PRSA Phoenix’s media breakfasts are back and better than ever!
Of course, I am biased, given two of my very favorite PR rock stars Kim Cole, who oversees all communications for the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Troon North, and LaTricia “LT” Woods, owner of Mahogany Xan Communications, are now heading up the bi-monthly programs.
Talk about coming out of the gates swinging. For their first media breakfast, Cole and Woods focused on the diverse outlets in our state, inviting some of the most highly respected Tribal, African-American and Hispanic media to share insights on how their newsrooms work and how to best get their attention.
For those who missed it, here is a little recap:
Marcy Luganob of Telemundo
Since taking the reigns as assignment manager of Telemundo in Arizona this past summer, long-time Valley TV vet – formerly of both KTVK TV 3 and CBS 5 – Luganob has worked hard to re-imagine how the leading Spanish-language television station tells its stories. For her, the days of covering house and car fires are over. Instead, she is working with her team to tell stories about the community with a heavy focus on human interest profiles and angles.
A great example: during yesterday’s shootings in Mesa, her aim was to keep her viewers safe and provide advice on areas to avoid while the gunman was still at-large rather than simply report on the shootings themselves.
So, what’s the best way to get her attention?
Email, of course. But, don’t just send it to her. Instead, there is now a universal email address that goes to every single member of her newsroom, ensuring her entire team has the chance to read your pitch, news release or calendar alert. Luganob also noted she is ALWAYS on Twitter here seeking out stories – so get social with her!
And guess what?
While they prefer Spanish-speaking spokespeople, her team is absolutely open to story pitches and even on-air speakers in English. To Luganob, the story is the primary focus.
Finally, a fascinating fact about Luganob: Her life began as an abandoned newborn in the Philippines. She lived her first four years of life in a Catholic-run orphanage and was finally adopted on her fourth birthday. Her adopted parents were Benny and Margie Luganob, and they lived on the island of Guam with their daughter, Holly. Most of her childhood years were spent on Guam and in the mid-1980s, her family moved to Tucson. Oh, and yes, she is a UA Wildcat. But don’t hold that against her!
Deb Krol, Freelance Writer and Heard Museum Public Relations
Though a proud Jolon Salinan Indian, Krol is quick to note that she is a journalist who happens to be Native American, not a strictly Native American journalist. In fact, while she is well-known for her Tribal writings and work at the Heard Museum, Krol has written for the New York Daily News and several others on about every single topic imaginable – except play-by-play sports.
She is not about romanticizing her people – or any culture. A self-proclaimed “Human B.S. Detector,” she wants to write well-researched, credible stories above all else.
A fun fact about Krol: She LOVES purple! As a fellow purple lover, it was hard not to notice and ask about her purple eye shadow, purple umbrella and sassy purple outfit.
Maritza Lizeth Félix, Prensa Hispaña
Presna Hispaña prints an eye-popping 65,000 copies of its highly rated, Spanish-language newspaper each week. And…though admittedly still a work in progress… Félix is helping the publication move to engage more and more on social platforms.
Given she is a two-time honoree as The New Times’ Top Spanish-Language Journalist in Arizona, seems the paper is in good hands.
And yes, it is in HER hands. Currently between additional reporters and writers, Félix is very much a one-woman-band right now. But, that doesn’t stop her from responding to every single person who emails her a story idea – yes, every single person – no matter what.
Don’t believe her – pitch her right now here.
Just be sure that if you are pitching her a story – and yes, it can be in English as she can translate – to either give her several weeks’ notice (after all, they are a weekly) or focus on a non-breaking news topic important to the Hispanic community, especially health topics.
Oh, and never call her on Wednesdays – she is on deadline. And don’t call her more than once – she got the message and will get back to you when she can.
A fun fact about Fèlix: She just had twins! Inspired by her little ones, as soon as she has a second of free time, she plans to start a blog focused on raising twins as well.
Laura Gómez, La Voz
While relatively new to Arizona, she is already making her mark on La Voz. As one of only two reporters for the publication, she has her hands in nearly every beat at the weekly outlet. In addition to Gómez and her fellow print reporter, they also have two paid online producers, which is part of their growing online strategy for news reporting.
In fact, in case you didn’t notice, the Gannet-owned La Voz re-launched its website about a year ago as AZ Central did (and in much the same style), giving them the ability to tell breaking news stories along with more in-depth pieces. It also gives them the opportunity to spotlight events via online galleries and even utilize video. They even have a mobile app!
Given all of this, she loves PR folks who send social media hashtags and handles along with their story ideas and news releases so she can engage once the story is printed or posted. Like Felix, she is also open to covering events, especially those that are family friendly and arts/music focused.
And, surprise again, Gómez can translate stories and releases into Spanish – if you can only send in English, then that is fine! Of course, she prefers stories with a strong Latino connection, but be sure not to go too far in trying to make a connection to a Hispanic angle.
A fun fact about Gómez: Her last gig was a big one – she worked for the Boston Globe on the East Coast before making her move to Arizona.
Cloves Campbell, Arizona Informant
While he usually only gets up this early for golf (I hear ya!), Campbell was happy to come meet with local PR folks in person and share the story of his iconic newspaper.
The Arizona Informant was actually founded by Campbell’s father, Cloves Sr., more than 40 years ago. Since 1971, the Arizona Informant has provided an important voice for the Black community throughout the state. Published every Wednesday, the Arizona Informant Newspaper is the only African-American owned weekly newspaper in the state.
Campbell’s dad and uncle actually purchased the Arizona Informant in 1971 for $1! Having the opportunity to go to the small, cramped office on 9th Street and Van Buren, Campbell saw a small community newspaper from the ground up. Watching his family spend so much of their time and money to get the paper to bed every week really showed him how committed they were. Campbell got involved early, delivering papers door-to-door every week with his dad in their VW Beetle. Campbell remembers one time his dad dropped him off in an apartment complex he knew was full of dogs. His dad sat calmly in the car waiting for Campbell; he came running out to the car tossing his load of papers to the ground as a pack of small dogs chased the poor kid! Campbell never saw his dad laugh harder than at that moment. From then on, Campbell was hooked, performing every duty from janitor to now, publisher.
A great insight he also provided: While the Informant is, indeed, an African-American media outlet, it is read by everyone from black to white to Asian to Hispanic, and everything in between.
A fun fact about Campbell: One of only two men at the media breakfast, he was the best-dressed of everyone – male or female – in a full-on high-end suit. Oh, and he has also had the honor of introducing President Obama and been a guest at the White House.