Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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5 Questions for New York Times reporter Stuart Elliott

If you're a public relations professional, you're very familiar with Stuart Elliott.  As the long time marketing reporter for the New York Times, he's practically an institution onto himself.  I recently had the chance to ask him five questions -- four related to his vocation, and one related to his avocation.

1. It seems like more and more reporters are engaging in personal "brand building" as a way to distinguish themselves from the pack.  As the media industry continues to go through some upheaval, do you see personal brand building as taking on more importance?

Personal brand building for reporters, like everyone else affected by the wild ride we are taking economically, is going to grow in importance. But with reporters, at least those with jobs, there seems to be a greater need to balance the personal with the professional. Many employers have rules about personal branding that can be at variance with what some reporters believe is the way to gain personal prominence. 

2. Many reporters use twitter to either find sources or share their work with others. I've noticed that you're not active on twitter - why is that?

I'm not on twitter yet because I'm watching its course and trying to figure out whether it is a fad or a trend. I am also wondering about the need for another channel of communication when there are already so many that take so much time to monitor, keep up with, reply to and read.

3. There's been much discussion about the need for media sites to begin charging for their content online. Do you think consumers will pay for content that they're accustomed to receiving for free? Do you  think  Steven Brill's "micropayment" plan is viable?

        I would have to say I am of two minds on the question of whether consumers will pay for content they are used to -- or have been conditioned to -- getting free. On one hand it's difficult to charge for something that consumers have not paid for before. On the other hand, anyone who believed decades ago that people would be shelling out hefty sums for "pay television," their own copies of movies, personal portable telephones, computers, and on and on and on, would have been locked away in the loony bin or booby hatch, as they used to say. Membership models may work as well as pay models, or micropayment models, if not better, in that fans of public television and radio are accustomed to supporting them through annual "dues."

        4.  What is the biggest innovation you’ve seen in marketing over the past year or two? What companies do you consider to be the most innovative marketers?

 The biggest marketing innovations have been around value as the recession arrived. They range from Hyundai's assurance programs to Wal-Mart's return to its roots to the campaigns from various packaged-foods marketers that point out how little a home-made meal can cost. I believe value will drive consumer behavior for some time and thus innovations will need to take that into account.

        5.       If you were the GM of the New York Mets for the remainder of this year, what would you do?

 If I were the general manager of the Mets, I would trade myself to a team with better, less-injured players!

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