Maria Perez

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    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
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    • Title:Director, Online Community Relations
    • Organization:ProfNet
    • Area of Expertise:Media, PR
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    Five Tips for a Graceful Social Exit

    Friday, June 20, 2014, 8:32 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Many small businesses jump headfirst into social media without having a well thought-out plan. They want to engage with their audience (potential customers), but don't know where to start or how to find the time required to make it successful.

    "When it comes to social media networks, we have all been hit with SNOS -- Shiny New Object Syndrome," said Heather Wied, marketing and sales director for Pubsoft, a cloud-based e-ook publishing platform. "We hop on the flavor-of-the-month social bandwagon without really evaluating whether or not they are worth our time and effort. Sometimes we just can’t help but to dive in headfirst without checking if it's clear."

    However, without a plan, some businesses don't see the results they'd hoped for and eventually decide to step away from some of the social networks they joined. But how can they go about making sure it's a graceful exit?

    Wied recently shared five tips for leaving behind graveyard social accounts. Click here to view the tips on the PR Toolkit website: Five Tips for a Graceful Social Exit

    Upcoming PR/Media Events

    Thursday, June 12, 2014, 12:25 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Here are a few events coming up over the next few weeks. Know of an event coming up? Email us the details and we’ll include in our next post.

    Event: Monthly Luncheon
    Host: PRSA Cincinnati
    Date: June 17
    Location: Cincinnati
    Summary: Two of Edelman’s senior executives will discuss how to navigate the changing media landscape to reach and engage your audiences and amplify the results, including media planning, making every hit and piece of content work harder for you, and how sponsored content can help – if it’s done right.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Driving Greater Business Growth & Profitability Through Innovation in Our Approach to Marketing
    Host: NJ CAMA and JSPRAA
    Date: June 19
    Location: Princeton, N.J.
    Summary: Jack Gottlieb, president of The Total Solutions Group, Inc., will discuss how being innovative and creative in your marketing strategy can help your business become more profitable.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: The New Media Influencers
    Host: Publicity Club of New York
    Date: June 19
    Location: New York
    Summary: Speakers: Jake Horowitz of PolicyMic, Zach Seward of Quartz, Peter Kafka or Re/code, Andrew Golis of TheWire, and Melissa Bell of Vox.com.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: How to Tie PR Metrics and Reporting to Business Results
    Host: PR Newswire
    Date: June 19
    Location: Online
    Summary: This webinar will explore how to use the Barcelona principles, which identify the need for outcome-based measurement of PR campaigns, and best practices to tie PR results to lead generation, conversion rates and designated KPIs.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Drinks and Networking
    Host: Social Media Club NYC
    Date: June 19
    Location: New York
    Summary: SMCNYC invites members and prospective members to come out and enjoy some drinks and networking.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: HPRMS Annual Dinner
    Host: Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society
    Date: June 25
    Location: New York
    Summary: In addition to the dinner and awards ceremony, ABC News’ Terry Wrong and Erica Baumgart will discuss the making of the eight-part series, “NY Med.”
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Renaissance Awards
    Host: IABC Detroit
    Date: June 26
    Location: Detroit
    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

    Legal PR and Marketing: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 2:26 PM [#ConnectChat]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    A good public relations agency can help a law firm increase its brand recognition, manage its image, position its attorneys as thought leaders, and bring in new clients. Law firm PR does have its challenges, such as working in an industry with many rules around ethics and confidentiality, but lawyers have good stories to tell and the work can be both intellectually and professionally rewarding.

    In our latest #ConnectChat on Twitter, Kevin Aschenbrenner, senior vice president for public relations at Jaffe, a full-service marketing and PR agency serving the legal industry, discussed his experience as a PR pro working with law firms.

    A 15-year veteran of legal PR, Aschenbrenner has represented several of the country’s largest law firms, as well as leading midsize firms, smaller boutiques, legal vendors and legal associations. He provides clients with a broad range of PR services, including strategic media relations, crisis communications, content marketing, and social media.

    Following is a recap of the conversation:

    What does your typical day look like?

    Like for most people in PR, no day is typical. But, my day revolves around supporting my clients. It probably starts with clearing out my inbox, a little media review to keep tabs on trends, some follow-up on pitches, and then a brainstorming call with a client, active pitching, some social media. Writing, too. What I love about legal PR is that no day is the same.

    What’s the biggest challenge in doing PR/marketing for law firms?

    One challenge is that we work with an industry that is governed by ethics rules and confidentiality. Another is that our clients are very busy. Most attorneys work long hours, and their time is valuable.

    How do you overcome/work around that?

    Technology, for one. When I started, websites were this new-fangled thing. Many lawyers weren't sure they'd need one. An interview for an online publication was also a harder sell. Lawyers wanted to be quoted in print. Today, of course, they realize that online has so many benefits.

    The tools we use have also changed. I love that we now have media databases that put info at our fingertips. When I started, we had those big Bacon's tomes that were out of date as soon as you ordered them.

    Of course, the media has changed, even in the legal media sphere. Changes. Consolidation. Trying to adapt to new realities. And, more and more attorneys are becoming comfortable with blogging, social media, etc.

    What hasn’t changed?

    It's still about telling a good story. Ultimately, that's why we do what we do. We're storytellers.

    And, working in legal PR, we are lucky to have so much information and knowledge in our clients. I know people think legal stuff is dry and boring. (Ok, it can be. Have you ever read a Supreme Court opinion?) But, a lot of that can be translated into stories that have an impact on business, politics, the way we live and work.

    That's what I love about law firm PR. I get to play with such cool concepts, make them relatable. And, ultimately, I'm still playing the role of a connector between my clients and the broader market.

    Is there a specific type of media (print, trade, etc.) that you deal with more often for legal PR?

    It's really what best serves the client. It flows from a client's target market. For many lawyers, that's in-house counsel -- the attorneys who work inside companies. Sometimes they're best reached with a Wall Street Journal hit, or a legal or industry trade. It depends on the story, too.

    Do you handle PR issues for smaller firms differently than for larger firms?

    The work and tactics are the same whether it's a large or small firm. Larger firms tend to have in-house marketing people with whom we partner. I love making in-house marketers look like stars. For smaller firms, we may act as their marketing folks. In the end, we work with clients in a way that's the most supportive for them, large or small.

    What about social media and legal PR? Do all social media platforms work for law firms?

    For many lawyers and law firms, social media can seem like the Wild West: uncontrollable and a little freaky. I once sat in on marketing committee meeting and asked if they had a social media policy. Reply: “If we have one, they'll do it”!

    For lawyers just getting started, I usually recommend LinkedIn first. It's a more controlled environment that also lets you learn the ins and outs of social media. We work on their profile, talk about engaging others, etc. Once they're comfortable, then maybe we check out Twitter or Google+. I don't usually recommend Facebook for lawyers or law firms. Just not the right audience IMHO. But, it's not a hard-and-fast rule. For some firms it might make sense to use Facebook, particularly for alumni and staff.

    Many lawyers have also found their social media niche in blogging. It's a great tool -- and gives me raw material for pitches. I very often get good pitch material from a client attorney's blog -- often things they've forgotten to tell me about.

    What are some of the regulations related to social media accounts for law firms? Is there certain info that can’t be disclosed?

    Each state bar sets their own rules, and some states are stricter than others. Florida, for example, is probably the strictest, followed by California. Technically, for example, tweets should include full name, firm name, location, and a disclaimer. That leaves very little room for actual content. I don't think most firms follow that exactly, but it's an example of how strict it can be.

    Then there is the issue of what you can disclose on social media. The same rules apply in terms of ethics and confidentiality, which is why it's hard to establish a "persona" behind a law firm Twitter account. But there are many effective lawyer tweeters.

    We always recommend knowing the strictest state bar rules and then working out your strategy from there.

    On a lighter note: What do you like most about working in legal PR?

    I enjoy the intellectual challenge. I learn something every day. My morning could be spent on IP; my afternoon on tax. I'm a writer, so taking complex concepts and turning them into pitches that will pique interest is a lot of fun. I do crisis work, too, and that always keeps me on my toes.

    I also have great colleagues. I’m not sure people know this, but Jaffe is virtual -- we all work from home. I'm based in Victoria, B.C., Canada. I get to do interesting work from the best place on earth to live.

    What advice would you give to someone who would like to go into legal PR?

    Understand that legal PR is its own kind of PR. Our clients are in a unique business that takes some understanding.

    You need a solid foundation in PR basics, plus the ability to deal with complicated topics and issues. Writing skills are also a must.

    We are in a position of trust with clients. You may not be client-facing right away. We do introductions carefully and slowly.

    Legal PR can be stressful and time-sensitive, so you need to be able to roll with things.

    You don't have to be a lawyer to do legal PR. I'm not. Some people are. You do have to learn how to read legal documents, though, such as lawsuit complaints, opinions, rulings. There are tricks. Often the introductory and conclusion paragraphs have the details you need for a pitch.

    The job also has a steep learning curve. Lawyers expect a lot of the people who work for them. You need to demonstrate you've got the chops. When in doubt, drop "prosecution history estoppel" into a conversation with an IP attorney, and you're golden. ;-)

    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.

    Influential Media Outlets That Used ProfNet in May

    Monday, June 9, 2014, 4:13 PM [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 is a sampling of some of the influential media outlets that used ProfNet last month:

    News Services
    Associated Press
    Associated Reporters Abroad
    Catholic News Service
    Cronkite News Service
    Dow Jones
    McClatchy Newswire
    Medill News Service
    Reuters

    General News
    24/7 News Source
    AARP The Magazine
    Al Jazeera America
    CBSNews.com
    Christian Science Monitor
    CNN.com
    Consumer Reports
    Huffington Post
    Ivanhoe Broadcast News
    Mint Press News
    National Geographic
    New Idealist
    Postmedia Digital (Canada)
    Quartz
    Raycom News Network
    The Weather Channel
    Time.com
    Times of Israel
    U.S. News & World Report
    Wall Street Journal Digital
    Yahoo! News

    Newspapers
    Advocate (LA)
    Albany Times Union (NY)
    Arizona Daily Star
    Arizona Republic
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Baltimore Sun
    Belleville News-Democrat (IL)
    Bucks County Courier Times (PA)
    Chicago Tribune
    Clarin newspaper (Argentina)
    Cleveland Plain Dealer
    Daily Herald (IL)
    Desert Sun (CA)
    Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Indiana Chronicle
    Indianapolis Star
    Jackson Citizen Patriot (MI)
    Jewish Independent
    Long Island Pulse (NY)
    Los Angeles Times
    Metro Newspapers
    Miami Herald
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Morning Call (PA)
    New York Post
    New York Times
    Newsday (NY)
    News-Herald (OH)
    News-Press (FL)
    Orange County Register (CA)
    Orlando Sentinel (FL)
    Philadelphia Daily News
    Philadelphia Inquirer
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Portland Business Journal (OR)
    Poughkeepsie Journal (NY)
    Providence Journal (RI)
    Portland Tribune
    Record Searchlight (CA)
    San Antonio Express-News
    San Francisco Chronicle
    Star-Ledger (NJ)
    Tampa Tribune (FL)
    The Intelligencer (PA)
    The Islander (FL)
    The Ledger (FL)
    The Registry (CA)
    USA Today
    Wall Street Journal
    Washington Post
    Watertown Daily Times
    Weld for Birmingham (AL)

    Broadcast (Radio/TV) Outlets
    Better TV
    Fresh Outlook
    KFBK-AM (CA)
    MediaTracks
    Michigan Entrepreneur TV
    NET News/Nebraska Public Radio
    Oxygen Network
    Sports Palooza Radio
    Voice of America
    WGCU (FL)
    WKLB-FM (MA)
    WTNH-TV (CT)

    Automotive
    MotorHome Magazine

    Beauty/Fashion News
    Beauty High
    Beauty in the Bag
    Beauty News NYC
    Betty Confidential
    Daily Makeover
    Latest-Hairstyles.com
    Life & Beauty Weekly
    Style on Main
    The Fashion Spot
    YouBeauty.com

    Business/Industry News
    American Express OPEN Forum
    ANA Magazine
    Association Convention & Facilities Magazine
    Bank of America's Small Business Community
    Bloomberg News
    CEO Magazine (South Africa)
    CFO Thought Leader
    Chief Executive magazine
    China Outlook magazine
    Christian Retailing magazine
    CommPRO.biz
    Corporate Compliance Insights
    CPGmatters
    Crain's Chicago Business
    Crain's New York Business
    EContent Magazine
    Entrepreneur
    Fast Company
    Floral Management magazine
    Forbes.com
    Gulfshore Business
    Human Resource Executive magazine
    HVACR/Hydronics Distribution Business
    Illinois/Indiana AgriNews
    Inc. magazine
    Independent Dealer
    IndustryWeek
    Insurance & Financial Meetings Management
    Insurance Networking News
    International Business Times
    Ivey Business Journal
    JCK magazine
    JobWeek
    KM World
    Managing Your HR
    MarketingProfs
    Modern Metals magazine
    Monster.com
    National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
    National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education
    NJ Meetings + Events magazine
    PR News
    PRWeek
    Pumper and Cleaner magazines
    Retail Leader magazine
    Risk Management Magazine
    San Francisco Business Times
    Shopper Marketing Magazine
    SHRM.org
    Small Business Trends
    Solution Providers For Retail
    Strategy Magazine
    SUCCESS Magazine
    Time Warner Cable Business Class News
    Transaction World
    Venture Capital Journal
    Westlaw Journal Employment
    Workforce Diversity
    Workforce Management

    Education News
    Campus News
    Chronicle of Higher Education
    Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
    NerdScholar
    Scholastic
    University Business magazine
    Yahoo! Education

    Energy/Environment News
    CBS SmartPlanet
    ClimateWire
    Energy Executive Magazine
    Independent Gasoline Marketing magazine
    Natural Choice Network
    Oil & Gas Monitor
    Resource Recycling

    Entertainment/Sports News
    Celebrity Toob
    ESPN The Magazine
    Monsters and Critics
    Runner's World
    Variety

    Finance/Personal Finance News
    American Banker
    Barron's
    BBC Capital
    CBS MoneyWatch
    cent$ magazine
    CNBC.com
    Community Investor
    Credit Union Times
    Daily Finance
    Financial Advisor Magazine
    Fiscal Times
    Franklin Prosperity Report
    Fund Strategy Magazine
    GuideVine
    Independent Banker Magazine
    Investor's Business Daily
    MainStreet.com
    MarketWatch.com
    Mint.com
    Money magazine
    Motley Fool
    MReport
    NerdWallet
    Newsmax
    Proformative.com
    Registered Rep
    Tax Analysts
    TheStreet.com

    Health/Fitness News
    ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory
    ADVANCE for Speech and Hearing
    Arthritis Today
    Everyday Health
    For The Record magazine
    Healthcare Briefings
    Healthcare Dive
    Healthcare Risk Management
    HealthDay
    Healthline
    Managed Care Contracting and Reimbursement Advisor
    Managed Healthcare Executive
    Max Sports & Fitness
    McKnight's Long Term Care News
    Medical Design Magazine
    Medical Device Diagnostic Industry
    Medical Economics
    Medical Marijuana Outlook
    Medical Practice Insider
    MedShadow
    Merion Matters
    New Public Health
    NurseZone
    Oncology Times
    Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor
    PharmaVoice
    Physician's Money Digest
    Plastic Surgery Practice
    PT in Motion
    Proto magazine
    Quality Health
    Rheumatology Practice Management
    Student Health 101
    Today's Dietitian
    U.S. Domestic Medical Travel
    Univision Salud
    Upwave
    Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News

    Law/Government/Politics News
    C4ISR & Networks
    Counselor Magazine
    Employee Terminations Law Bulletin
    Employment Alert
    Federal Times
    Government Product News
    Law360
    Law Enforcement Technology
    Military Officers Association of America
    NARFE magazine
    StateTech Magazine
    Thomson Reuters Westlaw Journals
    Westlaw Journal Government Contract

    Lifestyle/Parenting/Women’s News
    805 Living Magazine
    AARP Life Remimagined
    All You
    Art Bodega Magazine
    BlogHer
    Brides magazine
    CafeMom's The Stir
    Chesapeake Home Living
    CVS Caremark’s Belonging Newsletter
    CVS Caremark's PH Messenger
    CVS Grow With Us Newsletter
    Divine Caroline
    DealNews
    EveryJoe
    Fifty is the New Fifty
    Fit and Fab Living
    Gannett's YES! Your Essential Shopper
    HERLIFE Magazine
    Life Refined
    Life Reimagined
    LoveToKnow
    Mamás Latinas
    Modern Man
    ModernMom.com
    Next Avenue
    Organic Hudson Valley
    Parade.com
    Parenting.com
    Parents.com
    Pittsburgh Better Times
    Prevention
    Redbook
    Senior Outlook Today
    SheBudgets.com
    SheFinds.com
    SheKnows.com
    South Florida Luxury Guide
    The Costco Connection
    Thrillist
    USA Today's Hunt & Fish Magazine
    Vero Beach Magazine
    Vim & Vigor
    WhatToExpect.com
    Whole Life Times
    WickedLocal.com
    Woman's World

    Pets/Veterinary News
    Pet Age Magazine
    Veterinary Practice News

    Real Estate/Building/Home News
    Building and Construction Canada
    Construction Today
    Daily Properties
    Homeclick.com
    HouseLogic.com
    Modern Home Builder
    Multi-Housing News
    New England Condominium
    NJ Realtor Magazine
    NY Cooperator
    Realtor Magazine
    Residential Architect
    The Cooperator
    The Electrical Distributor (TED)
    The Nest
    Yahoo! Homes

    Technology/Science News
    BuzzFeed Science
    CIO magazine
    CNET News
    Computerworld
    CSO magazine
    Dice.com
    E-Commerce Times
    ECT News Network
    Future Intelligence News (UK)
    Geek Magazine
    Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
    iPhone Life magazine
    Life Science Leader
    LiveScience.com
    MIT Technology Review
    National Robotics Education Foundation
    Network World
    PM Network
    Polygon
    RFIDinsider
    Science | Business
    Tech Page One
    Technology Transfer Tactics
    Telematics Update
    TheServerSide.com
    Utility Dive
    WatchIT

    Travel/Hospitality/Food News
    Bar Business Magazine
    Corporate & Incentive Travel
    FSR Magazine
    Global Traveler
    International Association of Exhibitions and Events
    National Culinary Review
    National Geographic Traveler
    Outside magazine
    Pizza Today Magazine
    Produce Business Magazine
    Restaurant Business
    RestaurantBev
    Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties 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/logo on the big screen in Times Square!

    Not getting ProfNet 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 #ConnectChat: Law Firm PR

    Thursday, June 5, 2014, 2:41 PM [#ConnectChat]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    A good public relations agency can help a law firm increase its brand recognition, manage its image, position its attorneys as thought leaders, and bring in new clients. Law firm PR does have its challenges, such as working in an industry with many rules around ethics and confidentiality, but lawyers have good stories to tell and the work can be both intellectually and professionally rewarding.

    For our next #ConnectChat, Kevin Aschenbrenner, senior vice president for public relations at Jaffe, a full-service marketing and PR agency serving the legal industry, will share his advice for PR pros working with law firms, as well as tips and tricks for scoring media hits for law firms.

    A 15-year veteran of legal PR, Aschenbrenner has represented several of the country’s largest law firms, as well as leading midsize firms, smaller boutiques, legal vendors and legal associations. He provides clients with a broad range of PR services, including strategic media relations, crisis communications, content marketing, and social media.

    The chat will take place Tuesday, June 10, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EDT. To follow or participate in the chat, just follow the #ConnectChat hashtag on Twitter to view all updates from @kevinaschenbren, @ProfNet and the rest of the chat participants. We'll start off with a few questions to get the conversation going, but feel free to jump in with your own questions at any point.

    If you do not have a Twitter account or won’t be able to make it to the chat, you can find a recap on ProfNet Connect the following day. To view past #ConnectChat recaps, click here.

    Upcoming PR/Media Events

    Thursday, May 29, 2014, 1:37 PM [Upcoming Events]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Event: Mergers & Acquisitions 101
    Host: Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
    Date: June 3
    Location: Online
    Summary: In this free, hour-long webinar, Amy Wu, a former reporter with The Deal LLC, will share the basics you need to tackle an M&A story on deadline. You will come away with the essential language, know-how, questions, story ideas, and tools necessary to write a basic M&A news story for your news organization.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Golden Trumpet Awards Dinner
    Host: Publicity Club of Chicago
    Date: June 4
    Location: Chicago
    Summary: You are invited to join this dinner honoring distinguished individual achievement in PR and communications. Awards are presented for excellence in planning, creativity and execution.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: IT Incident & Disaster Alerting: Using Communication to Improve Response
    Host: Everbridge
    Date: June 3
    Location: Online
    Summary: Stephanie Balaouras, vice president, research director for risk and security, Forrester Research, will explain top challenges for managing IT incident response, how communication can improve mean time to repair, why keeping stakeholders up to date is easier than you think.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: 2014 Travel and Tourism Conference
    Host: PRSA
    Date: June 8-11
    Location: Tampa, Fla.
    Summary: Designed by the PRSA Travel and Tourism Section, this event provides travel and hospitality communicators with the tools and techniques to succeed in today’s fast-paced marketplace.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: 2014 IABC World Conference
    Host: IABC
    Date: June 8-11
    Location: Toronto
    Summary: Explore new ideas on leadership, personal brand, strategic implementation, brand and marketing, reputation, employee engagement and more.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Cocktails and Conversations: The Future of Communications
    Host: NYWICI
    Date: June 11
    Location: New York
    Summary: A conversation between Sarah DaVanzo, chief cultural strategy officer, Sparks & Honey; Dana Points, Parenting magazine; and Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO, BlogHer. Moderated by Liz Kaplow, president and CEO, Kaplow.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Leadership 2.0 – Taking Your Career to the Next Level
    Host: PRSA Dallas
    Date: June 12
    Location: Dallas
    Summary: Rhonda Newman, senior partner and leader of Mercer’s Communication and Change Business, will share insights and thoughts on the skills and competencies she sees first-hand when working with Fortune 500 organizations.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Driving Greater Business Growth & Profitability Through Innovation in Our Approach to Marketing
    Host: NJ CAMA and JSPRAA
    Date: June 19
    Location: Princeton, N.J.
    Summary: Jack Gottlieb, president of The Total Solutions Group, Inc., will discuss how being innovative and creative in your marketing strategy can help your business become more profitable.
    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

    Expert Spotlight: Animal Trainer Barbara Heidenreich

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 3:05 PM [Expert Spotlight]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Each month, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet community that we think readers and reporters will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    May is National Pet Month, so for our latest Expert Spotlight, we caught up with Barbara Heidenreich, an exotic-animal trainer and animal-behavior expert who consults with zoos, nature center and other animal facilities.

    Heidenreich teaches learning theory as described by the science of behavior analysis. She is also passionate about teaching excellent animal training application skills. She has trained thousands of animals, from rats to rhinos, and volunteers her expertise to support conservation projects, The Kakapo Recovery Program and the Bird Endowment.

    In addition to training animals (and staff), Heidenreich has lectured and/or presented shows at more than 40 facilities around the world. She also lectures regularly to the veterinary community and is an adjunct clinical instructor at Texas A&M University, Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences. She is a former president of the International Associate of Avia Trainers and Educators and served on the board of directors from 1997-2009.

    She generously took some time from her European lecture tour to answer a few questions for us:

    How did you get started in this field?

    I was always interested in animals since I was a child and knew I wanted a career in the animal industry. Like many, I assumed I would become a veterinarian. However, after working in veterinary hospitals in high school, I quickly learned that path was not for me. I tried other animal-related jobs and ended up getting my degree in zoology from the University of California at Davis.

    I realized what I enjoyed most about working with animals was the relationship one could have with an animal when treated kindly. This caused me to seek a career in a zoological park. It was there I learned about training animals using force-free methodology. I worked with free flighted birds. We used training strategies that enhanced the human animal bond and also produced amazing behaviors with flighted birds. This evolved into working with other species.

    Today, I consult with zoos on animal training, working with all species. I also produce DVDs, books and workshops on animal training for people who own non-traditional companion animals, such as parrots, rabbits and guinea pigs. I am very proud to be part of the movement that is helping people have great relationships with the animals in their lives using kind and gentle training strategies.

    What fact about animal behavior would surprise most people?

    Most people think you need to discipline or punish animals for undesired behavior. My goal is for people to experience the amazing relationship you can have with animal. Using aversive experiences to punish bad behavior is not conducive to this. The good news is we have other options to address behavior problems without the use of unpleasant experiences.

    The first step is to see if you can avoid putting the animal in the situation in which it might do the undesired behavior. If not, caregivers can teach their animal to do something else that is acceptable instead. This gives the animal a behavior to do that can be positively reinforced. For example, if you don’t like it when your dog puts his paws up on the counter when you are cooking, you can teach him to sit on his bed instead. By teaching your pet what to do via positive reinforcement, instead of punishing what you don’t like, you get to be the good guy in your animal’s life instead of the bad guy. This approach helps animals learn to be well-behaved and preserves the human-animal bond.

    What has been your most exciting experience/adventure so far?

    Last summer, I quite enjoyed training a wild flock of pigeons in New York City. You can see a clip of the experience here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5gGBI6OhkY

    However, my most exciting adventure was traveling to New Zealand to work with the conservation project The Kakapo Recovery Program. Kakapo are a very endangered parrot. There are only 128 alive in the entire world. They are an unusual parrot. They are nocturnal, flightless, solitary and quite large (about 3000 grams). Helping with the conservation of such a rare and unusual species has been one of the greatest rewards of my work.

    Speaking of kakapo, I read about how you helped curb the, um, overly friendly ways of a certain head-humping rare parrot in New Zealand. Please tell us more. How did you do it, and how did it go?

    My work with the Kakapo Recovery Program started with Sirocco. Sirocco is a viral video star: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T1vfsHYiKY

    He is famous for his amorous encounter with the head of zoologist Mark Cawardine. Sirocco was hand-raised due to an illness when he was young, so has a special affinity for people. Although he roams the islands of New Zealand with other kakapo, he would ambush humans to mate with their heads. This lead to a serious injury to Sirocco when someone dislocated his leg trying to stop his relentless attempts to mate. I traveled to New Zealand to help address the problem.

    We ended up training Sirocco to do some simple behaviors like touching a chopstick with his beak and standing on a stump when cued. Initially, we reinforced these behaviors with food treats.

    The second part of the strategy was to train him to mate with something else. Climbing to people’s heads to mate always started with grabbing onto the person’s boot. We think this association caused Sirocco to quite like shoes. Therefore, we found it easy to transfer his mating behavior to a shoe.

    When Sirocco was interested in mating with someone’s head, we could cue him to touch the chopstick or hop on the stump and reinforce this by offering the shoe. This gave us a way to manage his undesired behavior by asking for an acceptable one, and also provide him with the reinforcer he was seeking, sex. This was a very positive outcome for everyone.

    At the moment, Sirocco is not important to the gene pool so there are no plans for him to be trained to mate with female kakapo. Instead he will continue his role as ambassador bird for the Kakapo Recovery Program. My work with him also involved helping to learn a few behaviors that help him in his role as spokes bird for the project.

    Has there ever been an animal you haven’t been able to train?

    Every animal has the potential to learn. It is important for survival. There may be limitations on what an animal can learn based on its natural history. For example, I can’t train a goldfish to fly, but animals are always learning, whether we are noticing how we are influencing behavior or not. Therefore all animals can be trained to some extent.

    What are you working on now?

    I will be heading back to New Zealand for more work with the Kakapo Recovery Program. Several chicks were hatched this year and we intend to incorporate some training in their early stages of development to prepare them for health care in the future and some may follow Sirocco’s path of helping raise awareness for the project.

    I am also producing more products for the companion animal community. I have a guinea-pig training DVD coming out soon (here is a sneak peek of my guinea pigs playing basketball: www.youtube.com/watch?v=046lujOgBy8), a few more parrot training DVDs started, and a book on its way that will appeal to many pet owners.

    Of course, in between work on these projects, I am traveling around the world teaching animal training workshops, making appearances on radio and TV, and helping spread the word about the benefits of force-free animal training.

    Is there anything else you’d like us to include?

    I regularly share my adventures in animal training on my social media, blog and with my mailing list. If you are interested in animal training and behavior, I would greatly enjoy connecting with you.

    Twitter: twitter.com/GoodBirdInc
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/GoodBirdInc
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/barbara-heidenreich...
    YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/GoodBirdInc

    Media: To get in touch with Heidenreich, email her at Barb@GoodBirdInc.com or visit her website for additional contact info.

    Upcoming PR/Media Events

    Friday, May 16, 2014, 1:03 PM [Upcoming Events]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Event: How HuffPost Creates Value With Communities
    Host: HuffPost Code
    Date: May 21
    Location: New York
    Summary: Tim McDonald, director of community at the Huffington Post, will discuss how HuffPost manages to deliver value to the company and its community, which hosts 70,000 bloggers and 300 million comments.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Unlocking the Value of Social Media: Making the Most of Your Brand’s Digital Content
    Host: HPRMS
    Date: May 21
    Location: New York
    Summary: Chip Garner, VP of digital strategies at Rubenstein Communications, will provide tools and tips for unlocking the resources to create a steady stream of shareable, clickable and valuable social content.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Ascend 2014
    Host: Canadian Public Relations Society
    Date: May 25
    Location: Toronto
    Summary: This annual professional development conference will feature a combination of keynote speakers and workshops to support professional development in the field of public relations, and provides a networking opportunity with some of the top PR practitioners from across Canada.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: How Domino’s Broke All the Rules of Traditional Marketing to Turn Its Brand Around
    Host: IABC Detroit
    Date: May 28
    Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
    Summary: Tim McIntyre, vice president of communications for Domino’s Pizza, will discuss how the company established credibility and transparency with a groundbreaking campaign that began in 2010.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: 2014 Presidents Award Luncheon
    Host: PRSA Cincinnati
    Date: May 29
    Location: Cincinnati
    Summary: PRSA Cincinnati Past Presidents will honor Anthony Muñoz of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation for his efforts to mentally, physically and spiritually impact the lives of tri-state youth. The foundation has touched the lives of more than 30,000 youth, and counting.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Mergers & Acquisitions 101
    Host: Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
    Date: June 3
    Location: Online
    Summary: In this free, hour-long webinar, Amy Wu, a former reporter with The Deal LLC, will share the basics you need to tackle an M&A story on deadline. You will come away with the essential language, know-how, questions, story ideas, and tools necessary to write a basic M&A news story for your news organization.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: Golden Trumpet Awards Dinner
    Host: Publicity Club of Chicago
    Date: June 4
    Location: Chicago
    Summary: You are invited to join this dinner honoring distinguished individual achievement in PR and communications. Awards are presented for excellence in planning, creativity and execution.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: 2014 Travel and Tourism Conference
    Host: PRSA
    Date: June 8-11
    Location: Tampa, Fla.
    Summary: Designed by the PRSA Travel and Tourism Section, this event provides travel and hospitality communicators with the tools and techniques to succeed in today’s fast-paced marketplace.
    Complete event info here.

    Event: 2014 IABC World Conference
    Host: IABC
    Date: June 8-11
    Location: Toronto
    Summary: Explore new ideas on leadership, personal brand, strategic implementation, brand and marketing, reputation, employee engagement and more.
    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

    ProfNet for Small Businesses

    Thursday, May 15, 2014, 3:03 PM [ProfNet]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    As a small-business owner, you know how hard it can be to get the media’s attention, especially when up against major companies with large marketing and PR budgets. But what if you knew what journalists were working on so you could offer yourself up as an expert source for their articles?

    ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire, can help you do just that. We have been helping expert sources connect with journalists since 1992, and our subscribers have been quoted in hundreds of thousands of news articles since then.

    How It Works

    As a ProfNet subscriber, you’ll receive emails with requests from writers at major newspapers, consumer magazines, trade magazines, TV/radio programs, blogs, b-to-b websites and more. You control how frequently you want to receive queries, and the topics on which you’re interested in contributing.

    If you are able to help the reporter with his/her request, simply reply directly to the reporter via the email address he/she has included in the query.

    Here are a few examples* of small-business queries that ran recently over ProfNet:

    *Reporter contact info removed


    The Cost

    Small-business memberships start at about $55 a month, and you can choose to pay monthly, quarterly or annually. In addition to reporter queries, ProfNet membership also includes Expert Alerts, a newsletter sent to reporters with info on experts who are available to talk about timely news topics; and a profile on ProfNet Connect, our online experts database.

    Want to give it a try? Contact a ProfNet representative via our online form to get more information or request a free, two-week trial.

    Additional Resources

    In addition to ProfNet, PR Newswire offers an array of services tailored to the needs of small businesses via PR Toolkit, the ultimate resource for your small business.

    In the meantime, here is some recommended reading to find out more about how ProfNet can help you become an industry thought leader:

    Questions? Leave a comment below or contact us by email at profnet@profnet.com.

    Happy pitching!

    ASJA 2014: Recapping the Recaps

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 2:32 PM [Event Recaps]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) hosted its annual conference last month in New York, and we've been posting recaps of a few panels we were able to attend.

    If you missed any of the recaps, here’s a link to all of them:

    Sassy Sentences and Wicked Good Prose: How to Craft Better Writing: San Francisco-based journalist Constance Hale shares her tips for perking up your writing in surprising ways.

    Social Media Crash Course: Write Tweets People Read: Social media experts from BuzzFeed and The New York Times share their insight.

    The Hero's Journey: The Fiction Foundation for Great Nonfiction Interviews: Writer Mary-Kate Mackey shares tips for nonfiction writers.

    Taking Control of Your Book’s Success: A Self-Publishing Primer: A panel of bestselling authors and book publishing professionals cover the basics of self-publishing.

    So You Want to Be a Bestselling Novelist: Diane O’Connell, a book development expert and former Random House editor, led this workshop.

    Humor Writing for Yuks (and Bucks!): A panel of writers talk about how to add humor to your writing.

    Meet the Masters: The Art of Science Writing: This panel featured Carl Zimmer, who writes a weekly column for the New York Times and a blog, The Loom, for National Geographic; and Pamela Weintraub, the neuroscience and longform acquisitions editor at Aeon and contributing editor at Discover.

    Recordings of the 40+ individual sessions are also available at $10 for ASJA members and $15 for nonmembers (or $200/$250 for the full set). Visit www.softconference.com/ASJA/slist.asp?C=... for a link to all the available recordings.

    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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