With a TWIST!
No, we aren’t posting story pitch tips or media lists, but instead great stories from the media themselves about their lives, their work and other little known facts! Think of it as your first “networking” opportunity of the week!
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from: Kelly Mixer, managing editor of the Ahwatukee Foothills News and East Valley Tribune newspapers.
So, Kelly, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
In my more than 22-year professional career, mostly in journalism at both daily and community newspapers, I took nearly five years off to work in public relations. I continue today as volunteer PR director and member of the Friends for Life Animal Rescue Board of Directors in Gilbert. I believe the best PR people are former journalists because they understand what editors want and need, and how we want it (emails, don’t bury the lead or location, no attachments, give us photos we can print if we ask for them). That’s another topic I could write about forever, but let me just say that my biggest pet peeve from PR professionals is when I get press releases for “First Annual” events. There is no such thing, it’s an inaugural event and cannot be classified as annual until it has been hosted for two consecutive years (sorry, just had to get that one off my chest).
I was born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis and since I worked for HMA during some of my previous PR days Scott Hanson and Abbie Fink will both tell you I’m a diehard St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan so any mention of that always gets my attention. I love the Valley of Sun though and have lived and worked here now for nearly 17 years.
Now, on to the meat of why I’m writing today: Freedom of the press. This topic is essential, but in community newspapers such as the Ahwatukee Foothills News (AFN) and East Valley Tribune (EVT) newspapers - which include the Mesa Tribune, Gilbert Tribune and Chandler Tribune (part of the 1013 Communications family) - we value the freedom of our readers, community and business leaders, among others to get the chance to contribute opinions, letters to the editor and specialty advice columns to the pages of the AFN and EVT.
Most local newspapers in our state have eliminated this opportunity and that’s a shame. As managing editor of these community newspapers I put together the Opinion pages and all of our guest submitted articles written by local community professionals. I’ve been told that it’s often the most read part of our newspapers from readers who appreciate that we publish other voices and community professional advice from everything to health, finance, education, pets, sports and religion. It’s something we pride ourselves in as a COMMUNITY newspaper.
We STILL want to hear from you. So please keep your OPINIONS coming. I know we don’t all agree, that’s evident any day of the week you pick up our newspapers or go online to www.ahwatukee.com or www.eastvalleytribune.com, but isn’t that what makes America great?
I’ve never been more proud to be at the helm of such reader-embraced community newspapers as the AFN and EVT. Some people have asked me why I stay in a dying business and I remind them that I’m in COMMUNITY journalism and that it’s actually a thriving business because our readers want to hear about what’s going on in THEIR community. And they sure want to be able to make a comment or two if they feel the need.