Author Archives: Christine Cube

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.

Inside PRN: Editor by day; race driver by night

When Hurd reviews vehicles for Speed:Sport:Life, he occasionally gets to drive them on local tracks to get a better feel for their performance. Here, he’s driving a 2011 Lexus IS F at Summit Point Motorsports Park’s Shenandoah Circuit. Photo credit: Chase Adams

(This year, we’re highlighting some of the folks who keep PR Newswire operating smoothly. Meet Byron Hurd, a senior customer content specialist at PR Newswire, with a serious penchant for speed.)

Most people prefer driving either a stick-shift or an automatic.  PR Newswire’s Byron Hurd doesn’t much care. It just has to drive well.

Hurd, a senior customer content specialist at PR Newswire, is a bit of a car addict.  The obsession began innocently enough – Matchbox and Hot Wheels and by his teens, he toted the occasional car mag on long road trips to visit family in Texas.  Today, he owns four cars — a 2008 Mazda Speed 3, 1997 Jeep Wrangler, and two Mazda Miatas (1990 and 1994 – one is a parts car and doesn’t run). They all neatly fit into his driveway in Annapolis, Md.

In addition to driving cars on closed race courses, Hurd also participates in auto-cross events. Auto-crosses are held in parking lots on courses delineated by parking cones, and drivers try to beat times set by others in vehicles of similar performance. It’s not just for fun; auto-cross teaches drivers a lot about emergency vehicle control and allows them to explore the limits of their cars in a safe and fun, competitive environment.

Hurd also blogs for Speed:Sport:Life. And he occasionally spends weekends racing cars at the track.

“Driving for the first time on a racetrack is pretty intense,” said Hurd, 27. “But it’s the best rollercoaster ride you could ever take.”

Hurd got his blogging start with Speed:Sport:Life through a connection he made as a member of an online Volkswagen enthusiast group. The guy also happened to blog and was a racing driver.  They went out to the Virginia International Raceway. The rest is history – Hurd was invited to write for the blog.

When he’s not driving cars provided by manufacturers, Hurd tracks his personal vehicles. Here, he drives his 2008 Mazda Speed3 at Mid-Ohio Raceway, one of the nation’s premiere sports car and open-wheel racing venues. Photo credit: Dave Everest

That was a few years ago.

Hurd’s favorite thing about writing for Speed:Sport:Life is the ability to experience many different cars.  “They give me a car for a week and sometimes I get to commute in them and take them on racetracks. You can’t get that from a test drive,” Hurd said. “We’re just a few friends who like to write about cars. Something will occur to me about a car I drove recently, and I’ll sit down and write.”

Hurd has been on a racetrack dozens of times.  It’s usually an all-weekend situation, and he meets up with others from racing organizations and clubs. The groups usually are broken down according to beginners and advanced driving groups. (Beginners, for example, must drive with instructors and are only permitted to pass drivers in certain areas.)

Hurd’s longtime girlfriend Nicole – who also comes from a car family – is very understanding about his passion. “Her one rule is that we can’t have more than one car that doesn’t run so we don’t get overwhelmed,” Hurd said. “I don’t think I could get by with owning one car. The monotony would drive me crazy.”

Hurd’s next track weekend is this month in Summit Point, WVa.

There, he plans to drive a new Porsche 911. He also anticipates more track weekends in his future because the season for car racing is heating up in the Mid-Atlantic. (Most car clubs will get together between now and October.)

“Driving” press release distribution

When Hurd isn’t living and breathing his vehicular hobby, he splits his work day within the DC office of PR Newswire doing a variety of things. He spends half of his day proofing press release copy, reading and checking for typos. Hurd then puts the release into the system and spends the rest of the day talking with PR Newswire clients, confirming press releases, troubleshooting, and assisting with customer service.

He also curates the @PRNauto presence on Twitter for PR Newswire, sharing  auto and motorsports news and press releases from around the web.

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