ProfNet is a great service offered by PRNewswire that allows journalists to quickly find sources and public relations professionals to make targeted piches. But like the The Morris + King Company, an agency that today issued its second annual “Best ProfNet Queries of the Year” list, I sometimes find the request to be pretty bizarre:
10. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: People's Busy Lives and the Bad Things that May Happen as a Result—The Cincinnati Post
I'm looking for a sociologist/psychologist to talk about people's busy lives and bad things that may happen as a result, i.e., leaving the car on in the garage, going to bed and dying of carbon monoxide poisoning because they were so busy they forgot.
9. SPORTS/TODAY: Transitioning from Cheerleader to Coach/Gym Owner—Freelancer
I'm working on an article for Cheer Biz magazine about transitioning from cheerleader to coach. If you've ever been a cheerleader who transitioned into coaching either a school squad or an all-star cheer team, please answer these questions:…Many cheer coaches and owners are so young, they have a hard time with the respect part. How do you handle it? (By the way, how old are you?) 7. For coaches who are not married, barely 21, how do you suggest they separate themselves from the cheerleaders?…
8. PARENTING: Purity Balls—WOSU-AM (OH)
I'm looking for someone who can speak about purity balls, either for or against. I need someone who can say why father-daughter purity balls are good, or why they are bad.
7. BEHAVIOR: Lion/Tiger Tamer—Parenting Magazine
No, this isn't a joke. I am seeking a circus lion/tiger tamer for a short, humorous piece on how to get small children to behave. I would vastly prefer that the tamer have children of his/her own and speak English. Please forward me your candidate's credentials and availability, as well as the name of a contact person I can reach for further information or to schedule an interview.
6. BEHAVIOR: Vampires—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
I'm out to prove we still love vampires. I need some folks familiar with creatures of darkness to help me give evidence of this passion and/or tell me why we still love them.
5. BOOSTER/TODAY: Bible Verses for Daters—Love.MSN.com
Many daters look for inspiration from the Good Book. So I'm compiling a list of the best Bible verses for daters. Please e-mail your most inspirational verse, a 100-word explanation of what it means to you and why you chose it, and your name, title and location with “Bible Verses” in the subject line.
4. NON-EXPERT: Taser Parties—Cloaked
A national women's magazine is looking for women who've hosted taser parties. Please respond ASAP with your info, and I'll provide details about the article.
3. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: Effects of Drugs and Alcohol—Star Magazine
I need someone to explain to me the effects drugs and alcohol can play on a 25-year-old's mind. How might their behavior change? Will they do irrational things?
2. FITNESS: Exercising While Drinking—Freelancer
I am writing an article on how barflies can stay in shape. I am looking for experts who can suggest exercises that can be done at a bar. I am open to anything—low-impact aerobics, barstool dips, beer curls, etc. I am looking for detailed descriptions on how to correctly do the exercise. This is for UrbanTailgate.com, a social networking site for sports fans.
1. LIVING/TODAY: Finding Treasure/Thwarting Mosquitoes/Chicken Fights—Freelancer
I'm writing some how-to pieces for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) magazine, and am looking for advice on three rather unique topics: find buried treasure, thwarting mosquitoes, and winning a chicken fight. If you are, or work with, an expert treasure hunter, insect killer, or chicken fighter, please let me know, or simply pass along your top tips. My deadline's Tuesday, so I'm looking for great info in a hurry.
I also noticed that this year, there was a reporter must be a frustrated stand-up comic. MKC included ten of who used Lenore Skenazy's queries in the release, but in the interest of time I thought I would just give you a taste.
BEHAVIOR/TODAY: How Societies (Human and Animal) Have Adapted to Heat
I'm researching how societies (human and animal) have adapted to heat. When it's 95 degrees and I see Muslim women in long, hot robes, or Orthodox Jews in thick, black suits, I wonder: How come they are so much less whiny—and possibly even less sweaty—than me? Then I wonder about civilizations that live in the desert and giant worms that live near the superheated sea vents and I wonder: Why are they less whiny than me, too? (Well, the giant worms have no mouths. But still…) What have all these groups learned about adapting to the heat? Anything they could teach me? Have we evolved into a nation of one-temperature wonders, who can only exist between 50 and 83 degrees? Tell me fascinating heat facts, before I melt.
CULTURE/TODAY: Why Are Dragons So Popular All of a Sudden?
Looks like dinosaurs are draggin' while dragons are breathing fire. There's the “Dragonology” book, of course, and “Eragon” and “Harry Potter.” How—and why—did these mythical creatures take over the brains of all the kids who knew every denizen of the Pleistocene era? Gotta hear it soon, for a column for tomorrow on the year(s) of the dragon. (I know it's not *the* year of the dragon.)
BELIEFS: Did Anyone Ever Worship the Mosquito?
I'm looking for anyone steeped in mosquito lore and legend. Come and bite me. Or, actually, I'd prefer an e-mail.
There are more, but I have to stop. If you want the whole release, send me an e-mail and I will be happy to send it.