Media Monday: Robert Pregulman, Seattle DogSpot

Rosalind Brazel / October 14, 2013

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

ImageThis Week: Robert Pregulman, Seattle DogSpot

Robert Pregulman started the Seattle DogSpot to give area dog owners a one-stop shop for everything dog in our dog-crazy region. Before launching Seattle DogSpot in February of 2012, Pregulman worked for a national environmental and consumer watchdog group for 13 years. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1980 with a BA in Economics and achieved an Executive Masters of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington in 2012. He lives in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Randy, dogs Dylan and Miguel, and cats Maggie and Sam.

Q: What’s your favorite story you’ve done in the last week?

A: It was a post about a WA Supreme Court decision that allows therapy dogs in court to help abuse victims testify against their abusers. Many of the witnesses in the cases are children who are hesitant to talk about what happened to them because they were abused by a parent or other relative.

The dogs provide a comforting presence which helps both children and adults cope with the physical, psychological, and emotional trauma/abuse that in many cases could prevent them from providing the testimony that can put abusers behind bars.

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: Knowing your audience and tailoring your writing to what they want to hear, not what you want to say. Also:

  • Writing as if you’re telling a story, not writing a dissertation
  • Using pictures to make your story more attractive to readers
  • Covering issues that elicit that you’re passionate about
  • Understanding how to structure a story so it will attract traffic to a website
  • Figuring out and highlighting the key informational points you find in research or interviews that will connect your readers
  • Having empathy so you can understand how people feel and communicate it through your writing

Q: If you weren’t working at your current job, what would you be doing

A: I’d work for a nonprofit organization involved with either environmental protection or animal rescue.

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …”

A: …someone who can understand their audience and connect the issue they’re working on with their audience’s best interest

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: I’m a pretty good cook and love to garden.

The PR Pro Takeaway: This journalist has developed a very specific and well honed niche that gets great following. Robert is the go-to animal guy in Seattle. Find the Seattle Dog Spot on Twitter.