October 23, 2014: Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals Panel

Panel Speakers:

Anthony Yanez - President of Houston Association of Media Professionals, KPRC Local 2 morning weatherman

Rita Garcia - morning anchor for Fox 26

David Nuno - sports reporter for ABC 13, background in radio/PR, worked for Texans

Maria Carillo - Houston Chronicle, in charge of projects, Chron is her 6th newspaper

Claudia Deschamps - former journalist (Univision, Telemundo), currently owns own communications firm (Deschamps Communication)

Gabriel Cantu - 8 years with Telemundo, camera and photographer

Joy Sewing - Fashion and Beauty Editor for the Chronicle

The following are some of the questions asked by students and the responses given by members of the panel:

What are some of the ways we can foster a good relationship with reporters/media?

"Don’t just email me, call me and meet me out and about." - Nuno

Develop a relationship with a reporter. Think about the kind of pitches you are making, we are looking for an interesting idea, something a little different. When you want to highlight a story, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day are good days.

If you could give your college self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Know that every chapter will come to an end, college will end. Always know there is a life after what you dedicated yourself to. Hard work pays off. Learn how to talk and tell a story. Your quality of work will set you apart. Find a reason why you are on air or why you are writing a story.

“Your reputation starts now and people will remember you.” – Rita Garcia

Are all of your degrees in what you are doing now?

It doesn’t matter what your degree is, just graduate and be good.

In terms of broadcasting, how important is looks versus talent?

Looks are important and not important at all. If you’re good, you’re good. Your quality of work speaks further. It’s very important to know what you’re doing.

How difficult is it to break into the business?

It’s case by case. You need to be good at networking. It's not about age, it’s worth ethic and talent. Work harder than anyone else.

How do you get creative with your demo reel without being too cheesy?

Put your best work that represents you. And know what your station is all about. Keep it on theme and know your station’s brand. For your first TV job, show that you can do general/real news.

What do you consider the hardest part of your job?

For a print reporter, the most difficult part has been the downsizing. Dealing with a changing business. Balancing and making a sacrifice. Having to give up on “the dream” due to cut backs and having to change your course. Changes in technology and dealing with the rise of social media.

Do you need to take the first job you’re offered?

It’s up to you, it takes time but you have to self-evaluate. Smaller markets are sometimes a good place to start.

What do you think the next step is for journalism to sell?

Changing more to a consumer model, people are willing to pay for quality and to get their news.

What are the biggest “don’t”s for PR professionals?

They’re journalists, don’t expect them to do a 'commercial for you'. Don’t send them trash! A lot of PR people do not send journalists what they need to their story. Don’t cry wolf. Make a sincere pitch. Understand who you are pitching to and what they are looking for.

Any advice on looking for an internship?

Go to smaller stations and newspapers. Ask a reporter if you can shadow them.