1) What are some best practices for responding to journalist queries?

When responding to ProfNet queries, it is important to craft your message in a way that makes it easy for the journalist to quickly determine if the expertise offered will meet his/her needs. We suggest a concise 1-3 paragraph response, including: name, title, phone number, and email address (both for the suggested source and for yourself); a summary of the source’s relevant credentials; and a summary of the source’s perspective. The tips below will give you a good starting point:

  • Respond to the query well before the deadline to increase your Expert’s chances of inclusion in a story. Timing is everything.
  • Copy and paste the query title into your email subject line, or respond via your online ProfNet Inbox. This is especially helpful for journalists who have issued more than one query.
  • Start with either your or your Expert’s credentials. What makes you or the Expert you represent qualified to contribute to this article or segment?
  • Include one or two sentences to offer your Expert’s perspective. Maybe it’s an opinion, something counter-intuitive, or information that validates the article premise.
  • Offer your pitch in three or four bullet points. This will help them see your perspective and determine if you’ll be telling them something they haven’t gotten from anyone else yet. Note that while some journalists don’t quote from these bullet points, others do, so be aware that what you write might appear later in print.
  • If the journalist is looking for an anecdote to illustrate a point rather than an Expert, offer it in just a few sentences.
  • Ask questions if for any reason the query isn’t clear to you.
  • Link an appropriate Expert Profile in your response.
  • Include contact information the journalist can use to schedule an interview. Whenever possible, offer to have the Expert call the journalist.
  • Try to be concise and avoid attachments. Think in terms of what you’d want to know about an Expert source for that article, and respond appropriately.
  • Follow up with the Expert and journalist to ensure the connection occurred and the interview went well.
  • Build relationships with the media. Journalists will remember your professionalism and add you to their contact list.

2) I want to respond to this query but I can’t see any information about the journalist. Why?

From time to time, you may see a query that is “cloaked.” This means the reporter has requested his/her name, email address and news outlet not be divulged, out of concern that the query will be shared with competitors.

The process to respond to a cloaked query is slightly different depending on if you are replying in-system (via the ProfNet Inbox) or out-of-system (via your own personal email inbox). Reference the Inbox section for in-system directions, and the Email Queries section for out-of-system directions.

Note: When replying to cloaked queries, you will always receive a copy of your response sent to your personal email inbox, verifying that it was sent to the journalist. All cloaked query conversations are also tracked in ProfNet under the My Inbox/My Outbox tabs for your reference.


3) How can I add a new user to my subscription to receive the query emails? Is there an extra cost?

Most accounts (excluding sole practitioner subscriptions) come with five user seats. If you have open seats, you may add users at no extra cost until you reach your capacity. To do this, go to My Organization > Add Subscriber and fill in all required information. If you are unsure if you have open seats, or would like to purchase additional seats, please contact support.

Note: Anyone who receives the journalist queries is considered a "user" and counts toward your ProfNet user seat capacity. ProfNet Connect Experts (ie. anyone you create an Expert Profile for) do not receive the queries, and therefore do not count toward your user seat capacity; you may have unlimited Experts on your account.


4) How can I change the query category/categories I’m subscribed to? Is there an extra cost?

Category feeds can be swapped out at no extra cost; however, adding new query category feeds will incur a fee. Contact support for assistance and details.


5) I am receiving queries that are not relevant to me. How can I adjust this?

Within each main query category, there are dozens of subcategories. To further refine your queries, log into ProfNet and navigate to Inbox > Adjust Filters > Select Categories > Click the plus sign (+) to the left of a main category to see its subcategories > Select/Deselect > Save. Your preferences should update within 24 hours.


6) I am receiving too many query emails throughout the day. How can I adjust this?

Query emails are sent to new users every 30 minutes by default. To change your email frequency, log into ProfNet and navigate to Inbox > Adjust Filters > Expand "Frequency of Email" > Select delivery preference > Save. This is also where you can disable your personal email inbox feed; uncheck "Receive Queries by Email" to interact with the queries exclusively from your ProfNet Inbox.


7) Why have I stopped receiving my query emails?

Your ProfNet queries are always sent to your ProfNet Inbox. However, if you notice they stop sending to your personal email inbox, first check to ensure that your personal email feed is enabled by logging into ProfNet and navigating to Inbox > Adjust Filters > Expanding "Frequency of Email" > Selecting "Receive Queries by Email" > Save.

If your feed is enabled, it's likely an email or firewall issue pertaining to your organization's security settings. Security updates can affect query emails even if you've received them in the past. Check with your IT department to make sure the following server and IP addresses are whitelisted:

          prnhs-mx01pn.profnet.com -
          prnhs-mx02pn.profnet.com -
          prnhs-mx03pn.profnet.com -
          prnph-mx01pn.profnet.com -
          prnph-mx02pn.profnet.com -

In addition, have your IT department add noreply_profnet@prnewswire.com to your safelist. Contact support if the issue persists.


8) My query deadlines are displaying in the incorrect time zone. How can I adjust this?

Time zones are set during the initial provisioning of your ProfNet account. To have your time zone adjusted for your account, please contact support.


9) How can I change my ProfNet password?

Log into ProfNet and navigate to My Profile > Change Password > Save. This will update your password for ProfNet only, not for the ProfNet Connect site. Please note that ProfNet, PR Newswire's Online Member Center, and iReach share the same login credentials. Changing your ProfNet password will change it for those services, too.


10) Do you offer ProfNet trainings?

Yes. Please contact our ProfNet Specialists to set up a training session: training.us@cision.com


ProfNet Connect

1) Do I need to subscribe to ProfNet Connect?

No. ProfNet Connect is a free, public-facing indexed site, and is an included benefit of your paid ProfNet subscription. When a ProfNet user is added to the query subscription, a ProfNet Connect Communications Professional Profile is auto-generated for him/her. ProfNet Connect complements your ProfNet query subscription, as it gives you the ability to create Expert Profiles for your company's subject matter Experts.


2) How can I create Expert Profiles?

If you manage subject matter Experts for your organization (ex: your CEO, a client, etc.), you can create Expert Profiles for them on ProfNet Connect. First, finish completing your own Communications Professional Profile on the site (find a reference guide here). Then, begin creating your Expert Profiles (find a reference guide here).

As you are the overseer for these Experts, you will be listed as their designated "Media Contact." These Expert Profiles are tied directly to your own ProfNet Connect account, and can be accessed from your own profile page by navigating to Edit Profile > View Managed Profiles. Reference the linked guide above for more details.

Include links to these Expert Profiles in query responses, Expert Alerts, and PR Newswire press releases to boost visibility for your Experts. There is no limit to how many Expert Profiles you may create.


3) I can log into my ProfNet Inbox, but not ProfNet Connect. Why?

ProfNet and ProfNet Connect, while related, are two different sites and do not share the same login credentials by default. However, your username logins for both sites should be the same (typically your email address). Set your desired password for ProfNet first, then navigate to ProfNet Connect and use the ‘Forgot Password’ option to manually set it to be the same.

Once your password is set, you might need to restart your browser and/or clear your cache upon the next login attempt.


4) How can I remove an old ProfNet Connect profile that I no longer want public?

If you have a ProfNet Connect profile that is outdated, for another company, or simply no longer in use, it can be deleted from the back end of the site so that it is no longer public-facing. This can be done for both Communications Professional and Expert Profiles. Please email support and include the profile URL. We will contact you when the profile has been removed.


ProfNet Links

1) Why should I use ProfNet Links? Is there an extra cost?

ProfNet Links works in tandem with ProfNet Connect through your paid ProfNet subscription. If you submit a press release through PR Newswire's Online Member Center that discusses your CEO, a client, or any other Expert your company represents, you can include a link to his/her Expert Profile on ProfNet Connect.

These quick links allow journalists to immediately pursue a story by reviewing further information on your Expert sources. Since this service is included within your paid ProfNet subscription, you may include up to 10 Expert Profile links per press release at no additional charge. Additionally, these links will not contribute toward your press release word count.


2) How do I include an Expert Profile in a PR Newswire press release?

First, create the Expert Profile(s) on ProfNet Connect. If you need assistance with this, reference the FAQs in the ProfNet Connect section above.

Linking the Expert Profile(s)
ProfNet Links is dependent upon the PR Newswire account you're using to send a press release. For instance, if you want to include an Expert Profile in a press release for Acme, Inc., you first need to link that Expert's ProfNet Connect profile to Acme, Inc. via its account number.

To do this, log into your own account on ProfNet Connect and navigate to Edit Profile > View Managed Profiles > Manage Profile of the Expert. Once you are in the Expert's profile, navigate to Edit Profile. You will see the Expert's details displayed on a form. Scroll down to the "PR Newswire Member Account #" field. Enter in the six digit number of the PR Newswire account you'll be submitting the press release under. If you do not know it, contact support. Be sure to save your changes.

Attaching the Expert Profile(s) in a Press Release
Note: Linking and syncing of an Expert Profile on ProfNet Connect with the Online Member Center can take up to several hours. If you have an immediate press release and need to include an Expert Profile, please proceed to the next section.

Once an Expert Profile syncs with the Online Member Center via a PR Newswire account number, you may link to it in press releases. On the press release order form, this option will be available under "Step 5 – Add optional news release enhancements." Check off the option below, then select your desired Expert Profiles.

Immediate Press Releases
If you are sending an immediate press release and do not see your Expert Profile(s) available on the release order form (either because they are not synced at all or because the syncing is still in progress), you can still include the Expert Profile(s) in your release.

Navigate to the Expert Profile(s) on ProfNet Connect, and highlight the vanity URL in the address bar. Then, copy and paste this link into your press release body. This will provide a direct link to the Expert's profile. The Editorial team will contact you if they need clarification.