Our purpose with this series is to educate readers on how to more effectively pitch reporters and garner media hits. We hope you find this series useful. Please leave any comments or questions below!
In this edition of the HLS, we interviewed Mike Michalowicz, a writer for several well-respected media outlets.
1. What beats/topics do you normally write about? Why do these particular subjects interest you?
I write daily for American Express Open Forum, ToiletPaperEntrepreneur.com and MikeMichalowicz.com. I also do guest articles for business magazines and sites periodically. I was also a columnist for the Small Business section of The Wall Street Journal for three years.
2. What is your favorite part about your job?
I love to find the hidden success secrets that entrepreneurs have and sometimes don’t even realize it themselves.
3. What is your least favorite part about your job?
I can honestly say I love everything I do, and can’t think of a least favorite part. Perhaps going without sleep sucks, but that rarely happens.
4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
I am unique from a traditional journalist, since I am an author of books. Ironically, I get challenged on my ability to write as well as a journalist, since I am an author first. The nice thing is the more that I write, the less that challenge presents itself.
5. How has the journalism field changed since you first started writing and what are you doing to adapt?
There is definitely a slant to play into social media. Headlines are more catchy and designed to be more shocking or controversial.
6. When did you first learn of HARO and how has it changed your job?
I learned of HARO back in the Facebook days. It has given me the ability to find sources and experts easily and the opportunity to find new people, without going back to the usual suspects every time.
7. Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to PR professionals pitching you a story?
My pet peeve with PR pitches is that they share a long rambling bio about the person they are pitching and how great they are. It is just like a resume– they are all the same and always a glowing representation of the person. I skip the bios and go right to the response to my query.
8. What tips or pointers would you offer to PR professionals looking to pitch you a story?
Keep the person’s bio to one line and give a link, so I can decide to get more. Then, keep the pitch to one or two sentences. Finally, give me two forms of contact– a phone number and an email. I definitely play favorites to concise pitches. I will interview for all the details.
9. Does social media play a role in your job? If so, how big of a role?
Social media is a great platform for me to research sources and experts and judge how active they are in their field of expertise.
10. Where can people find you in the social media universe? (Twitter handle, LinkedIn, etc) Do you welcome people pitching you via social media?
- Twitter: @MikeMichalowicz
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/mikemichalowicz
- My website has all my contact info: www.MikeMichalowicz.com
11. What advice would you give someone who is looking to get started in the journalism field?
Write about what you love. Passion for your field brings out the best of you. No question
If you’d like to be featured in the HARO Limelight series as a member of the media or a source, email: laura(at)helpareporter(dot)com.