ROLODEX JUST EXPLODED!!!
By Jonathan Evans
How many times in the past year did you scramble to find experts
to help tell
a story about a news topic? How many of you had Anthrax or
experts in your files prior to the events of last fall? If
you're a ProfNet
user, it wouldn't have mattered. ProfNet is a free (yes, totally
service for journalists to find experts on any subject under
the sun. Need a
Doctor to discuss asthma? A sports
expert to discuss World Cup mania? A psychologist for a story
on why people
molest kids, put razors in playgrounds, build pipe bombs or
go on shooting
rampages? How about help in explaining Enron or the California
ProfNet can help. And it's so easy to use.
HOW IT'S SET UP:
ProfNet is a network linking journalists with PIO's and other
PR reps from
ove 10,000 institutions. Originally these were Universities
name). Today, ProfNet includes research labs, think tanks,
non-profits, PR agencies, businesses and other entities.
HOW IT WORKS:
Online: Go to www.prnewswire.com/media
and click on the blue EXPERTS tab.
You may also call them at 1-800-PROFNET. There are two main
ways of finding
1. Send a query: Basically this will send your question
to relevant PIO's.
If you have a healthcare question, for example, it'll go to
UCLA, USC, Mayo,
John's Hopkins, etc. They process these and find out internally
anyone who matches the expertise you seek. If you want to
keep it local,
simply say so in your message. You're query will still reach
UCLA & USC, but
also Wellpoint, AIDS Project LA, John Wayne and 88 other local
medical companies, and healthcare organizations. There are
over 1,600 PIO
contacts in greater L.A., covering every imaginable topic,
and ready to
process your queries. Sending a query is the most thorough
way of searching,
as it reaches the most people. The only drawback for TV types
is timing. If
you need someone in ten minutes, 90% of the experts won't
have even read
their email by then. So if you have some time, use the query
you need someone yesterday...
2. Use the database: Many ProfNet organizations have
begun profiling key
experts in our database. You can search by keyword, and up
pops a list of
names. Click on these and you'll find a full profile of the
their contact information so you can call them right away.
There are several other features on ProfNet. While in the
example, you can save people to your own personal online file
If you want to be kept abreast of hot topics in business and
may sign up for a once-weekly round-up of story ideas in these
Spend some time poking around and doing some searches.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact ProfNet direct,
or myself at
213-244-9053 or email@example.com