Advice from the Media | Kathy Lu

Advice from the Media | Kathy Lu

Name: Kathy Lu
Title: Assistant Managing Editor/Features
Media Outlet: Kansas City Star
Twitter Handle: @kathyluwho

1) Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less.
Emails. Meetings. Editing. Story discussions. Putting out fires. Responding to readers. Not necessarily in that order.

2) What’s the best pitch you’ve ever received?
It’s hard to think of the best one, but we pay more attention when it has anything to do with Kansas City. Just recently, we’ve done stories based on pitches about Kansas City ranking high in certain studies and about people living and working in Kansas City doing cool things.

3) The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you?
There are several, and they always run through my head: “Read your stories aloud” (you can catch things better that way); “End sentences on a word that leaves a strong feeling”; “Read everything” (to get story ideas); “Kill your babies” (sometimes, the piece is better off without that turn of phrase or section you really love).

4) If there was one thing you could tell every PR practitioner, what would it be?
Know your audience. Blanket, generic pitches are often trashed. But if it has something specific to do with the place or person you’re sending it to, you have a better shot at it being noticed.

5) What’s your craziest or most interesting newsroom story?
When the Virginia Tech mass shooting happened in 2007, I was working at The Roanoke Times, the main newspaper for that region of Virginia. What started off as Tech police investigating an isolated shooting in a dorm quickly spiraled into an epic tragedy. It was one of my proudest moments as a journalist, to see our newsroom stretch itself to cover such a massive story and to be a part of it. But it was also very sobering to know that as a journalist, your instinct is to cover the story as best you can and not necessarily deal with the emotions that come with it.

6) What sets your page apart from the competition?
No one knows Kansas City like the reporters and editors at the Star. From history to politics to food, we are the experts of our city.

7) Any shameless self-promotion you want to add?
Visit us at www.kansascity.com. Also, check out our popular celebrity site, http://www.kansascity.com/stargazing/