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Best Profnets of 2007–Lion Tamers, Purity Balls, Vampires, Oh My!

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For those not billing a couple hours a day for “pursuing journalist queries,” Profnet is the service connecting journalists with sources since 1992.

Did you ever wonder where that women’s magazine found a lion tamer, or host of a Taser party? Where the local paper found a vampire expert, or how the AM station found guests arguing for and against those icky father-daughter “purity balls“? All Profnet, and all are nominees in boutique agency Morris+King‘s second annual “Best Profnet Queries of the Year”.

M&K’s Lane Buschel and Justin Kazmark spent the year combing through tens of thousands of queries so you don’t have to. Building upon 2006, the firm added an award for the best use of the service by a single journalist, and a dishonorable mention for the most “sketchy.” The latter actually goes to a PR firm seeking to bolster a morning show pitch with a victim of a tragedy.

Can you guess which agency? See our next post for the winner.

The winner for the Best Profnet Query goes to a freelancer for WWE for a triple-threat request seeking a treasure hunter, a mosquito killer, and an expert on chicken fights. What’s great about this request, unlike some others, is that it appears the writer did find two out of three experts for the June issue of the wrestling pub (cover pictured above).

The Top 10 Best Profnet Queries of 2007 are available in full after the jump:


10. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: People’s Busy Lives and the Bad Things that May Happen as a Result—The Cincinnati Post

I’m looking for a sociologist/psychologist to talk about people’s busy lives and bad things that may happen as a result, i.e., leaving the car on in the garage, going to bed and dying of carbon monoxide poisoning because they were so busy they forgot.

9. SPORTS/TODAY: Transitioning from Cheerleader to Coach/Gym Owner—Freelancer

I’m working on an article for Cheer Biz magazine about transitioning from cheerleader to coach. If you’ve ever been a cheerleader who transitioned into coaching either a school squad or an all-star cheer team, please answer these questions: 1. What has been the hardest part about transitioning from cheerleader to coach/gym owner? 2. How long have you been coaching? Also, how long did you cheer? 3. When you were cheering, did you ever anticipate becoming a coach? Did you consciously prepare to do that? 4. What would have helped you make the transition easier? 5. What would you say to young cheerleaders coming up in the cheer system with the goal of becoming a coach/gym owner? 6. Any advice on making rules and running practices and gaining respect of other coaches, cheerleaders, parents, etc.? Many cheer coaches and owners are so young, they have a hard time with the respect part. How do you handle it? (By the way, how old are you?) 7. For coaches who are not married, barely 21, how do you suggest they separate themselves from the cheerleaders? 8. Is the pressure too much sometimes? Is it all worth it in the end? 9. What characteristics do you think a person needs to have in order to be a good coach/gym owner? Please feel free to add any other info you think might be beneficial to this piece.

8. PARENTING: Purity Balls—WOSU-AM (OH)

I’m looking for someone who can speak about purity balls, either for or against. I need someone who can say why father-daughter purity balls are good, or why they are bad.

7. BEHAVIOR: Lion/Tiger Tamer—Parenting Magazine

No, this isn’t a joke. I am seeking a circus lion/tiger tamer for a short, humorous piece on how to get small children to behave. I would vastly prefer that the tamer have children of his/her own and speak English. Please forward me your candidate’s credentials and availability, as well as the name of a contact person I can reach for further information or to schedule an interview.

6. BEHAVIOR: Vampires—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I’m out to prove we still love vampires. I need some folks familiar with creatures of darkness to help me give evidence of this passion and/or tell me why we still love them.

5. BOOSTER/TODAY: Bible Verses for Daters—Love.MSN.com

Many daters look for inspiration from the Good Book. So I’m compiling a list of the best Bible verses for daters. Please e-mail your most inspirational verse, a 100-word explanation of what it means to you and why you chose it, and your name, title and location with “Bible Verses” in the subject line.

4. NON-EXPERT: Taser Parties—Cloaked

A national women’s magazine is looking for women who’ve hosted taser parties. Please respond ASAP with your info, and I’ll provide details about the article.

3. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: Effects of Drugs and Alcohol—Star Magazine

I need someone to explain to me the effects drugs and alcohol can play on a 25-year-old’s mind. How might their behavior change? Will they do irrational things?

2. FITNESS: Exercising While Drinking—Freelancer

I am writing an article on how barflies can stay in shape. I am looking for experts who can suggest exercises that can be done at a bar. I am open to anything—low-impact aerobics, barstool dips, beer curls, etc. I am looking for detailed descriptions on how to correctly do the exercise. This is for UrbanTailgate.com, a social networking site for sports fans.

1. LIVING/TODAY: Finding Treasure/Thwarting Mosquitoes/Chicken Fights—Freelancer

I’m writing some how-to pieces for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) magazine, and am looking for advice on three rather unique topics: find buried treasure, thwarting mosquitoes, and winning a chicken fight. If you are, or work with, an expert treasure hunter, insect killer, or chicken fighter, please let me know, or simply pass along your top tips. My deadline’s Tuesday, so I’m looking for great info in a hurry.

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