Name: C.J. Moore
Bio: Web marketer by day; sportswriter by night.
Title: Editor at Red Nova Labs; KU athletics beat writer for CBSSports.com Rapid Reports.
Residence: Prairie Village, Kan.
Intro music: “Party In The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
Silicon Prairie News: As someone who’s been on both sides of the press release process — writing them and writing stories based on them — what are a few guidelines you follow for crafting an effective press release?
C.J. Moore: I look at press releases just like I look at a news story. You need a good lede; you need good information and you need to tell a story. Usually there’s going to be some cheerleading in most press releases, but if you can distance yourself (I put on my journalism hat), it’s easier to figure out what’s the important information people need to know.
The one big difference is sometimes an exec wants to change a quote, and I would never give a coach or athlete that opportunity. That was an adjustment, letting “the source” make changes. I’ll let them make a change, as long as they still sound like a human. That’s my pet peeve about press releases, when you can tell the quotes were made up and never actually spoken.
SPN: Red Nova Labs’ Venture Fridays are about to undergo some changes. What’s your elevator pitch regarding the new format of the event and what benefits those alterations will bring?
CM: Venture Friday, as it’s always been, is a place where people with an entrepreneurial spirit can meet, learn about each other and learn from each other. It’s the chance to bounce your idea off of someone (speed meeting in April) or to spread the word about your startup, which happened at the Startup Roundtable in March. It’s a great opportunity for KC startups to receive exposure and feedback. The benefit of changing formats and/or locations for a few months is to reach a broader audience. (Gross. I think I just sounded like a marketer there. But it really is a cool event.)
SPN: What, if any, unexpected similarities have you found between your previous gig writing for a newspaper and your current one at a web development/marketing/technology shop?
CM: Telling stories. That’s one thing our CMO Carrie Royce liked about me. Coming from the journalism world, I’m not preprogrammed to BS. Customers and readers appreciate honesty. They know when you’re trying to spin something. So whatever I’m writing, whether it’s a blog post or marketing materials for a tradeshow, I try to be honest, tell a good story and communicate the information clearly.
SPN: On a Kansas basketball gamedays, when you’re dividing time between Red Nova Labs and covering the Jayhawks for CBS Rapid Reports, what does your schedule typically look like?
CM: I make it happen, sans sleep. I typically get all my pregame stuff finished the night before, so I’m able to have a normal workday at Red Nova Labs. I get to Lawrence around 6:15, finish any pregame stuff I have left and eat the pregame media meal. I’m usually finished with my CBS game coverage around midnight. I get back to KC around 1 a.m., then write a blog post and finish around 2:30 or 3. Unwinding and getting to sleep is the most difficult part of the day.
SPN: On the subject of college hoops, it’s time to look into your crystal (basket)ball. Who’s bound for the Final Four later this month, and why?
CM: A lot of it depends on matchups in March. I like North Carolina to make the Final Four; however, if the Heels play a great defensive team that plays physical, that’s their kryptonite (see at Florida State). Kentucky is the closest thing to a sure thing. It’s impossible to score in the paint on that team. (The Unibrow is distracting.). I’m a KU grad, so it pains me to say this, but if the Missouri Tigers stay away from a team with great post players, I think they’ll make it because they’re so efficient on offense. I’ll go with Florida as my sleeper team. Not playing great right now but have the talent to put together a run.
Credits: Photo courtesy of Moore.
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