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Cara Sprunk – Reporter, Us Weekly

The daily life of a celebrity is packed—filled up to the brim with interviews and appearances, all the while keeping a keen fashion sense, tweeting to a fan base and generally making an impression on viewers and listeners across the world on various platforms—in addition the responsibilities of concerts, performances and other direct obligations of their talent.

The daily life of a celebrity reporter can be even more intense. From tracking interviews, appearances, fashion, social media, career moves and the latest events surrounding celebrity lives, it can be hectic. All this comes while attempting to break the stories first against a barrage of other media outlets in a continuous news cycle.

Cara Sprunk joined Us Weekly  in July as a reporter, and knows firsthand that today’s celebrity news coverage involves a fast-paced climate that requires polished skills, determination and adaptability to social media as reporting tools.

“I will always love print and the feel of a magazine in my hand; however, the race to break news with a million other websites and blogs online pushes me to be a better journalist as the competition gets tougher. I totally thrive off competition,” she said.

The Cornell University graduate was previously at Star Magazine, where she spent the last two years developing her craft while climbing the ranks from an editorial assistant to staff reporter.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere without my experiences at Star. I learned from an amazing team how to be a celebrity reporter,” she said. “The team at Star was small and therefore I was able to get experience in a wide range of reporting skills while getting pointers from the phenomenal team there on how to do better each time.”

Long before she took a role at Star and completed editorial internships at OK! Magazine and Life & Style, Sprunk set out to make a name for herself in medicine, but was eventually persuaded to pursue a career in a field that was home to none other than her “dream job.”

“After deciding I wasn’t going to cut it in the medical field, I was sort of at a loss. I didn’t know where to go, or even what skill set of mine I felt was strongest,” she said.

Someone asked her what her dream job would be her response was, “‘Working at Us Weekly.’ Seriously! [It] got me thinking I could actually do that. Shortly after that conversation, I joined my college newspaper where I fell in love with reporting. After my first internship at Life & Style, I realized I really loved celebrity news.”

Sprunk is excited to be surrounded and challenged by strong journalists in her field that also call Us Weekly their home. For her, the publication represents an enduring staple of an industry that provides a continuous stream of celebrity and entertainment coverage, which encourages her to step up her game.

“I like the challenge of working for such a successful publication. I’ve long admired Us Weekly and their track record with breaking celebrity news stories. My admiration of the magazine’s success is pushing me to be a better reporter. The staff in [Los Angeles] is fabulous and the environment really fosters a culture to be breaking stories constantly,” she said.

This is a good sign for Sprunk, as she will be breaking the news constantly via TwitterFacebook and the website, as well as the mainstay print publication, in order to get the word out first and be a primary source for up-to-date celebrity coverage.

“Twitter and Facebook are great for reporting. It is a great way to track down where celebrity news and all news is happening and connect with new people. I have always used Twitter to reach out to potential new sources and have had a lot of success with it,” she said. “Also, I love staying on Twitter throughout the day to keep on top of developing stories.”

In her new role, Sprunk continues to build on her strong foundation and hopes to carve out a niche at the magazine where she can develop a long career.

“I am thrilled to have joined Us Weekly’s Los Angeles team. I hope to be at Us Weekly for a long time and have continual success,” she said.

Pitching Tips

Sprunk prefers personalized pitches to be sent via email.

“What immediately catches my attention is something personalized to me, someone wanting to formulate a relationship with me. If we have a relationship, I’m much more interested in working with you,” she said.

Her biggest pet peeve is being pitched for subjects that are unrelated to her publication and those addressed to the wrong contact.

Sprunk can be found on Twitter at @carasprunk.

 

About Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller is a Product Marketing Manager for Cision. He develops marketing strategy and messaging, focusing on influencer impact and related trends within the comms and media industries.

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