Short version of bio:
Joan Stewart's free publicity campaign started at age 10 when her hometown newspaper wrote a story about a blue ribbon she won for a 4-H sewing project at the Ohio State Fair. From then on, she was hooked on publicity.
Today, Joan teaches Publicity Hounds how to catch the attention of frazzled news directors, busy reporters and grumpy editors. In fact, she worked as a grumpy editor at three daily newspapers and The Business Journal in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
As a media relations consultant and professional speaker, she shows people how to use the media to establish their credibility, enhance their reputation, position themselves as experts, sell more products and services, promote a favorite cause or issue, and establish their companies as employers of choice.
Her popular electronic newsletter called "The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week" goes to more than 11,000 subscribers worldwide and includes the best publicity tips and good clean dog jokes (one in each issue) you'll find anywhere. She lives and tries to stay warm in Port Washington, Wisconsin.
Long version of bio:
Joan Stewart’s free publicity campaign started at age 10 when The Maple Heights Press, her hometown weekly newspaper, wrote a four-inch story about a blue ribbon she won for a 4-H sewing project (a bright blue apron) at the Ohio State Fair.
From then on, she was hooked on publicity. A few years later, while other girls her age were playing with Barbie dolls and listening to Beatles albums, Joan was always scheming and thinking of ways to get into the giant newsroom at The Cleveland Press, her local metropolitan newspaper, so she could meet reporters and ask them about their jobs.
During the next 10 years, Joan used every excuse imaginable to get into the newsroom. She interviewed reporters for class projects. She visited The Press during school field trips. She talked her way into the newsroom again when she was named sports editor for her high school newspaper and told the grizzled sports reporters at The Press that she wanted to visit them to learn “how the pros do it.” She was mesmerized by the clanging of Underwood manual typewriters, editors barking orders to reporters, and the fog of cigarette smoke.
In 1974, she was involved in her first investigative story as editor of The BG News at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Rumors had circulated throughout campus that local fraternities were encouraging their members to cast multiple ballots in the student elections so their favorite candidates would be elected. She and three other newspaper staffers entered the voting booths several times on election day and stamped “The BG News” on the paper ballots, then dropped them into the ballot boxes—proving that the lax election system indeed made it possible for students to vote more than once. The university threatened her and the other journalists with expulsion. They were later cleared, but a story about the controversy appeared along with her photo in none other than The Cleveland Press. “I was thrilled because it gave me one more reason to be able to visit the newsroom,” she said. But she was mortified when the article misspelled her name. "Joan Gestl" appeared as "Joan Grestl." It was her first valuable lesson in the importance of accuracy.
Joan worked as a reporter, then managing editor at The Lake County News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio. From there, she worked as editor at The Sheboygan Press in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; The Express-Times in Easton, Pa.; and The Business Journal in Milwaukee, Wis. She left the newspaper industry in 1994 to start her own business. As a media relations consultant, speaker and trainer, she shows people how to use the media to establish their credibility, enhance their reputation, position themselves as experts, sell more products and services, promote a favorite cause or issue, and establish their companies as employers of choice.
Today, Joan travels the United States giving workshops on media topics, lugging her plastic popcorn forks, rubber masks and other props with her to show her audiences how some of the most obscure products have gotten thousands of dollars in publicity on top media outlets like CNN and The New York Times. She is a past president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Speakers Association.
Joan also publishes the popular electronic newsletter “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week” which goes to more than 11,000 subscribers worldwide. She actively seeks publicity success stories from her readers, as well good, clean dog jokes that are featured in every issue.
She loves riding rickety roller-coasters, eating hot buttered popcorn, walking several miles a day, listening to anything by Joni Mitchell or Laura Nyro, and watching "The Sopranos" and reruns of "Andy of Mayberry."
Her one goal in life? "To learn to drive a stick-shift."
She lives and tries to stay warm in Port Washington, Wisconsin.
How Joan can help the media:
If you are looking for publicity success stories, I can share sources and contact information.
If you need articles, columns, tip sheets, or other short items, I can meet even the toughest deadlines without fail.
I can provide more than 50 publicity and media-related articles you can reprint--and adjust the word count to meet your needs to save you time editing. See my Free Articles page for a partial list.
I write freelance articles for a variety of publications and have built a reputation for suggesting off-the-wall topics, writing clean and compelling copy, and respecting deadlines.
I can provide a list of other experts and contact information on the topic of free publicity.
I can provide expert commentary, background and story ideas on the topic of publicity.
Joan Stewart Consulting
3434 County KK
Port Washington, WI 53074
Send me an email
Phone: 262-284-7451 Fax: 262-284-1737