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What is ProfNet?
ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire, has been connecting reporters, authors and bloggers with expert sources since 1992, at no charge. We are the only expert-sourcing service that provides reporters with query filtering options, along with an experts database that features tens of thousands of subject-matter experts, and a daily e-newsletter featuring story ideas on a variety of topics.
As a reporter, you simply submit your request for expert sources or information via our online form, and we distribute your query via e-mail to tens of thousands of subscribers. If a subscriber is, or represents, an expert who has the expertise you need, he/she will e-mail you directly with the expert's information.
If you are already a registered user of PR Newswire for Journalists, you may also submit a ProfNet query by logging on to the site and clicking on the "ProfNet Experts" tab.
Additional Query Options
When you submit your query, you may choose to send to specific institution types (colleges and universities, PR agencies, legislative offices, hospitals, etc.) and to specific geographic areas (by continent, country, state). Our editors then "code" each query so it reaches only the appropriate experts.
You may also choose to "cloak" your query. Cloaking means we omit the publication name from the query, and instead only provide a generic description of the publication (e.g., national women's magazine, Northeast daily, regional business journal). If you are a freelancer, we do still include your name and e-mail address in the query -- the only information we cloak is the publication name. If you are on staff and your e-mail address identifies the publication/news outlet, we will withhold your name and e-mail address. When members respond to your query, they will do so via the ProfNet Web site.
If you are on a tight (same-day) deadline, you may also opt to post your query on ProfNet's Twitter page, followed by thousands of experts and their PR representatives. To choose Twitter posting, just include "Ok for Twitter" in the "Additional Info" field of the query form. Because Twitter is a public site, we will only post your query on Twitter upon your approval.
ProfNet is not just for finding experts -- reporters may use the service to find "real people," product information and review samples, statistics and more. All reporter requests can be submitted using the regular query form.
ProfNet members have agreed to reply to reporters only when they have the expertise the reporter requests. On the off chance you are contacted off-topic, please contact ProfNet's editorial group at email@example.com and we will contact the member on your behalf.
In addition to submitting a query, or if you are on immediate deadline or do not want to reveal the details of your search to all our members, you may also find experts by searching ProfNet's Experts Database, which contains tens of thousands of experts searchable by keyword.
Searching the Experts Database requires registration, which is free. To register, go to http://media.prnewswire.com and click on "Don't have an account? Register now." Once your registration has gone through, click on the "ProfNet Experts" tab and then on "Search Expert." You will then be able to search by keyword, along with institution type and region.
Expert Alerts & Roundups
As a reporter, you may also subscribe to ProfNet's free Expert Alerts emails, which feature story ideas from experts who can discuss timely news topics.
For example, a reporter covering legal topics can subscribe to receive our Government & Law alerts feed, which is distributed on Wednesday afternoons. An example of a legal alert follows:
LAW: New Patent Rules Equal New Strategies for Lawyers, Companies.
Jim Murphy, intellectual property attorney with Thompson & Knight: "New rules designed to make the government's patent examination process more efficient likely will force significant change in the way some companies and attorneys manage the process. The rules essentially place limits on the number of continuations that can be filed and on the number of claims that can be made for each application without penalty. It will make it much more expensive and more difficult to justify stringing cases along as a protective or competitive strategy, requiring firms to make a more precise initial set of claims." Murphy cautions that it may take at least a year to assess the full impact of the new rules, which go into effect Nov. 1. Contact: …
As a subscriber, Expert Roundups also gather various experts on breaking news topics. Examples of recent expert roundups on breaking news: State of the Union, the Super Bowl, SOPA; and Facebook IPO.
Alerts are sent according to the following feed schedule*:
Mondays: Business, Finance & Technology
Wednesdays: Government, Law, Education & Science
Thursdays: Health, Living & Entertainment
* Subject to change, depending on volume and breaking news.
Expert roundups are sent as news breaks.
To subscribe to any Expert Alerts edition or Roundups, email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate which feed(s) you want to receive.
If you need assistance with any area of ProfNet, or have any questions regarding the service, please contact our editorial staff at email@example.com or 800-PROFNET (800-776-3638), ext. 1.
Please note that if you are an expert source and looking for information on becoming a member, please visit the ProfNet site.