Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Finding the Perfect Expert

Before we begin, a few shots from vacation, as promised on Friday!

Question of the day: I'm new to the freelance community. I got my first article published last month! I came across your blog and enjoyed the information. One burning question I have regarding feature articles is how do writers find "Experts" to quote in their articles? If you could shed some of your ultra pragmatic light on this, I would appreciate it.

Sure! Of course. Finding the perfect expert can make or break your story, and certainly, I've been in the position of interviewing someone and feeling like, "Eh, this isn't quite right," which sucks big time because then you have to start all over.

A few places that I start:

1) Amazon. I like to head here first because more often than not, I interview book authors, and well, for obvious reasons, Amazon is a good place to find them. From there, if I find someone who might work, I head to...

2) Google. Again, not ground-breaking, but I google an author and if he or she isn't easily reachable, I often go back to point A. Or, alternatively, I also use google as a starting point - hunting down experts with very specific search terms.

3) I also use PubMed, especially when I'm looking for study authors or researchers. If I can find the exact study that fits into my story, I'm always keen to interview the person who performed the research behind it. Similarly,

4) NewsWise serves more or less the same function but with less medical terminology and a wider-span of press releases.

5) I'll also put out a query on Profnet if I can't find anything on my own. This usually yields me far more sources than I can use, and often times, they're not really what I had in mind (because they're coming from PR reps), but it doesn't really hurt, and often does land me a good source.

6) And finally (not always last, in terms of when I do things), I'll head to PR reps at various organizations that fit my needs. If, for example, I'm writing a story on something parenting-related, maybe I'll lob a call into the AAP or if I'm doing a story on nutrition, the ADA. That type of thing.

So, where do you guys find your sources? I'm sure that there are other bastions of info!


Maddy said...

Yah for you! Publication! Otherwise, I'm afraid I'm not qualified to help. Fabulous photos too.
BEst wishes

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Jenny said...

Cute pictures - darling family.

A lot of times I'll ask the people in my writing group for an expert. One of them will know someone who knows someone...and it goes from there.

Larramie said...

Picture perfect or pitch perfect -- as you like to say --, thank you for sharing happy family memories, Allison.

Anonymous said...

Adorable photos, Allison...hope it was a great trip!

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh, look at how cute you are! What a lovely family!!


Anonymous said...

Somehow I missed this post and the trip pics, darling family:) ...and P.S. I couldn't finish P.S. I Love You. Cute story idea but poorly written in my opinion.