ProfNet: The Professors' Network
Updated: February 1996ProfNet is an excellent way to locate national or international expert sources to interview for stories. The service started out in the early 1990s by a Dan Forbush, a public information officer at State University of New York at Stony Brook
In 1995 Forbush set up ProfNet as an independent company and in Feb. 1996 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of PR Newswire. ProfNet makes its revenue from fees collected from member organizations. More than half of the member organizations are universities, and the rest are corporations, organizations, medical facilities, think tanks, etc.
You can contact ProfNet by telephone at 800-PROFNET, or by e-mail at email@example.com. ProfNet also maintains a website at http://www.profnet.com/ where it maintains an Experts Database at http://www.profnet.com/ped.html.
Submitting a ProfNet request:The best way to submit a ProfNet request is to send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just identify yourself as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News and describe the type of expert you are looking for. Your request will be handled by humans not by computer so real language is all you need.
Be sure to include how you would prefer to be contacted and what kind of deadline you're under.
ProfNet distributes requests three times a day (10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. EST), but you should have at least 24 hours lead time to use ProfNet effectively.
Selecting a Sublist:If you prefer that your request only go to universities, rather than to corporations, you can state that in your request. ProfNet has four distribution "sublists":
You can specify in your message which sublists you wish to include.
- Colleges and universities.
- Corporations and PR agencies.
- Other academic organizations (think tanks, non-profit research centers, etc).
- Government agencies.