Author Archives: Christine Cube

Blog Notes: Lifestyle, Gardening, Personal Finance & Travel

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The Bold Blend is written by freelance writer and blogger Barbara Davis, who admits she’s a hopeless coffee addict. Davis is wife to “Mr. Coffee” and mother of two young children (nicknamed Latte and Half-Caff), and she writes about literally everything. The Bold Blend covers a big variety of lifestyle items, including fitness, food, favorite things and product reviews under “fabulous finds.” The blog’s tagline is “living a life full of flavor.” I especially enjoyed the recipes under the food section. Bacon meatloaf? Now that’s something I’m definitely going to have to make at home. Read the full review from PR Newswire for Bloggers here.

As the temperature continues its downward plummet, I find cleaning my flower beds both sad and exciting. Sad because of the obvious — the growing season is over and everything’s turning brown. Exciting because I know what’s to come — I know the bulbs and plants I’ve tucked under that soil and mulch will spring into something heavenly in a few months. A blog like Garden Smackdown keeps me focused on the stuff to look forward to. And, author and blogger Andrew Keys writes in a way that’s real and conversational. What’s not to love? Read the full review here.

MyBankTracker is a personal finance blog dedicated to the consumer. It’s written by a team of researchers and writers and was established in 2008, during the height of the economic downturn. “MyBankTracker fills a pressing need for an accurate, transparent and consistent source of banking information,” the blog says. “Our motto, ‘Build your finances, Rebuild the world,’ describes our coverage of an array of topics that affect our financial lives, from banking fees to finance technology to planning for retirement.” Read the full review here.

Travel. It’s something everyone says they want to do more of, but the planning sometimes can be daunting. Blogger Gilad Fili Feldman, an expat in Hong Kong who’s working toward his PhD in management and social psychology, spends his off time globetrotting. Fili follows his passion for travel and blogs about it in Fili’s World Travel. Through his writing, readers get to see far away places and experience different cultures. Mind you, Fili’s not just any travel writer. As a Washington, DC native, I found his itinerary and travel to DC incredibly fascinating. He covered a lot of ground in just five days at the end of 2011. Read the full review here.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

Blog Notes: Celebrating Black History Month

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In observance of February’s Black History Month, PR Newswire’s multicultural team profiled some notable blogs. We took a close look at a number of diverse African-American blogs that cover a range of topics, from urban automobiles and travel adventures to beauty and relationships.

BrownGirlsFly is a  self-proclaimed “melanin-infused perspective on travel.” It details the travel adventures of sisters Chelle and Crystal, who worship the chance to experience as many new languages and cultures as they can firsthand. They’ve produced the blog with hopes to “encourage as many people as possible to leave their comfort zones and see the world for themselves.” Read the full review from PR Newswire for Bloggers here.

If you’ve got a great new product for women of color that needs a review, you should consider pitching Gregorie Guillaume, founder of HUEKNEWIT. HUEKNEWIT is a beauty, hair, and skin care blog, highlighting the latest in trends and gifts. It also features a weekly e-newsletter and a “Your Man” section for guys who could use a little help with their fashion or beauty regimen. Read the full review here.

A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss is an extremely popular blog with 108,000+ likes on Facebook, more than 8,000 Twitter followers, and 123,000 email subscribers. It appears many want to know the secret of how Erika Nicole Kendall went from weighing 330 pounds to becoming a personal trainer. Read the full review here.

MadameNoire is an upscale site geared toward black women. Since 2007, MadameNoire has built a solid following, and on Facebook, the site has garnered around 15,000 followers.  Not too shabby. Blog topics include business, love, entertainment, hair, beauty, health and living.  MadameNoire has an edgy yet affectionate tone. It’s clearly geared toward strong, independent women as video sections like “Mommy in Chief” and “She’s the Boss” can attest. Read the full review here.

Welcome to the candy shop of urban automobiles, Automotive Rhythms. Founded by Kitmatni D Rawlins in 2002, Automotive Rhythms hooks up the urban car buying market to manufacturers.   The site is testament to living the lifestyle with sections on fashion, sports and entertainment, and celebrity auto, to name a few. The site also features auto safety, auto care, information on auto shows and reviews. Read the full review here.

Dalia Paratore is PR Newswire’s director of Multicultural Products and Services.

Blog Notes: Politics, Personal Finance & Inspiration

blognotes1With the inauguration now behind us, we figured it was timely to visit a political blog that proudly boasts “having an opinion never goes out of style.” PunditMom is written by Joanne Bamberger, an award-winning broadcast journalist who has advised a variety of political and institutional clients on social media strategy. She is one of the first internet voices to speak about the intersection of women and mothers online and political/social activism. Read the full review from PR Newswire for Bloggers here.

Wise Bread is a personal finance blog dedicated to helping its readers “live large on a small budget.” It’s smart to budget and live within your means. Sites like Wise Bread can help. It serves up financial advice that is easy to understand and apply. Its writers cover a variety of topics, including personal finance, debt management, investment, real estate and housing, budgeting, lifestyle, career, and credit cards. Read the full review here.

During the holidays, I am reminded of how time takes care of everything. I lost my father to pancreatic cancer more than a decade ago just before Thanksgiving. The missing bit doesn’t really go away. But when I need perspective on my funk, I visit Makes Me Think. Just read it. The stories there will inspire, amaze, and make you think. The folks behind MMT — Marc and Angel — have a blog called Marc and Angel Hack Life. Read the full review here.

Keansburg, NJ artists and writers Jenny and longtime partner, Aaron, manage the blog Everyday Is A Holiday. Recently, the blog was recognized on NJ.com for its work helping folks along the Superstorm Sandy-battered NJ shore. See, Jenny and Aaron also were deeply affected by the storm, but they count themselves among the “lucky ones.” Their home remained standing. If you read their blog, you’ll find Everyday Is A Holiday is filled with fun, vintage and holiday-inspired things. It’s chock-full of cupcakes, cakes, bunnies and “whatever the other essentials in life are.”  Read the full review here.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

Inside PR Newswire: Meet Operations Manager Andrew Woodall

Andrew Woodall is one of PR Newswire's operations managers, and is also one of the company's social media advocates.

Andrew Woodall is one of PR Newswire’s operations managers, and is also one of the company’s social media advocates.

When folks travel, they come back with some great stories.

Andrew Woodall loved everything about Rome. He majored in ancient history and especially loved studying ancient Romans at the University of Nottingham.

But on the two occasions he visited that beautiful city, he lost his wallet. It’s literally the only place his wallet has ever gone missing.

“I’m not going to hold it against Rome,” says Woodall, 32. “I will go back. It’s a great place.”

Woodall is the operations manager within the editorial department of PR Newswire Europe. It’s a job he’s held for nearly three years.

He also recently took over the Multimedia News Release team in London. So he’ll be in charge of the team, helping clients to build multimedia into their news releases.

“It’s an honor to take over that,” he said. “It’s going to be an exciting year.”

The PR Newswire Europe office, which is based in London, covers a huge territory that also includes India, Dubai, and the Middle East.

It means the London office starts pretty early to tackle releases from clients in India. Then it’s the Dubai office that’s next to get cranking.

From there, Europe wakes up hour by hour and client news releases come from all over – Germany, France, Sweden, and Russia, to name a few.

The work remains steady – reading through copy, proofreading, handling translations, and dealing with affiliates from all over the world every day.

Recently, the London office began a new service that involves writing press releases. Clients discuss their goals and what they would like to achieve, a release is written by the editorial team in London, and it’s send to the client for approval.

Woodall recently wrote a release about Crossfire Hurricane – a new film about the Rolling Stones that premiered at the London Film Festival. This new offering comes easily to Woodall, who has a freelance and journalism background.

Woodall also works as a social media intern on the PR Newswire LinkedIn page with PRN vice president of social media Sarah Skerik. He also helps curate the PRN Europe Sports and Policy Twitter feeds @prnesports and @prnepolicy.

Away from the office, Woodall remains plugged into social media.

He writes about history and cultural pursuits on his personal blog, All the Days and Nights. You also can find him tweeting @thehistorygeeks, a popular spot that’s already garnered 700 followers. There, you can find a short description of what to expect: “Mostly history, some football and some nonsense.”

“I started on Twitter as myself and had about 24 followers,” Woodall said. “But once I started to focus on history, all of a sudden I met all these fantastic people and was winning prizes and joining clubs. It’s been great.”

Woodall also remains busy at home. He and his wife, Clare, a history teacher, just purchased a 1930s fixer-upper outside London.

andrewhiddenwineA recent blog post revealed the Woodalls discovered 38 bottles of homemade wine stored in specially-constructed mini cellar.

“Apple, blackberry, elderflower, all of the great fruits associated with producing outstanding Hertfordshire wine, are represented, ranging from 1977 to 1990. Yes, I tried some. Not to my taste, really. I’m more of a grape man, and I prefer my wine not to gloop during the decanting process,” he wrote.

Woodall says he knows the house eventually will be beautiful. Right now, he admits, it’s a lot of work.

andrewgarden“This is the first time ever that I’ve had my own garden,” Woodall said. “I’m trying to become a gardener. We managed to grow potatoes and French beans. Maybe we’ll grow some more and be a bit more successful next year.”

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

Inside PR Newswire: Meet Customer Content Specialist Jordana Gailard

You might assume a foodie’s favorite food would be something fancy. Not so much with Jordana Gailard. She’s a steak-and-potatoes kind of girl.  In fact, if you were to try to commandeer her grill, she’ll let you know the error of your ways.

“I grill my own steaks for lunch,” the 26-year-old Albuquerque native says proudly. “When a guy thinks he’s going to take over the grill, he’s completely wrong. Not in this house.”

For PR Newswire, Gailard wears many hats. She tweets and pins, assists customers who call in, stages and moves news releases along, and serves as the charitable giving rep for the Albuquerque office.

Gailard is one of the voices behind @PRNFood. And if you’ve ever called the PR Newswire main support line from prnewswire.com, you may have spoken with Gailard directly.

On a busy day, Gailard can field up to 40 calls.

It’s not just her job that keeps Jordi on her toes. She’s also an avid runner.

“My job keeps me on my toes,” Gailard said. “It’s awesome when you get a prospect client who’s excited to get a person on the line instead of a robot. Any and every question comes into that line. We have a great support staff of content specialists here.”

The variety of questions allows Gailard to be knowledgeable in almost every aspect of the company. She’s always working with different clients and people within PR Newswire to get their questions answered. The work is far from mundane, she said.

Lately, a lot of clients are asking about social media, a subject Gailard is especially passionate about.

“I like talking with clients about how social media affects content and their releases,” she said. “Bringing them toward the light in terms of social media is pretty awesome.”

Gailard graduated a double major – public relations and psychology – from the University of New Mexico in 2010. She’s been with PR Newswire ever since.

If you’ve ever visited @PRNFood on Twitter or Pinterest, you may have seen Gailard’s thoughts on successful and not-so-successful recipes. She also can be found chatting with other foodies on Twitter at noon EST on Wednesdays under #hgeats.

Most recently, Gailard tested a chili recipe from Weight Watchers. It was supposed to take only 15 minutes, but Gailard deviated from the original vegetarian recipe and added ground turkey. She concedes the recipe likely would’ve only taken 15 minutes if she’d prepared it as it was written.

“I’m a big advocate for testing out strange recipes, so our followers can look forward to that,” she said. “And if you aren’t following @PRNFood, you should! Who doesn’t love food?”

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

Inside PR Newswire: Account Manager Natalie Bering

Natalie Bering doesn’t remember the first picture she ever took, but she knows when she fell in love with photography.

It was her fourth grade field trip to Washington, DC. She took loads of pictures with her new disc camera and not a single shot turned out.

But that’s all it took.

“I love capturing the moment and shooting lifestyle and sports,” says Bering, account manager with PR Newswire. “These days I shoot a lot of pictures of my own kids and things they’re involved with.”

In college, Bering studied photography and graphic design at Oregon State University. Today, she keeps a photography site called Speed of Light Photography.

Bering grew up in San Diego and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s been with PR Newswire for more than three years, supporting clients in their communications.

Most of her clients are located in Silicon Valley.

“We give them the tools to make sure their communications are as effective as possible,” Bering said. “My passion for my job comes from two major places. One is the ability to support my clients and help them try new and different ways to get their message out there, like last week when we supplied the platform for my client Trend Micro to do a live virtual press conference. Secondly, I like the opportunity to geek out about social media, content marketing, and SEO. My Twitter feed is full of my constant scouring of blogs and conferences.”

Bering’s clients include Facebook, Palo Alto Networks, Super Micro, Marvel Semiconductor, Netgear, Autonomy, and SunPower.

Chris Melching, a close friend and executive communications coach with Center Stage Group, says Bering has a contagious spirit.

“Natalie has a passion for life, and she takes a lot of risks,” Melching said. “She’s very bold with her ideas. People want to be with her; they want to work with her. Natalie is someone who I will follow her entire life. It’s so fun to watch her career evolve. I know she’s going places.”

The two go way back to when Melching was Bering’s yearbook teacher in the 7th grade.

To this day, Bering considers Melching one of her most influential advisors and the person who really helped her sales career.

There’s no such thing as an average work day for Bering. She said her goal is to really be an extension of a client’s team.

“When they’re at a crossroads, I want them to feel like they can pick up the phone and call me,” she said.

Personally, Bering is celebrating a major milestone this year.

She hit 10 years of remission from AML, a type of Leukemia.

“I was told I may not make it to 25 and that I would never have kids,” she said. “Now I am 35 with two amazing little people.”

Bering’s daughter is 6 and her son is almost 4. She also has a 12-year-old stepdaughter. Her husband is an elementary school principal.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

Inside PR Newswire: Meet the Director of Multimedia Engagement for MultiVu

Tom Miale – multimedia guru and king of ‘cue.

To some, the idea of walking away from email, Twitter, and Facebook for an hour seems impossible. But Tom Miale looks forward to unplugging for a bit each day. He’s not doing mantras or meditating. Miale spends that hour doing research.

“I try to take an hour where I’m not distracted by email and social media,” said

Tom and his son (and fishing buddy) Nate.

the director of multimedia engagement for MultiVu. “I actively research new technologies, and I’m looking for ideas and products to help get our clients’ messages out there. Technology is changing our industry, and you have to be on top of it.”

Tom and his new daughter, Ellie.

Miale is an entrepreneur. He helped start up two webcasting companies right out of college.  It began simply enough: Miale saved his money and bought a computer. He’d always wanted to be a filmmaker, telling visual stories and finding the balance between audio, video and technology.

The moment he figured out that you could do it on a computer, “the video geek was born,” he said. Miale was immersed in the webcasting industry for a decade before joining PR Newswire in Aug. 2006.

Today, as the director of multimedia engagement for MultiVu, PR Newswire’s broadcast and multimedia division, Miale handles multimedia distribution. He was the creator of the Blogger Media Tour, which takes PR Newswire’s satellite media tour product and tailors it to bloggers.

Essentially, this allows a client’s spokesperson to be available to bloggers for live interviews. Some of the more popular PR Newswire multimedia engagement products include the multi-media news release and the ARC, an easily shareable and distributable engagement platform that functions like a container holding clients’ multiple multimedia assets, including video, audio, PDFs, and infographics.

Miale now is concentrating on working social distribution into all PR Newswire products.

“We’re making sure our clients’ content is distributed out to as many social channels as we possibly can,” he said. “In this role, I’ve become sort of the multimedia storytelling evangelist for MultiVu.”

This has led to many speaking engagements about multimedia – something that has surprised Miale, who never imagined himself a public speaker.

“I enjoy speaking at conferences,” he said. “I like being a teacher to the brand world. I wrote a proposal that got accepted with some colleagues that got into last year’s SXSW. This is a big deal for someone who never thought they would be a public speaker.”

While Miale likes being behind the camera, he’s also become quite comfortable in front of it.  In fact, you might know him as half of the TnT team, the “Tom and Tom” videos that are produced by PR Newswire. For the last couple of years, Miale has teamed up with PR Newswire’s blogger relations manager, Thomas Hynes, on a bunch of videos that began at SXSW.  The to collaborate on other videos throughout the year, too.

When he’s not digging into the latest technology, the New Yorker writes a food blog called I’m Not a Foodie.  Miale also stays busy with his family. All reside in and around Long Island, and Miale admits he “gets the shakes” if he leaves New York too long. He currently resides in Queens with his wife and two young children, who are almost 1 year and almost 3 years. They also have a dog, Oakley, who’s almost 4.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.

Getting it done at the DNC

This amazing photo was taken by our own Jean Arnold, and it made Politico!

It’s been a busy couple of days at the Democratic National Convention.

PR Newswire has been working hard to distribute the releases, speech text, and schedules for the media to do its thing. PRN’s Jean Arnold, director of customer content services, has been closely working with the Democratic National Convention Committee in the Joint Press Office on the distribution of copy.

Meanwhile, the media operation on the lower level of the Charlotte Convention Center has been reporting around the clock on the events in and around Charlotte.

Things are beginning to get serious around here — security markedly has tightened since the arrival of President Barack Obama. Not even umbrellas are allowed in. (There literally are piles of them in pockets around the perimeter.)

The convention center and Time Warner Cable Arena are abuzz with what’s to come this evening. Everyone’s excited. Lots of anticipation. Lots of prep to make this event go smoothly.

We’re currently making our way over to the arena. Follow @PRNewswire for convention-related tweets and our Google+ page for more photos of our time at the Democratic National Convention.

DNC 2012 Day One: Event Prep & CarolinaFest

Brian Taylor on the floor at the 2012 Democratic National Convention today.

PR Newswire arrived to the Democratic National Convention early Monday morning to an increasingly packed scene.

The Charlotte Convention Center was bustling on this Labor Day with journalists prepping for the next day’s start of the convention, volunteers corralling themselves in pockets inside and outside of the building, locals and tourists documenting everything happening around them, and law enforcement officials securing the perimeter and surrounding streets.

Bird’s eye view of Radio Row

PR Newswire’s Jean Arnold, director of customer content services, and Christine Cube, media relations manager, both from DC, spent most of the day in the Joint Press Office, which operated and moved a lot like a newsroom. Phones were ringing, meetings happened, and a lot of groundwork for the convention was taking place. It was an impressive operation.

The PR Newswire team — joined by Brian Taylor, vice president of public interest markets, and Jennifer Cotton, director of the Mid-Atlantic sales region — made its way over to CarolinaFest, a family-friendly festival that was to kick off the DNC week in Charlotte.

Prepping the stage for today’s opening ceremonies

The festival was great. Despite intermittent downpours, thousands of local residents, public officials, media, and law enforcement came out to enjoy live music, local fare, and get excited about the week to come.

The work starts at the Democratic National Convention today. Day 2 dawns …

Inside PRN: Meet Blogger Relations Manager Thomas Hynes

When it comes to building community, Tom Hynes is a natural.

More than a decade ago, Hynes single-handedly organized the Shippan Turkey Trot, a Thanksgiving 5K in his Connecticut hometown to help benefit a local homeless shelter.   What began with a handful of runners in costume has grown in recent years to a few hundred participants (costumes encouraged, but not required).

Tom Hynes (right) and friends.

Of course, what’s a race without a colorful blog?

In addition to the race, this blogger relations manager stays pretty busy. Admittedly, he doesn’t get much sleep.

So what does the PR Newswire blogger relations manager do? Well, he blogs.

You can find Hynes’s work on PR Newswire blog, Beyond PR. He also keeps a personal blog and more than a year ago began with a friend another blog called Bike Gang! (Hynes manages the guest writers and riders who participate in it.)

But most importantly, the New Yorker said, he reaches out to and assists blogs.

“My favorite part of the job is anytime that I can help a blogger,” said Hynes, 32. “I also enjoy the writing part of it — writing blog reviews every week. I just jump into a subject, I get really into for a week, and then I walk away.”

Once in a while, he’ll receive a follow up from a blogger, saying that his write up summarized the blog better than anyone had ever done before.

“That’s really satisfying,” Hynes said.

Hynes got his start with PR Newswire in the editorial department in April 2005, and began managing blogger relations in March 2010.  Today, no two work days are alike. In addition to writing and keeping up with blogs, Hynes manages the company’s Tumblr page and PR Newswire For Bloggers.

On PR Newswire for Bloggers, Hynes loads releases, curates the stories there, writes blog reviews, and provides content for the blog.  He’s handy at troubleshooting with bloggers, helps the PRN sales team with assisting clients on the best ways to reach bloggers, freelances about PR-related material and speaks on panels. Most recently, Hynes spoke at PRWeek’s Social News Summit in New York.

To stay on top of the industry, Hynes attends conferences, tweets live, writes about the events, and shoots video blogs.

During Austin’s annual SXSW Interactive, Hynes shoots with Tom Miale, global account manager for streaming media with MultiVu, what’s become a popular series of five-minute daily video wrap-ups affectionately referred to as TnT. You can find the TnT videos on the PR Newswire YouTube channel.  A couple months ago, the duo shot a video on the social consumer.

Personally, Hynes is a loyal friend and has been in 11 weddings in the last couple of years. He anticipates at least a couple more by year end.

“Everyone calls me the male Katherine Heigl,” Hynes said, referring to the actress in 27 Dresses (2008).  Most recently, all this wedding experience has served him well. He profiled several wedding blogs on Beyond PR.

Hynes comes from an enormous family (I’m actually not exaggerating. He has only two biological sisters, but through his blended nuclear family with step-siblings and in-laws – Hynes’s total siblings number at 22). He literally has a chart – most might call this a family tree – but Hynes keeps a flowchart of his family nearby.

He also is a proud uncle to 22 nieces and nephews, with a 23rd “in the oven.”

Christine Cube is a media relations manager for PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.