5 Questions with Anjali Fluker

Orlando Business Journal reporter Anjali Fluker is next up in our “5 Questions With” series, where we ask journalists to shed some light on pitching, reporting and journalism. An award-winning journalist, Anjali covers real estate, retail and minority business for the OBJ. Prior to coming to Orlando, Anjali covered economic development for Crain’s Detroit Business. She’s also worked as a community reporter for the Detroit News and as a sportswriter for the Times Herald in Port Huron, MI.

Without further adieu …

1. If you could give PR people one piece of advice, what would it be?
Research your client as well as the publication/news source you’re pitching to before you make a call. If you don’t know or understand what your client does, you look like an idiot. And if you don’t know what the publication is about, the reporter gets insulted.

2. What do you think non-journalists would be surprised to learn about journalists?

We love food!

3. What do you think about the integration of social media and journalism? Good, bad, indifferent?

I think social media has both its ups and downs in journalism. On the upside, it sometimes makes it easier during our newsgathering phase, if we can find better sourcing and tips through Tweets & Facebook. But there’s also the downside that some news organizations are starting to believe that the real “news” is what’s being discussed on social networking sites. That means they’re spending oodles of time on one subject and not getting enough information on other stories of value. Additionally, it could get people in trouble if they use social networking sites as a source and don’t back it up. There’s a lot of drama & hating going on in those places.

4. How do you prefer to be pitched?

I prefer e-mails with information that relates directly to what I cover and our publication.

5. What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever received from a PR person?

There are way too many to name! Too often, I get e-mailed press releases that are full of company slogans and jargon, and then a follow-up call from an account exec who has no idea what his/her client’s real news is when I ask more questions. Just ask a few questions and maybe you’ll find a story that’s real “news.”