Detroit native and Crain’s Detroit Business News Editor Beth Reeber Valone has always had a passion for journalism. As a young girl, she was interested in current events and created a newspaper for her middle school. As a college student years later, she secured a Dow Jones Copy Editing Internship, which solidified her love of the trade.
After 17 years in the news business, Beth transitioned to PRISM, a U.K.-based PR and marketing firm. After five years at PRISM, Beth had learned a lot, but missed the news business. Ultimately, she returned to The Detroit News for a second stint, this time on the digital side, which led to other digital news opportunities. She landed at Crain’s in 2012.
As someone who’s worked in both journalism and public relations, Beth had much to offer Franco staffers when she visited our office, providing us with sound advice on pitching and an insight into her average day at the office.
Know the Publication
Beth tells us that Crain’s receives many pitches that aren’t in line with the publication’s content and, as a result, do not net the senders’ desired story placement results. When a reporter does show interest, your pitch is more likely to land a story if you have all the information ready.
Cut to the Chase
Beth dislikes flowery language in a pitch, preferring those that cut right to the chase. Don’t leave it to a reporter or editor to connect the dots. Succinctly spell out why your company’s news matters to Crain’s readers.
Beth’s Average Day
Beth starts her day at 6 a.m., completing Crain’s morning edition newsletter, setting up social media posts and looking at the wires for any potential stories. Along with the pitches and press releases she and her colleagues receive, they also work on stories they have identified on their own. She also works closely with Crain’s daily beat reporters. Along with her team of three breaking news reporters, Beth staffs the breaking news desk between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Inspired by Detroit
When we asked Beth what inspires her about Detroit, she says, “faith.” She sees businesses taking responsibility for the city, which is inspiring to be part of. Many of the people Beth grew up with are still in Detroit and taking care of the city – she feels inspired by that, too.
Beth loves working at Crain’s. She says it’s a collaborative work environment where fellow reporters share content and help each other out. Her workplace atmosphere sounds a lot like ours.
Jess Knight is a public relations coordinator at Franco. You can reach her at email@example.com.