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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Heart "If I Can Help A Reporter Out"

I'm totally in love with Peter Shankman's website "If I Can Help A Reporter Out." He started it as a way to help reporters and other media find the sources they need to write articles.

Shankman says, "I built this list because a lot of my friends are reporters, and they call me all the time for sources. Rather than go through my contact lists each time, I figured I could push the requests out to people who actually have something to say."

Some of you know I've been working on a non-fiction survival guide for overweight teens. I put out a request for interviews on Sunday night, and by Tuesday I had around 14 people volunteer to share their wisdom about how to enjoy your teenage years, even while you're overweight. (If you're reading this and were or are an overweight teen, I'd love to interview you. Leave a comment on this post with your email or email me at

As the logo says, we're all an expert at something. So I also signed up to receive requests from other reporters. They are often looking for people who've had specific experiences to share their stories.

I just received my first email this morning and they were looking for experts on technology, breast cancer, and coaching high school students in writing essays. They also wanted people who've taken on internships as an adult (over 30) and college women who are willing to share what's on their minds today.

So join up if you'd like to share your expertise, or if you need interview subjects, put in a request.

Be aware some on the list are pr agents trying to get publicity for their clients. You're supposed to pledge not to respond to a request unless your experience fits the guidelines, but you may still have to weed out a few off-base responses.

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