Q&A: What do journalists want?

Good press, we all know its value. It drives revenue, increases awareness, establishes credibility, creates new opportunities, distinguishes a company from its peers. It’s what companies come to us for.

To offer insight on the inner workings of journalism today we enlisted a journalist we know and respect to share “5 Things to Know About Working With Journalists.”

Laura DunnLaura Dunn is an experienced communications and digital practitioner. Laura has been featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, The Daily Beast, Politico and the Western Mail. Laura also writes for Fortune and BuzzFeed. She is the founder of Political Style, a global fashion, politics and lifestyle blog. With over 8 years of experience working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, Laura is passionate about the transformative power of digital media and how new technology and techniques can help businesses and individuals to clearly communicate with their stakeholders. Laura has worked in institutions including the US House of Representatives, The National Assembly for Wales and the UK Parliament, and with clients based across the UK, USA and Asia Pacific.

Laura was named as one of Wales Online’s 35 Under 35 entrepreneurs to watch in 2015, and one of 16 individuals to watch in 2016. Laura was a double finalist in the inaugural Wales Entrepreneur Awards.


  1. Do you feel that journalism has changed since you started your career? If you could do it all over again, would you still pursue journalism?

Since I studied for my degree in Journalism at Cardiff University, the landscape has totally changed. We are now obviously digitally focused, with the dominance of social media, blogs and video completely transforming the way we communicate. I originally wanted to be a newspaper journalist, but early work experience placements set off the alarm bells and I could see the way in which the industry was headed. That’s why I headed straight into blogging and haven’t looked back.

I would definitely study journalism again, and the course I took has helped me in my professional path. If you have a passion for writing and telling a story, these interests can be applied to any field.


  1. What are the biggest challenges of digital journalism?

The biggest challenge of digital journalism is keeping up to speed with the next ‘big thing’ and being the first to report or try something out. In blogging this means being active on the most popular social media platforms, and not being afraid to try out new ways of telling stories and communicating with followers.

Finding fresh things to write about is always a challenge, but it is part of what makes digital journalism a fun path to follow.


  1. What are your pet peeves when being contacted by people pitching you to write about them or their clients? Do you have any advice for people who want to pitch you?

I really dislike being sent pitches that are not relevant to the areas in which I write about as well as being signed up for mailing lists and updates of which I have no interest. Another bug bear is when incomplete information is sent back to me – and this particularly happens when receiving pitches for my independent contributions to Huff Post! Similarly, follow up after follow up becomes absolutely frustrating and will turn me off from working with someone in the future.

My advice for pitchers would be to read all the information you are sent, respect a deadline/time frame that is given (it’s given for a reason!) and follow up sparingly and don’t become a pest.


  1.  What makes a pitch pique your interest?

I look for interesting stories or angles that appeal to my interests and what my followers like to read. A well written pitch doesn’t have to be long or over the top, it needs to be relevant and show personalization for my interests and body of work.

The best pitches are those which contain all the information you need, with the pitcher showing that they’ve done their research on your past posts, structure and your interests.


  1. What’s your advice to people who want to pursue journalism?

For those looking to become a journalist I say start early. Create a portfolio as soon as possible, and ensure it is digital. You don’t need to be a whizz at creating a website, use free sites such as WordPress which provide portfolio style templates and can help you present your work professionally. Look to contribute to websites that are relevant to your areas of interest, and also create a blog where you can develop your own style of writing and creative media.

Look for internships or work placements at local publications, hyperlocal sites or anywhere that will let you get out and interview people. Don’t be afraid to dream big and apply for big name placements or even start your own newspaper or magazine. Creativity is key.

It’s also important that you read as much as you can- newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, thought leadership to understand the different style and broaden your mind to the many possibilities journalism can offer.


*Fun question: Do you have a favorite journalist whose work inspires you?

My favourite journalists are Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour, Lyse Douchet – all for their tenacity and grit to tell a story. In the online space, Arianna Huffington is so inspirational and I’m excited to see where her new business adventure, Thrive Global ends up!

Go Trexx founder lists top 10 cities with holiday light shows

The top ten cities with holiday light shows this year include lesser-known cities like St. Augustine, Florida and Clifton, Ohio, according to Go Trexx founder Samantha Lurey’s Huffington Post blog. City workers are hustling across America, decorating for thousands of expected visitors for whom the magic of the season is reflected in the glow of millions of lights.  Predictably, New York City topped Lurey’s list, thanks to Rockefeller Center’s iconic Christmas Tree, among other lighting events.

Founded in 2011, Go Trexx is a developer of entertaining travel applications designed for children ages 7 – 12 to maximize their understanding and enjoyment of popular historical sites and points of interest at global travel destinations. Each destination-specific app features curious travel facts, educational trivia, customizable postcards and family conversation starters that give users a deeper understanding of the sites they are visiting. Go Trexx applications are available for both Apple and Android platforms.

November 20th, 2012|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , |

State of Oregon First to Adopt National Certification for Medical Interpreters

By Louis Provenzano
Language Line Services
As posted on The Huffington Post

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters announced today that the State of Oregon has become the first state in the nation to officially adopt and endorse the Certification for Medical Interpreters (CMI) through the National Board.

Patients in the United States with limited English proficiency (LEP) continue to face language barriers that threaten their health and undermine their well-being. This first of its kind national interpreting standard provides professional interpreters working in the medical field with the opportunity to be tested and credentialed as certified interpreters.

The Oregon Office of Multicultural Health & Services also has awarded a grant to the National Board for the development of oral certification exams in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian. CMI launched the first national certification exam for Spanish in October 2009.

“By embracing the National Board’s standards and supporting its expansion for five additional languages, Oregon is saving considerable time and resources to achieve our goal of ensuring the safety of LEP patients,” said David Cardona, MD, MPH, Healthcare Interpreter Program Coordinator for the Oregon Office of Multicultural Health & Services. “Oregon is ready to bring the benefits of medical interpreter certification to our state, where the LEP population has nearly tripled since 1990.”

Hopefully, this will be the first of many states to make this monumental change that recognizes and solidifies the vision and work of many individuals, organizations and supporters.

This accomplishment could never have been achieved without the vision, passion and support of the International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA) who have worked tirelessly in support of the National Board to achieve this major milestone and historical first. Language Line Services is proud to be not just a part of this industry-evolving-event, but a catalyst and change-agent throughout this entire process.

Louis Provenzano is President and Chief Operating Officer of Language Line Services, the world’s leading provider of language-based services.

Louis Provenzano

December 24th, 2010|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , |

Congress: Don't Wait to Extend HIRE Act Before it Expires

By Brandon Edwards
The Tax Credit Company
As posted on The Huffington Post

As the dust settles on the tax deal, let’s hope our legislators don’t forget about the 15 million unemployed Americans who can use some help getting back to work. Lower income taxes don’t really matter if one doesn’t have an income.

One of the most significant hiring incentive programs of the past decade has been the bi-partisan Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which provides payroll tax savings and income tax credits to both for-profit and non-profit employers that hire people who have been unemployed. The highly touted program has received praise from both sides of the aisle as an important part of the government’s job creation agenda.

As recently as a few weeks ago, President Obama was including an extension of the program in the tax package, part of the “Obama Tax Cuts.” The program provides an average of $1,200 (and up to $7,600) in tax benefits per qualified employee hired by almost any private employer in the United States since February of 2010. The recently passed tax bill, however, replaces the HIRE Act incentive with a 2 percent employee payroll tax holiday. This approach, while providing a temporary boost to consumer spending power, does not replace the incentive to businesses to hire new employees.


December 21st, 2010|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , , |