I wear lots of hats, so lots of things are happening all at once. We’re coming up on a monthly deadline at Inside Tennis, I have a story running in this Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle that needs some edits, and of course there are always papers to grade and lecture notes to prepare.
Tell us about your dream assignment.
I really like to photograph and write about people who create art, especially people who understand that art has the power to unite and inspire communities. I also like to travel (who doesn’t?), so my dream assignment would be to travel the world and write about the people who are doing artistic things that are both representational and transformational.
Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
I once wrote a column that attracted the most reader response that the newspaper I was working for had ever received. The column was highly critical of … old people. Especially the ones who always seemed to feel entitled to special treatment, and who were likely to shoo you out of a seat on the bus with the cane they didn’t really need. I guess I don’t have to tell you that I was very young at the time.
What is your PR pet peeve?
I don’t really have one. We all have jobs to do, and we try to do them the best way we know how. But if I had advice for PR people, it would be to make your pitches as people-centered as possible. Humanize your products or your company, find the compelling and authentic human-interest angles, and you’ll find storytellers willing to tell your tales.
Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
I get to see the business of journalism from both the inside and the outside; as a person who helps shape various publications, and as a writer and photographer who is knocking on the door. But I think what people on both sides are looking for is engagement and authenticity. The most effective companies communicate well, and often. They find a way to let their customers know who they are, what they stand for, and why they do what they do. I think it’s exciting that all of this is happening on so many different platforms – print, broadcast, the web, social media, mobile. But in the end, the method doesn’t really matter. It’s the stories that count.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I like sunsets and long walks on the beach; I like movies and going out to dinner; I like to … ohh, forget it. I’d much rather get to know you and tell your story.
John Curley is an active freelance writer and photographer who is also a contributing editor to the Tasting Panel Magazine; the managing editor of Inside Tennis magazine; and an editing and writing instructor at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley.
Questions or comments? Please post in the comment section below or send an email to John at [email protected].