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The PR Maven Podcast

The PR Maven® Podcast is the combination of traditional networking techniques combined with the power of social media to build your personal and professional brand. The podcast features interviews with industry leaders, top executives, media personalities and online influencers about public relations and their personal brand. Each week, Nancy connects with a special guest to talk about their career, and business or organization, as well as the latest news and events that will give listeners a unique perspective on the world of public relations, marketing and personal branding, including actionable takeaways.

Sep 5, 2023

Getting the word out about your business requires a mix of marketing techniques, but should working with influencers be one of your marketing strategies? On the one hand, influencers can help spread the word about your business, but on the other, influencers can take advantage of businesses and have less credibility than journalists. In this episode, Karen Stabiner talks about the challenges and downsides of working with influencers, particularly in the restaurant industry.  

3:57 Karen shares how she became interested in writing as a career when her eighth-grade teacher told her she was good at writing.  

5:26 Karen talks about how her family owned a restaurant supply company and how she spent a lot of time in restaurants as a kid.  

9:25 Karen describes the difference between journalists and influencers. 

18:04 Karen shares advice for working with influencers.  

17:33 Karen explains what journalist ethics are.  

26:02 Karen answers whether there are any good influencers.  

33:40 Karen talks about shakedown influencers. 

38:52 Nancy asks if influencers and journalists will ever become the same.  



“I am a journalist. I am also a consumer of information. We need to take a moment and reflect on where we are getting our information, what the source is, what the quality of it is and whether we wouldn't like a little more. Influencers are like a snack. Journalists are like a meal.” Karen Stabiner, Journalist and Author 




The New York Times: “Social Media Influencers Are Holding Restaurants Hostage”:  

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald:  

“Charlotte's Web” by E. B White:  

American Prometheus” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin:  



About the guest:     

Karen Stabiner was for three years the West Coast editor of The Counter, a nonprofit digital newsroom, until its untimely demise in May 2022; her work contributed to a 2021 SABEW award for general excellence. She is the author of Generation Chef, which follows a young chef as he opens his first restaurant and chronicles the upheaval in the riskiest of businesses. Her other books include To Dance With the Devil: The New War on Breast Cancer, a New York Times Notable Book, and her personal favorite, My Girl: Adventures With a Teen in Training. While the dignified label for what she does is narrative nonfiction, or immersion journalism, she prefers to think of herself as a fly on the wall. She has also written two cookbooks and two novels.  


Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Eater LA, Columbia Journalism Review, The New Yorker, Gourmet (a James Beard award finalist), Saveur, Vogue and Mother Jones. Karen was a founder of an alternative newspaper in Santa Barbara, California, and graduated from the University of Michigan.  


Karen spent 10 years as an adjunct professor in the M.S. program at Columbia University Journalism School, where she created a class in food writing and taught reporting and feature writing. 


Looking to connect: 

X: @kstabiner