At the moment, I’m working on a story about how telemedicine is affecting health outcomes and overall quality of life for older adults and for family caregivers.
Tell us about your dream assignment.
There’s an event that happens each year in San Francisco called Corgi Con in which hundreds of corgis are released on the beach to frolic in the surf, chase Frisbees and just be their adorable corgi selves. As most folks who know me well are aware, I’m obsessed with these vertically challenged little guys – the way their legs are out of proportion with their bodies, the way they always look like they’re smiling, their funny-looking butts, all of it. To get to cover this event would be pretty dreamy, assuming my heart didn’t burst from pure joy.
Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.
A couple of years ago, I covered a local restaurant that made it their mission to become the lowest-rated on Yelp. They would actually offer discounts to diners who gave them 1-star reviews. I’m not sure if the restaurant achieved quite the level of notoriety they were hoping for, but they still appear to be faring well and their “Hate Us on Yelp” campaign is ongoing, so the risky move seems to be paying off.
What is your PR pet peeve?
I’ve always been annoyed by pitches for stories that have absolutely nothing to do with the outlet they’re pitching. If I work at a website that deals with senior health and caregiving issues, I’m probably not going to give a second glance to a pitch about wedding planning, for example. When that happens, it’s clear that they don’t know or don’t care who they’re pitching to, and it’s a waste of both of our time.
Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.
Similar to the story I’m researching about telemedicine for seniors, I’m also really interested in how other tech-related services are helping older adults. A growing number of companies, whether senior care referral websites like Caring.com, homecare agencies or even ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft now offer services specifically aimed at making life easier for senior and caregivers, and I’d love to find out what effect they’re having.
I’m also interested in how medicine and tech are coming together to work toward cures for illnesses affecting older adults, like Alzheimer’s disease. One great recent example of that is the Brain Health Registry, which I just got a chance to cover for Caring.com and the Huffington Post.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been writing and editing content at Caring.com for a year now. I’m passionate about giving a voice to everyday heroes, like the more than 40 million people in the U.S. who provide care for an aging loved one.
Prior to this role, I spent most of my career as a reporter for local news outlets, with the longest-running stint at a Bay Area newswire called Bay City News Service. My days were fueled by plenty of coffee and the adrenaline that accompanies breaking news, plus more in-depth stories on government, crime, courts and local organizations.
In between reporting jobs, I worked for a few years as an English teacher in France, where I became fluent in French, got hooked on delicious cheese and bread and picked up a French husband. As much as I miss French friends, seemingly endless vacation time, and so many other things about France, there’s no place quite like my Bay Area. I figure burritos, It’s-Its and oceanside hikes are a decent trade for baguettes, pastries and cobblestone streets.
Questions or comments for Laura? Leave a comment below or tweet @lauraatcaring.