Health Media Awards now accepting entries

Print, radio, television, online media and bloggers are invited to submit stories for the “Parangal sa mga Kuwentong Kalsugan Pangkalahatan” (PKKP) health media recognition.  Stories should have been published, posted or aired from the period of Jan 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.  The stories must cover health issues that cover the theme “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” or universal health care, including issues related to social health insurance, health facilities and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as safe motherhood, child nutrition and family planning.

Attached is the info sheet and application form.  Up to 5 entries may be submitted. A trophy and cash prize of P10,000 will be awarded for the best stories. A journalist may be recognized for a maximum of two stories. Deadline of entries is August 31, 2013.  Stories and the entry form may be submitted to

For more information, visit or
Parangal sa mga Kuwentong Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Health Media Awards aims to recognize Manila and province-based journalists from mainstream and non-traditional media for excellent stories that tell of ordinary folk’s strides in making a health-conscious community and healthy family.  A special prize for bloggers will also be given. “By telling their stories, of their struggles and little successes in life, our friends in the media will be powerful instruments in getting the message across.  Needless to say, we should have healthy citizens to be able to build empowered communities,” said DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag.
Probe Media Foundation is cooperating with DOH’s National Center for Health Promotion in the implementation of the program.  Deadline for entries is August 31, 2013.  For the application form and further inquiries, visit

What Every Freelance Writer Needs to Know in Order to Survive the Digital Age

Gone are the days of simply writing well in order to thrive as a freelance writer in the digital age. Here are some lessons we’ve learned at the Asian Publishing Convention (APC) about career-saving skills every freelance writer needs to learn:

  1. Write succinctly. Online readers have shorter attention spans than print readers. If you aren’t able to grab their attention and interest in 8 secondsshorter than the average attention span of a goldfish—you’re doomed. ‘Nuff said.
  1. Tell compelling stories. At the 2012 APC, Mr. MV Swaminathan, Chief Operating Officer of the MPH Group Magazine, shared two kinds of content that can be considered “compelling”: “Content that reminds us that life is short” and “content that reminds us that dreams come true.” It’s the human interest in each story that trulymatters.
  1. Weave SEO keywords into your piece.  One takeaway from an APC session tacklingSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) is this: “Great editors know how to appeal to search engines and real people.” SEO writing tends to be choppy and dry, while feature writers overlook the importance of using keywords that can drive traffic to a website. Master both, and you’re well on track.
  1. Think visually. Every online piece must be accompanied by a visual—be it a photograph, an illustration, or an infograph. These days, creating content doesn’t just mean using the right words to tell a story, but also knowing how to capture readers’ attention and interest through engaging visuals. On a related note: learn to be your own photographer. There’s nothing a good smartphone or digital camera won’t allow you to do.
  1. Create multi-platform content. Marina Go, Publisher of Private Media, posed this question at last year’s APC: “Why use content, then allow it to disappear?” She talked about the value (in monetary terms, yes) of creating content that can be “repurposed” for websites, for other print materials, for webinars, for videos, and the like. When creating content, don’t just think of something that people can read; develop content for other platforms, too, and maximize the profitability of your ideas.
  1. Crowdsource. Thanks to social media, every netizen is now a content creator. Paul Vincent Bermudez, President and CEO of Hinge Inquirer Publications, used this to his advantage in publishing Multisport Magazine. He engaged Multisport’s community of readers to share ideas, tips, and stories, thereby making it easier for him to source great content that his readers will love.
  1. Work with video. Learn to write for video—and, more importantly, learn how to use and create videos that amplify your message. This increases traffic and engagement for your website, and potential profitability for you, the content creator. (Ask Marina Go of Private Media and Mark Laudi of Hong Bao Media!) A caveat: the average attention span for online videos is below 3 minutes, so, again, brevity is key.
  1. Network. As a freelance writer and content creator, you need a steady stream of clients and projects to be profitable. To do this, get out from behind your desk and take advantage of opportunities to network with potential collaborators. The Asian Publishing Convention not only provides excellent learning sessions, it also offers venues for networking and deal-closing. Be sure not to miss this annual event and network away!
  1. Cross cultural boundaries. The digital age also means that ideas and projects can come from anywhere in the globe. As a participant of the APC, you also have a chance to be part of the Pan Asian Publishers Alliance Network (PAPAN), a network of industry leaders; freelance writers, photographers, and publications designers; and solutions providers whose main objective is to offer opportunities for cross-border collaboration outside and beyond the APC. Aside from gaining access to a rich international network, PAPAN members also get discounts to the APC and training courses, and will also be placed in the jobs market database.
  1. Monetize content beyond traditional publishing projects. One great platform that the APC has produced for freelance writers is the Editors Content Hub, a website where you can upload articles that can be sold anew to editors and publishers from anywhere in the world. If you’re looking for a way for your byline to go across the globe, the Editors Content Hub is the way to go.

The Asian Publishing Convention will run from July 11 to 12, 2013 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila in the Philippines. To learn more about what the APC can do for you as a freelance writer, visit Asian Publishing Convention.

 (Published in the APC blog last July 7, 2013)

10 Reasons YOU Should Attend The Asian Publishing Convention 2013

The Asian Publishing Convention (APC) is perhaps the largest gathering of digital and print publishers, publishing solutions providers, and freelance writers in this part of Asia. Thanks to its unparalleled roster of speakers and participants, the APC offers a gold mine of information and networks to anyone who wishes to make a mark in the Asian publishing industry.

So whether you’re already a veteran publisher or freelancer, or are just starting out in your writing or publishing business, here are 10 reasons why YOU should attend the Asian Publishing Convention this year.

  1. Converge with like-minded professionals. Year on year, the APC attracts hundreds of publishing professionals from all around Asia, all of whom are eager to learn new trends and platforms that are changing the course of publishing. If you’re looking to upgrade your skills and introduce profitable changes to your business, the APC is the best place to be in. This year, is supported by a record number of partners representing the print, online, mobile, multimedia, editorial, public relations, and advertising industries.
  1. Get a chance to sit down and chat with industry experts. The 2013 APC has at least 30 confirmed speakers and moderators, all of whom are experts in their own fields. Aside from learning from them in the plenary and bootcamp sessions, the APC also offers B2B Meeting Spaces and opportunities for networking. We at Writer’s Block Philippines have benefitted from this, and we’re sure that YOU would benefit from similar interactions.
  1. “Speed date” professionally—the APC Way. This year, the APC is putting a little more fun into the networking process. On the afternoon of July 11, APC will be hosting two types of “speed meetings”—one for publishers, solutions providers, and freelancers; and another exclusively for publishers. It’s virtually impossible to be able to meet everyone you’d like to meet solely through hallway chats, so this is a great opportunity to expand your network in just 90 minutes.
  1. Learn best practices in crossing over from print to digital. At no other time has the publishing industry been taken over by drastic changes—and at such breakneck speeds—than now. With that in mind, the APC is offering publishers a host of sessions and solutions that will help publishers cross over profitably to the digital space. At the APC, you can learn “Reboot Sales Skills for a Digital World”, or the all-important “Engagement vs Clicks,” and many more. There will even be a debate on “Digital Publishing is the Death of Traditional Publishers.” Whatever side of the digital divide you’re on, you’re sure to learn and be inspired by these sessions.
  1. Discover tools that will maximize reader engagement—and profit! It’s one thing to produce great content, but it’s another matter altogether to know which tools to use to boost reader engagement and maximize your profitability. Through such sessions as “Lessons Learned from Tablet Publishing”, “Challenges of Digital Asset Management in a Cross-Media Environment,” and more, you’ll discover other tools and tricks of the trade that are now becoming essential for profitability in a multi-media, multi-platform world.
  1.  Learn about the important metrics that will spell online publishing success.Publishing is no longer just about circulation, pass-on readership, and ad sales. These days, you’ll need to understand why a click is not enough, and how to define “reader engagement”. What tools and platforms should you use to accurately assess the “interestingness” and reach of your content? How can you excite and engage online advertisers? APC sessions and some of its solutions providers will show you the way.
  1. Meet potential suppliers and partners for your publishing projects, or potential clients for your freelance writing practice. The APC is not just a learning event—it helps to ensure that YOU are able to make deals with publishers, freelance writers, advertisers, or solutions providers right on-site. To this end, the B2B MeetingSpaces have been set up to give you a comfortable venue for transacting onsite. For freelance writers, the Editors Content Hub is also a great online space for selling your content across the region.
  1. Get a chance to be a member of the Pan Asian Publishers Alliance Network (PAPAN). Whether you’re a freelance writer or an established publisher, you stand to benefit from joining the PAPAN, a network of industry leaders; freelance writers, photographers, and publications designers; and solutions providers whose main objective is to offer opportunities for cross-border collaboration outside and beyond the APC. Aside from gaining access to a rich international network, PAPAN members also get discounts to the APC and training courses, and will also be placed in the jobs market database.
  1. Be inspired by excellence through the Asian Publishing Awards (APA). The Asian Publishing Awards is Asia’s premier awards program for the publishing industry. Threecategories are available—Magazine Awards, Book Awards, and Corporate Communications Awards—and all these recognize outstanding work that stand out not only in terms of content and design, but also in terms of achieving quantifiable and measurable communications objectives. This year’s APA Gala Dinner and Awards Night will be held after the close of the APC sessions on July 12, at the Mandarin Oriental Manila.
  1. Enjoy great food and service at the Mandarin Oriental Manila. We all know that the venue can make or break any international conference. Fortunately for us, this year’s APC venue, the Mandarin Oriental Manila, is known to have won awards for its excellent cuisine and service. Aside from feeding your brain and your business with excellent content, the APC will ensure that you’re fed excellent dishes and snacks, too.  🙂