Spotlight Tribute

Journalist Captures the Essence of Your Special Someone

"Thank you for the incredible job you did in producing Jack's "Spotlight Tribute." He was so pleased and surprised by the gift. What a special presentation. Many of our friends and family are reaching milestone birthdays and anniversaries. We have participated in "memory books" and celebrations. This is a "cut above". The use of funny headlines and photos, and the organization of the various stories was far nicer than what we might have done on our own... Taking time to interview and call the people on our source list provided the information and material, but your skill and experience transformed the facts into a tribute."
Mary Ann Gaynor
River Forest, Illinois

Spotlight Tribute

Do you know someone about to reach a notable birthday or anniversary? Maybe your company or organization wants to recognize stellar service. Is there a wedding, a graduation, retirement, or some other significant event on the horizon? Of course, you aren’t obligated to wait for a milestone moment to publish an edition of Spotlight Tribute. Everyone has a story to tell.

Employing interviewing and story-telling skills refined over more than two decades in journalism, Matt Baron has a knack for telling it like no one else.

How it Started

Matt has written for publications since 1984, from the Marshfield (Mass.) Mariner to Time and USA Today. For a six-year span, he was one of the most prolific freelance reporters for the Chicago Tribune.

But he has most enjoyed penning dozens of personalized stories for friends and relatives as birthday, wedding, graduation or “just because” gifts. He began this tradition in 1992, when a former newspaper colleague got married.

Then, in 1998, he took the idea to a more ambitious level for Pat McCarthy, his mother-in-law, on her 55th birthday. Matt interviewed more than three dozen of Pat’s friends and relatives, used photographs, laid out the resulting stories on two 11-by-17 inch pages and then matted and framed the gift under the banner “Pat’s Press.”

It was unveiled at a surprise birthday party attended by most of those whose stories formed the bulk of Pat’s Press.

In 2005, Matt began channeling his passion for telling people’s stories into Spotlight Tribute.

How it Works

The Process

Step 1: Initial meeting with Matt, in person or by telephone/video conference. You provide a list of people (typically 6 to 12 individuals–can vary) whom Matt will contact. He begins reporting with an interview of you to:

  • Begin gathering information for the story
  • Begin identifying possible sidebars, and
  • Begin brainstorming photographic and other graphic ideas

Before moving to Step 2, a 50-percent deposit is collected. Matt offers a discounted rate for full payment at this stage.

Step 2: Matt contacts the sources by e-mail and/or telephone with a list of tailored questions based on the initial client interview.

Step 3: Relying on information gleaned from interviews, Matt writes a draft of the main story as well as sidebars and other feature elements.

Step 4: You review the content and request changes, if any are necessary.

Step 5: In coordination with his graphic designer, Matt lays out the publication on two 11-by-17-inch pages.

Step 6: You review the publication to ensure it meets with your complete satisfaction. Matt makes any requested adjustments and delivers finished work, printed on high-quality, glossy laser copies. Client also receives the story in electronic form, either a CD or a PDF by e-mail.

You independently arrange final presentation form, such as framing. Ask Matt for referrals to shops that provide discounts to Spotlight Tribute clients. Final payment is due upon receipt of finished work.

How it Looks

Ready to chat?

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