Meet the Media: Nick Zulovich, Senior Editor of SubPrime Auto Finance News
How did you find yourself as a journalist?
The inkling arrived at a pretty early age since my parents subscribed to newspapers throughout my upbringing. One day reading the paper after school, it occurred to me that one day I could do the same thing. Since that juncture as a youth, I’ve been involved in some sort of media endeavor, including newspapers, radio, magazines and more.
Which of your stories are you most proud of?
Several projects immediately come to mind, spanning my career that stretches more than two decades. As a young professional, permanent memories are in place stemming from covering the horrific ramifications of Hurricane Floyd submerging eastern North Carolina in 1999. Later, chronicling how the East Carolina University baseball coach persevering through Lou Gehrig’s Disease to cultivate growth and achievement on and off the field was an awesome and humbling experience. Nowadays, being part of a team that’s considered to be one of the foremost information providers within the automotive space is challenging and exciting.
How are your needs different from other mediums?
Technology certainly has impacted how our content is delivered. But the rudiments of information gathering and good story-telling remain the same whether content is delivered on paper, to a screen or through a speaker.
What is the best way to work with you?
No matter what walk of life, being courteous always resonates well with me. Whether it’s seeking information or receiving materials, it’s been my priority to be appreciative of someone else’s efforts.
What do you think is the maximum # of pitches a PR pro should send you a week?
Placing a specific number wouldn’t be my suggestion, recommending instead that PR professionals have knowledge of their pitch recipients. While the latest developments in anesthesiology or petroleum refining might be interesting, neither are areas where I currently specialize in content generation, so pitches on those topics would not be as helpful as ones involving auto financing, consumer credit regulations or fintech development.
Should pitches always align with your editorial calendar, or are you open to new story ideas?
While a connection to an editorial calendar is helpful, it’s my recommendation that PR professionals should not be constricted. Story ideas are welcomed throughout the year.
Do prefer to receive pitches around a certain day or time?
No, PR professionals can send material when they have the opportunity.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
It’s been the case for me throughout my career that conversations are the best part. Whether it’s been with an athlete fresh off a great performance or an expert who can dissect complicated trends, participating in those conversations and being able to relay that information to others always resonated with me.
What is your interview style?
Using the basics of asking open-ended questions that begin with the words who, what, when, why and how. A peeve I’ve developed in recent years is witnessing other professionals begin a question with the phrase, “Talk about …” In my opinion, using open-ended questions can create a much more engaging dialogue for all parties involved.
What do you look for in a story?
Again, going back to the basics here — finding reliable information as well as experts who can elaborate about the potential impact and how it could benefit the target audience.
What is a day like at your job?
Our shop has a pretty brisk pace of content delivery so there is not much idle time. Fingers are usually peppering the keyboard, sending correspondence and creating content. I usually wear earbuds because I enjoy listening to music while working.
If I am not reporting, I am…
Enjoying time with my wife. We enjoy doing projects together, cooking and traveling.
Without giving away any secrets, can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now?
Since one of my focus areas is auto financing, it would be how much credit tightening and delinquencies are going to impact this space. More people have an auto loan than ever. And more individuals are behind on payments than ever, as well. Having access to reliable transportation is critical to the U.S. economy so it will be interesting to see a potential ripple impact.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you’ve written.
To interview emergency responders following Hurricane Floyd, I rode in a fishing boat across murky floodwaters. Halfway through the journey, water started sloshing into the small boat, so we had to adjust cargo and where people were sitting. Also, I can’t swim, and I wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Thankfully, the journey went off without further trouble, and I had a great interview during it.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I….
I am mostly deaf in my left ear.
Author: Katelin W. Davis