ProfNet Experts Available on Crowdfunding, Holiday Retail, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Nov 11, 2013, 18:16 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • Holiday Retail – Popular Movies, Innovation Driving Greater Interest in Girls' Toys
  • Risks Associated With Online Shopping
  • Thursday Is the New Black Friday
  • Which Crowdfunding Model is Best?


  • Editorial Writer – The Augusta Chronicle (GA)
  • Staff Editor – The Hollywood Reporter (CA)
  • Director of Online Content Products – PR Newswire (NJ)


  • Media 411: Can Newspapers Still Be Considered Mass Media?
  • Blog Notes: Tech, Men's Lifestyle, Personal Finance Blogs
  • Fraud Solutions Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple


Holiday Retail – Popular Movies, Innovation Driving Greater Interest in Girls' Toys
Janet Wagner
Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Excellence in Service
University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
"Girls' toys are selling better than toys for boys. Look for this trend to continue through the holiday season. Innovation is driving some of the demand for girls' toys. Nerf Rebelle, a foam dart blaster toy is marketed specifically to girls, who are showing more interest in archery – a skill demonstrated by female characters in movies such as 'Brave' and 'The Hunger Games.' As for boys, interest in licensed character-based toys is motivated through movies and video games, such as 'Skylanders' and 'Infinity,' they can play on tablets on mobile devices."
Wagner, a "Reviewer of the Year" for the Journal of Consumer Research, is an expert on service marketing management with a focus on how service firms build relationships with their customers.  
Media Contact: Greg Muraski,

Risks Associated With Online Shopping
Bob Bunge
College of Engineering & Information Sciences
DeVry University
"As the popularity of online shopping continues to skyrocket, so do the opportunities for hackers to steal personal information. Online shoppers need to be aware of the risks associated with e-commerce and take proactive steps to protect themselves."
Bunge is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, Information Security Association and Cloud Security Alliance and serves as a member of the governance committee for the National Cybersecurity Competition Federation. He supports the Seattle-Tacoma professional community through service as a Technology Advisory Council member for Congressman Adam Smith, small-business advisor at William Factory Small Business Incubator and research affiliate for the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at University of Washington.
Media Contact: Kristin Lane,

Thursday Is the New Black Friday
Eugene Fram
Emeritus Marketing Professor, Saunders College of Business
Rochester Institute of Technology
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken a back seat to Black Thursday, when many stores will open their doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving Day. Says Fram: "We live in a consumption oriented society. Many shoppers place material acquisition ahead of holiday traditions and any concern for retail employers. Our 'shop anywhere, anytime' culture demands it, and retailers have no choice but to appease customers."
Retail expert Fram says the delayed "feasting" on a national holiday has become a shopping marathon for a couple of reasons: 1) Everybody loves a bargain. If you know them, it is easy to spot people with assets in the millions shopping at Wal-Mart and other discount locations. 2) Retail must follow customer social norms. Stores are simply responding to the desires of their customers. Several chains like Target and Best Buy were evidently successful last year with the early openings.
Media Contact: Marcia Morphy,

Which Crowdfunding Model is Best?
Sally Outlaw
Co-founder and CEO
"With the growing number of crowdfunding options – rewards-based, equity, debt and royalty – it is becoming more difficult for entrepreneurs wanting to raise capital to determine which path to take for their crowdfinance. Even within these models, there are choices to make. With online equity crowdfunding for example, entrepreneurs can now choose to keep their fundraising campaign private and only accessible to the accredited investors registered on the platform they are using, or they can raise funding under the new Reg D 506 C exemption which allows public solicitation to promote their investment offering but which requires them to adhere to some additional rules. So choosing the best form of crowdfunding is the first decision crowdfunders must make."
Outlaw is available to discuss crowdfunding options for entrepreneurs. She is the author of e-book Cash From The Crowd (Entrepreneur Press).
Media Contact: Jillian McTigue,



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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at

  • MEDIA 411: CAN NEWSPAPERS STILL BE CONSIDERED MASS MEDIA? Most of us get our news online, on our mobile devices, or maybe even on TV every now and then. With the decline in newspaper readership, is it appropriate to still consider newspapers a "mass medium"?  
  • BLOG NOTES: TECH, MEN'S LIFESTYLE & PERSONAL FINANCE BLOGS. Blog notes is a weekly helping of blogs recently reviewed by Christine Cube. In this week's installment, Cube reviews blogs that cover tech, men's lifestyle topics, and personal finance.
  • FRAUD SOLUTIONS TAKES A BITE OUT OF THE BIG APPLE: Congratulations to ProfNet member Daniel Draz, principal of Fraud Solutions, who was featured in Times Square as part of our Facebook promotion! After responding to a ProfNet query, Draz was featured in -- and now regularly contributes content to the site. Do you have a ProfNet success story that you'd like to share? Let us know -- you might even end up in Times Square! Details:     

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