12R6QXX

    Privacy in a Social Age. Social Media Club New York met recently to discuss privacy in the social media age, a relevant topic considering recent revelations on government surveillance programs. The panel, moderated by ProfNet’s own Polina Opelbaum, included Simon Pulman of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, Richard Santalesa of Information Law Group, and Renee Lloyd of Nuance Communications: bit.ly/16eKDHs

    New School PR Tactics: Evolving the Press Release to Drive New Outcomes. It's been around for decades, but new formats, channels and applications are breathing new life into the press release. PR Newswire recently hosted a free webinar to explore alternative but wickedly effective new approaches to the press release. Speakers discussed how to deliver new outcomes (including search engine visibility, qualified website traffic and social buzz) and improve overall PR campaign results by re-thinking the press release: bit.ly/18AciTq

    Media 411: News Overkill. What do the royal baby and Anthony Weiner have in common? Nothing, really, except that we're probably tired of hearing about them. In this week’s Media 411 column, ProfNet’s Evelyn Tipacti shares her thoughts on some, um, overexposed news items: bit.ly/18C4BMr

    Blog Notes: Napa Life, Comic Book & Environmental Blogs. As PR Newswire's media relations manager, Christine Cube comes across great blogs that cover a wide variety of topics and interests. Each week, she offers brief profiles of blogs you might not have heard of but that might offer pitching opportunities for your clients. Last week, she shared reviews of a few Napa life, comic book, and environmental blogs: bit.ly/12HwZrZ

    What were your favorite blog posts last week? Which ones did you find most helpful/interesting?

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Do’s and Don'ts of Dealing With Reporters

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 6:44 PM [#ConnectChat]
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    Yesterday, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "Do's and Don'ts of Dealing With Reporters." Our guest was Heidi Russell, a freelance writer/editor and ProfNet user.

    Russell is a 24-year veteran of the newspaper, AP and magazine arenas. She covers issues affecting the military, real estate, entrepreneurs, culturally diverse executives, and job hunters.

    Back in 2011, Heidi wrote what is still one of our most popular posts on ProfNet Connect: bit.ly/rePiP3  In the post, she addressed PR pros who feel they are mistreated by reporters, which is where we got the idea for this chat.

    You've had a varied career so far. Do you prefer writing for newspapers, wire services or magazines?

    I love all three, but right now, the magazine freelance lifestyle suits my personal life best. If I had to choose one, I do miss chasing politicians around the PA Capitol for the AP. I loved covering politics!

    What are some of the publications you currently write for, to give us an idea of your topics?

    I write for Military Officer magazine (the publication for @MOAA); New Jersey Realtor (the publication for @NJAR); Pizza Today (@PizzaToday), which is for pizza restaurant owners in the U.S. and Canada; Military Transition News, circulated at military installations for those going into civilian work; and the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business & Economics. Their publication for alumni is Transform. I also am a contributor to GX Magazine, which is the official publication for the U.S. National Guard and Reserve.

    Does the writing vary depending on the type of outlet you're writing for? Is there a difference in the process?

    Well, each publication has a specific niche audience, and stories are tailored to their interests. But otherwise, my method of collecting and presenting information usually follows the same format.

    With the departure of journalists away from print media, have you noticed any changes to the quality of traditional journalism?

    I do believe there has been a dip in quality of journalism with bloggers who fashion themselves journalists. 

    What is your biggest pet peeve? What should a PR person never do?

    My biggest pet peeve is sending a query and a potential source obviously wants to change the angle of the story.

    Do you find that other avenues (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+) get faster responses than email?

    You know, I think it's individual. I keep an open Twitter tab on my computer while researching stories. However, I respond more quickly when I receive an email. The reason I respond more readily to email is because I can glean more details that way about a potential source.

    What is your preferred method of contact? Do you ever take calls?

    My preferred method is email, but that's because I have more time as a magazine reporter. However, if an editor needs a quick turnaround on a story, phone calls are great. I never will shun a phone call. Freelancers have a little more flexibility than most other people, so phone calls are not a problem for me.

    If client feels "entitled" to coverage and a PR person balks regarding follow-up, annoyance lurks. Your take?

    Wow, that is really sticky, isn't it? My advice is to tell the client that coverage is never a foregone conclusion. If they insist on a follow-up phone call, tell the reporter that was the case. We always understand that situation.

    What is the preferred method of communication when shopping press releases to sources? Are there any common mistakes?

    I think the best thing is email the reporter and explain you have a great idea. Preface the press release with an intro.

    How do you feel about PR pros and/or experts asking to review the piece before publication?

    I hate the request, but some of my magazines agree to the practice. I go with the editor's choice.

    What are some things PR people do that you wish they wouldn’t?

    The biggest mistake I see among PR pros is the attempt to control the reporter’s story. They usually do not realize that the reporter is following an editor’s guidelines. Another mistake is promising a story source before actually confirming the source’s availability. There are times when I receive more than a dozen responses to a query, and I have to select the best sources. So if I select your source, it’s a gift. If you then drag your feet on setting up an interview, I’ll eliminate you as a source.

    How do you feel about email interviews? Do you hate them, prefer them?

    That's a really good question! I hate them. It takes away from the spontaneity of the interview. I also tend to eliminate responses to queries if someone tries to answer my questions without agreement to an interview. Email interviews are only a necessary evil if the "journalist" doesn't know what they're doing.

    Do you ever open attachments PR agencies send to you?

    I would only open the attachment if I received an introductory email from the PR professional first. Think of it like someone coming to your door and asking if they can walk in without introducing themselves.

    Let's talk about your blog post (bit.ly/rePiP3), in which you addressed someone who asked why reporters are “rude”? Sooo, why are they rude? ;)

    The reporter is juggling spinning plates. If they are rude, it is because of extreme circumstances. The reporter’s job is to get information as quickly as possible. If a PR pro impedes that process, we have a problem. Take an example: A PR pro wants a reporter to fill out paperwork for permission to cover an event. This has happened to me. The reporter will NOT play along with this tactic, unless the person being covered is the U.S. president or the royal baby.

    Would you use infographs verbatim, or pieces of them if the company logo is on them?

    It depends on the magazine. I had one magazine that always used the company logos on everything. Others do not. It just depends.

    What do you think is the best way for PR pros to build a good relationship with journalists?

    Really, just reach out like a person. Introduce yourself and ask for their area of specialty. Then offer story ideas.

    I think part of our jobs as publicists is to deal with occasional rudeness and not make it personal.

    I don't want to make excuses for reporters' rudeness. I would say, however, there is usually a big reason for it. As an example, one day on deadline an editor threw a pencil at my head and screamed obscenities. Then my phone rang. So usually the PR person has no idea the reporter is under great stress and isn't thinking about politeness. The abrasiveness is due to newsroom environment.

    What do you wish PR people would do MORE of?

    I think as long as a PR person is providing info quickly and on the reporter's deadline schedule, that's all we need. Most PR people do not realize the importance of the ticking clock to a reporter.

    What is the best advice you would give to someone new to media relations at a PR agency?

    Wow, great question! Make friends with the LOCAL reporters who are assigned to your subject area. Most people do not realize the power of a local TV station or newspaper in getting out their message.

    How can a PR person get your attention for the first time?

    If someone wants to get my attention for the first time, they ask about my roster of clients. I have formed the best relationships when PR people are interested in for whom I write. What happens is that if their source won’t fit my story at the moment, I will return to them in the future. There have been times I do not send out a query because I've promised someone they are my first choice for the next story. If a PR pro maintains the relationship -- sends me a “hello” email once a month or talks to me on Twitter -- instant rapport. 

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.

    Establishing a Financial Foundation as a Writer

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 11:02 AM [Freelance Focus]
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    Freelancer Megan Kamerick has been a business reporter and editor for more than 20 years, having worked at the San Antonio Business Journal, New Orleans CityBusiness and New Mexico Business Weekly.

    Currently the host and producer of "Public Square" for New Mexico PBS, Kamerick is also an independent producer at KUNM radio and produces newscasts and interviews for the show "Women’s Focus."

    Kamerick recently sat down for an interview with the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism, during which she shared her thoughts on why a financial foundation and a business journalism background is vital for any beat.

    In it, she discussed what stories business journalists need to pay more attention to, how to find a business angle in stories that don't seem to have one, the importance of pursuing other interests, and more.

    You can read the full interview on the Reynolds Center website:

    Freelance Journalist Megan Kamerick on Establishing a Financial Foundation

    It's an informative read for anyone involved in business writing.

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com.


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