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PR Talk

PR Talk interviews the media for a change. What makes them tick? What are their PR pet peeves? And most importantly, how can we get stories placed? The marketing, PR and media advice we provide is for everyone — whether you're a newbie looking to get into the field, or a senior-level pro keeping up-to-date with current trends. Along the way, we learn about careers in media to aid aspiring journalists!

Oct 19, 2017

Make no mistake. Lizzy Acker is a journalist. But in a nontraditional role for The Oregonian, Oregon’s traditionally daily newspaper, Lizzy’s role on the Trending Team is to rack up page-views on the newspaper’s website, OregonLive. But there’s always more, like: how she’s written a book and a zine, following a boy, creating her own jobs, social media for Portland’s beloved Powell’s, and “selling out” for her audience. Lizzy Acker is responsible for driving page views to Oregon’s largest daily newspaper’s website, OregonLive. For just over a year, she’s been combining her creative, personal voice with journalistic integrity in her role as a reporter on the Oregonian’s trending news team, “the most fun team to be on,” according to Lizzy. The trending team must hold strong value among the ranks of a publication that branded itself as “digital first” after shocking long-term subscribers by slashing its daily home delivery options in 2013. This new approach for the Oregonian requires a different kind of writing that can be quickly measured by clicks, shares and comments — pointing to a reporter’s effective or ineffective writing. Website news writing versus traditional news writing Reporters traditionally plunge into their reporting, coming up for air sometimes months or years later with meaningful stories impacting many people. However, these long-lead stories might not attract a ton of page-views which seem to come from quick writing that is often related to what’s going on right this instant. What’s different about Lizzy’s role is that she’s directly tasked with writing for her audience, rather than telling the news. This approach has many traditional reporters aghast. But Lizzy doesn’t believe that considering her audience before setting forth is “selling out.” She attempts to continually build her audience, a good thing for the Oregonian who is in the business of attracting eyeballs to content. While all of her posts end up on OregonLive, a select few make it into the paper. She loves this, saying “its cool to see your name in the paper.” Sometimes the only way she knows her words graced the dinosaur pages is how her audience connects, getting more phone calls and emails from readers as opposed to the usual online comments. Full recap at

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