Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Search engine secrets

Hannah Stevens speaks about Internet research
At Arizona Press Women lunch seminar April 15
Author Hannah Stevens speaks on “It’s a Digital World” for the monthly lunch seminar of Arizona Press Women, open to the public at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Doubletree Guest Suites, 320 N. 44th St., Phoenix.
Learn how best to research for your fiction or nonfiction writing using the world of information via the Internet. Stevens has been an IT specialist for 15 years,writing prose at night while she wrote code for major companies including Intel, Charles Schwab and The Arizona Republic. She has two published books, “The President’s Wife” and the sequel, “Madam POTUS,” both about a fictional First Lady who divorces her husband while he is running for a second term. Stevens came to the Valley in 1973 from the San Francisco Bay area and lives in north central Phoenix. Her Web site is
“My knowledge of IT gives me a better understanding of how Internet search engines work, and how to get the most out of them,” said Stevens
Reservations are requested by April 13 to or call 480-778-8776. The cost is $5 for nonmembers. Those attending will order individually from the no-host lunch menu.
Arizona Press Women is an organization of women and men who work as editors, writers, photographers, teachers and public relations specialists. APW sponsors regular meetings and workshops in Phoenix, Tucson and Payson, and an annual spring conference in May. For more information about membership, contact Joan Westlake at

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Punctuation frustration

None of us are perfect, and we all make typos (I once sent a press release saying my client was serving "shipped" potatoes instead of "whipped"), but I am becoming alarmed at the number of press releases I receive on a regular basis with punctuation errors, particularly the dreaded apostrophe S and my "why is this even an issue" pet peeve, your/you're.

Here's the latest:

Subject: Chef's that hunt

Hi Geri,

Chef’s Jacques Qualin of J&G Steakhouse, Robert McGrath of Renegade Canteen and Steve Freidkin of TEXAZ Grill are all avid hunters and fishermen. Would you be interested in composing a feature on these three Valley chefs that would discuss how they prepare the game that they take home?

Chef's? Twice? Really?

And I think most of you saw the release from the Arizona Animal Welfare League with the subject line, "Your Invited."

What should we do when these land in our inboxes? Send a note back? Post them on blogs in hopes of embarrassing the writers into learning proper English? Anonymously send the writers copies of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves"? Why aren't clients gnashing teeth and tearing out hair (and demanding proofreaders)? I am getting releases from some of the same people and agencies over and over with these glaring mistakes.

Do not get me started on Web site developers. They charge thousands of dollars, but can't shell out $200-$400 to a proofreader so their client doesn't look functionally illiterate? Highway robbery.

Alas, the scourge appears to be spreading. I recently returned from my vacation in New Zealand, where signs and menus were rife with spelling and punctuation errors. Among the things I saw for sale: "puppy's" and "egg's."

Schools contacts needed

This is from Colleen Sparks. Please contact her directly if you have sources or can assist.

I am writing a story for Phoenix Magazine's August issue about 15 outstanding K-12 public, private and charter schools in Maricopa County. For each of the 15 categories I will select one top school to write a short article about and then list other runners-up after that. I can only use a particular school district once, can't have the top 15 repeat any districts. I am looking for schools that offer something unique that is effective, including schools that don't always get the attention they deserve. Does anyone know any K-12 county schools strong in these areas: Sports, Special Education, Academics, After-school programs, Arts, School Newspaper/Yearbook, Music, Green Efforts, Public Service/Charity Work, Science, Diversity, College Prep, Second-language Learning (Not ESL, but Spanish, Chinese, etc.), Computer Technology and Health/Nutrition? Any ideas or names of good contacts (parents, teachers, etc.) who might have good ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! You can reach me at

Monday, March 22, 2010

Know any artists?

Joan passed this on, noting that many of us know or work with visual folks. Please let your artist friends know about this opportunity. Thanks!

For Immediate Release
Mary E. Fowler
City of Tempe
Management Assistant
(480) 350-2880
Tempe issues RFQ for artist

: Maja Aurora
TELEPHONE: 480-350-5160

TEMPE, Ariz. – The city of Tempe is issuing a Request for Qualifications seeking an artist to create artwork for Scudder Park, a four-acre park located at 5811 S. Lakeshore Drive.

Visual artists and artist teams residing in Arizona are eligible to apply for this public art opportunity.

Materials must be received by 5 p.m. on April 12. This date is not a postmarked deadline. No late applications will be accepted or deadline extensions given.

Visit: for the artist call.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to reach the Republic

I'm sorry I didn't include any contact info for those Republic postings. I guess I figured we all know that, but we have some new folks who aren't on the "in."

Anytime you need to reach someone at the Republic, visit and scroll to the bottom. Under "CUSTOMER SERVICE," click on "Contact the Republic:"

There you will find the Newsroom staff directory, complete with an alphabetical list of names (with hot links to e-mail), phone numbers and titles. Virtually all e-mails are

So, for example, if the job posting says that the employee reports to Kathy Tulumello, you'd send an e-mail to

If you want to snail mail your letter, resume and clips, all of the office street addresses are also on the Contact Us page; scroll down a little more from where it says Newsroom staff directory. You will need to know where the position is based, of course. If you're applying for the Business jobs, they're in the downtown office. East Valley positions usually go through Paul Maryniak and are based in the Mesa office. The job reporting to Venita James is in the Goodyear office. There's also a Scottsdale office.

Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More job leads

Wow, I got word of three more job openings this week. Two Arizona Republic business writers are leaving, but internal candidates will be given preference. The other is a writing job at the University of Phoenix (thanks, RuthAnn!)

Read on...

Job Overview
Company: University of Phoenix
Location: US-AZ-Phoenix

Loading Map...
Base Pay: N/A
Employee Type: Full-Time
Industry: Art - Photography - Journalism
Printing - Publishing
Manages Others: Not Specified
Job Type: Media - Journalism - Newspaper

Contact: Jenifer Flatley
Phone: Not Available
Email: Send Email Now
Fax: 602/366-8741

Ref ID: 119450
Job Description
and/or enhances documents for curriculum, promotional and internal
communication materials by proofreading and editing informational and
technical copy, as well as, modifying materials to ensure formatting of
text and graphics conform to established guidelines and standards.

Job Requirements
A thorough knowledge of English, journalism, or communications as
normally obtained through the completion of a bachelor's degree in
English, journalism, communications, or related field.

Proven experience performing editing and desktop publishing activities in an education and/or business environment.

Must possess excellent spelling and grammatical skills to
administer the editorial production of curriculum and promotional
materials, as described above.

Must have excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication
skills to effectively interact and communicate with department staff,
faculty, and management with regard to the production of curriculum,
promotional and internal communication materials, as described above.

Must have a strong working knowledge of word processing,
spreadsheet, graphics, and desktop publishing packages to prepare
and/or enhance curriculum and promotional materials.

Must be detail and results oriented and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Equal Opportunity Employer ( EOE )
(c) 2007 University of Phoenix, Inc. All rights reserved.

Now for the Republic...

* Technology/aerospace/defense/mining
Many of Arizona's largest employers are in the semiconductor, aerospace and defense and mining sectors. The reporter on this beat should focus on identifying and writing about key industry trends -- everything from how new technologies could create more tech jobs to the affects of globalization of manufacturing to the local impact of the price of copper.
In addition, this reporter will cover news and trends at many of Arizona's major employers, including Intel, Honeywell Aerospace and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. The reporter also will cover emerging technologies and the smaller companies developing them.
The beat should be a mix of breaking news, mid-range enterprise and deeper digging. The ability to interpret securities filings, earnings reports and other data is a must, but we do have on-staff experts available for coaching.
Good communication is essential, as is a willingness to work within a team. This reporter will work directly with assistant business editor Mel Melendez.
* Jobs/workplace
With employment at 9.1 percent in the state, our readers want to know how to cope with job loss and how to find another, more secure position in a rapidly changing economy. The jobs reporter would cover issues related to jobs, employment and unemployment. The focus should be on news of interest to the job seeker, the displaced worker and the underemployed worker and also on issues that affect the fully employed.
The beat is trend-oriented, news-oriented and tips-oriented. Trend stories should touch on major issues, from delivery of unemployment benefits to the evolution of job training to the state of workplace discrimination. News stories might touch on who’s hiring, and for what types of jobs. We also expect practical stories. These tips stories might cover everything from what careers are hot/cold, to how to deal with resume gaps, to maintaining work-life balance. These stories might run on A1, in the Business section or in the Sunday CareerBuilder package.
It’s a true multimedia beat. This reporter will host job chats and blog on azcentral and likely will appear on Channel 12 frequently to discuss jobs issues.
Good communication is essential, as is a willingness to work within a team. This reporter will work closely with Betty Beard, who covers the Arizona economy, and with Mel Melendez, CareerBuilder editor, and will report to Kathy Tulumello.
In business, reporters also are expected to take GA shifts 2-3 times a month, handling whatever stories and briefs may be assigned.
Don't be afraid! Simple interest in business topics is necessary, but we’ll provide on-the-job training.