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Yesterday, Abbie, Alison, Kendra, Stephanie and I had the pleasure of attending the PRSA media breakfast featuring a panel from AZ Big Media - Mike Gossie, editor of Arizona Business Magazine, Peter Madrid, editor of Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine (AZRE) and Kristine Cannon, assistant editor of AZ Business Magazine/Scottsdale Living Magazine.

The event took place at the Hotel Valley Ho in the Sands Conference Room (formerly Trader Vic’s – available to rent for your next big event, BTW). The panel discussed how they got started in the biz and what they are currently looking for in their wide array of publications; which include the ones mentioned above as well as Ranking Arizona, People to Know, Experience AZ, Touchdown AZ and Creative Designer.

Interesting side note: both Mike and Peter started out as sports reporters before covering business news, both share an interest in the arts and Mike even created and sold his own Italian sauce business – who knew?!

The most popular features in Arizona Business Magazine are the Alpha Woman and First Job stories. Mike suggested when pitching to take the time to get to know each of their publications in order to determine which one would be the best fit for your story. He also said to not hesitate to ask what they have coming up. All magazine publications also have a 2 month lead time so be sure to keep that in mind when pitching for upcoming issues (they are currently putting AZ Business Magazine’s January/February issue to bed).

Peter talked about AZRE and their need for commercial real estate stories. This could include construction, economic development, new projects, sustainability, healthcare news, etc... The recently launched is looking for articles that are more “look ahead” stories, most likely to be featured on the “Industry Insider” section of the site. AZRE also features an “Afterhours” feature that profiles how someone in commercial real estate spends their time when they are off-the-clock. Some of the questions on these profiles include:

Favorite travel destinations you’ve been to and places you’d like to see?

What did you think you’d be when you were growing up?

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Kristine talked about her responsibilities as the assistant editor. She updates the websites and tries to find homes for releases sent her way. If something doesn’t work for a magazine, Kristine will try her best to find a good place for it online. She is also looking for monthly columnists on topics ranging from marketing and finance to education and sustainability, in addition to any stories on health, beauty, lifestyle, home, garden and design for Scottsdale Living, which will launch in January and remain a quarterly publication. If you do send a release or story to Kristine, make sure it has not been published anywhere online because she will not be able to use it – at the very least rewrite it if the story has been seen elsewhere.

All three of the panelists agreed that they welcome all calendar listings and event invitations.

As for how the panel prefers to be contacted –they all agreed they prefer email, but Peter wouldn’t mind a meeting at a local Starbucks, too.

Last but not least, kudos to Alison who has chaired these events for the past 4-5 years – she did an amazing job on her farewell breakfast. We’re excited to see what the line-up for next year will be as Beth Cochran and our own Kendra Schultz take the media breakfast helm in 2012.



Brittany Richardson
Brittany Richardson
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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