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PR, IR, Marketing, Media and other news from Business Wire

Word of Mouth in the Social Media Age: EDEKA

By Seval Dogan, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

From word of mouth to electronic word of mouth 

Traditionally, word of mouth (henceforth, WOM) was primarily based on face-to-face, interpersonal interaction between a receiver and a communicator.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, WOM is the process of telling people about a particular product or service, usually because it is good and you want to encourage them to try it. This makes WOM one of the most credible and effective forms of advertising, simply because every time a person recommends to his/her peers, friends or colleagues a product or service, he/she puts his/her own credibility and reputation at stake.

Positive WOM, therefore, is one of the most important influences on organizational performance as every happy customer can be turned into one of the most committed brand fans. When activated properly, positive WOM can have a substantial impact on a company's fortune by generating more brand awareness and by helping to successfully grow the customer database.

However, in today's digitized world, companies face a new significant challenge. There is a real impact of speed and connectivity on word-of-mouth discussions. Today’s web-based consumer platforms have shaped a new way of sharing personal opinions: the electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Social media revolutionized not only the way individuals interact on a daily basis, but also the way companies create and grow brand awareness and loyalty via WOM. Social networks are a central place for dialogue and exchange, replacing traditional face-to-face discussions. As a result, opinions travel much faster than before, and the public image of a company has become more fragile and sensitive than ever before.

One way of generating positive eWOM is through viral marketing. The remainder of this article deals with a success story of a viral marketing campaign produced for EDEKA, one of the largest supermarket chains in Germany, by the German advertising agency Jung von Matt. While there are several key important elements to the EDEKA case (most of which are discussed below), one of the strongest elements however is that social media has been strategically used to stimulate positive eWOM.

How EDEKA leveraged eWOM for Success:  The Case of EDEKA: 'Supergeil' and 'Kassensymphonie'

Founded in 1898, EDEKA is one of the largest and most recognizable food retailers in Germany. Aimed at expanding its audience to reach younger buyers by changing the corporate image from a conservative retailer to a more modern one, EDEKA joined forces with Hamburg-based advertising agency Jung von Matt. In 2014 they set up a campaign which deviated greatly from the conventional advertising and marketing standards followed by most German retailers. EDEKA and Jung von Matt produced two successful YouTube-based campaigns that became worldwide hits, receiving national and international media coverage. EDEKA gained more than 2,000 new YouTube subscribers, over 4,500 additional Facebook Fans, more than 1,700 Twitter mentions and increased engagement on their social media channels (source: Fanpage Karma). The success of their brand campaign even secured the supermarket company its own reality-cooking show (‘Das Erfolgsrezept’) from RTL, a leading national TV channel.

The first spot, labeled with the rather obscene word 'Supergeil' (meaning ‘super cool’), launched in 2014 and reached over 14 million YouTube views within a short period of time.

Did it work?

The EDEKA campaigns relied on visually rich content and unique storytelling elements to recreate and reposition their brand to appeal to younger demographics. They cleverly turned products and services into relatable stories, and the entertaining nature of the videos engaged users both on an emotional and intellectual level.

Generating Positive eWOM: Key Success factors

Broadly speaking, it is difficult to predict what content will trigger positive eWOM and if it will go viral on social media. Nevertheless, there are certain elements that increase the probability. As Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, noted, people remember information when it is weaved into narratives “up to 22 times more than facts alone.”

As the Internet is becoming increasingly image rich, content that includes visuals attract more attention than content without. Videos are especially on the rise as they are highly engaging and allow a multi-sensory experience. Movement, facial expressions and human voices are more believable, more authentic. These factors help to quickly establish a connection to the viewer and generate more awareness.

Learn about Business Wire's multimedia services and the impact images and videos have on amplifying your news. 

 

Are You Creating and Promoting Enough Content?

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

Growing an audience is beneficial to identifying potential clients and easing them along the marketing funnel. It’s a relationship that develops over time, a relationship rooted in trust and information. When you produce a piece of content and release it for the world to see, you want to make sure that it reaches your target audience and they engage with your message.

Consistency and Promotion

In a recent survey of 100 inbound marketers conducted by Writtent, 93% of the respondents claim to create fresh content weekly. Audiences are growing accustomed to knowing when and where to find articles, images and videos and that consistency is what keeps them coming back, the expectation that when they visit your site they will have something fresh and informative to consume.

This back and forth of is a part of the process of relationship building with your readers and viewers. The survey, focusing on blog content, gives insight into all content intended to engage an audience and convert a potential customer. There needs to be a consistency of output, whether on your social media platforms, your thought leadership portal, or your news releases making branded announcements. If you want audiences coming back, you need to provide them with what they want and let them know when it will be available.    

Achieving your content output goals starts with an understanding all the platforms and options currently available for reaching a news consumer. Once you have conducted an audit of your platforms, increase content output and promote your messaging by connecting your different tools for communication. Identify what your brand is accomplishing that week and issue a news release with a statement and multimedia, that news release should inspire a blog post, which should be shared via social, and remember to follow up on all platforms. By following up on previously released content, you fill in the ongoing details of news your audience is already aware of and consuming. Also utilize social sharing tools, such as those available with every Business Wire issued news release. Include a tweetable message, links to all of your social platforms, and a live twitter feed.

Learn more about Business Wire’s social features  

The key takeaway is that audiences are expecting content so by regularly providing readers and viewers with branded messaging you’re inviting them to keep coming back. This process creates trust and will aid in converting potential customers and clients. 

How to Make a Video for Your Next Release

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

The videos you see online, whether on a branded website, a social media platform, or a news outlet, can be replicated at low cost and by someone with no production experience. If you aren’t already tapping into the trend of video marketing, you will be once you realize how easy it is, and how significant the potential results can be in amplifying your news.  How significant?  According to an Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study conducted using 1,000 U.S. consumers, “nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.”

Camera

Option 1 - Low cost:

Cell phones turned into computers overnight and the world has been watching them ever since. With the launch of the latest series of smartphones, camera technology has been exponentially improved giving everyone access to HD (1920 x 1080) quality recording devices.

What exactly is HD?

HD refers to the lines of resolution in an image. Video footage with a higher quantity of resolution lines is deemed high definition because of the greater appearance of detail in the image.

Take advantage of your access to HD recording devices and create beautiful videos – all with the device you have in your hand right now.

To maximize the effect of your smart phone camera stay zoomed out to the widest setting and capture your footage in a well-lit environment. Don’t be fooled, even Hollywood admits to the astounding quality of footage captured with an iPhone.

What will make your footage stand out from other “smart phone” videos is the use of a tripod. Yes, they make tripods for cellphones, pointing to the quality footage that can be captured from the same device that you occasionally use to order dinner.

Option 2 - Medium budget:

Let’s say you plan on regularly producing video projects and you want some versatility in the tool used to create your visuals. A DSLR camera is an affordable way to create professional quality images with an easy to use technology while giving you more control over the depth of field of your images. And at a $400-$500 price point for an entry level camera, it is so affordable and easy to use that Hollywood often takes advantage.

What is depth of field?: The range of what is in focus in your image compared to what isn’t. When you see an object in the foreground in sharp focus, and everything else is blurry, you have a shallow depth of field. With a DSLR camera you have more options for how you want your image to look.

A DSLR camera will also give you much better color reproduction as a result of the larger sensors (what captures the image) so your images will be vibrant and pop.

Lighting

Option 1:  Low cost:

Light bulbs make light. It’s what you choose to illuminate with that light that will make the difference between clunky amateurish videos, and professional digital media. By utilizing higher wattage bulbs, such as 150w and 200w, and clamp lights that can be purchased at any local hardware store, you can create a studio right in your office.

How can these lights be used to create a professional image? The term to remember is three-point lighting. This lighting scheme uses two lights to illuminate both sides of the subject. The third light is what really makes the image look professional. The third light, cast over the back of the subject illuminating highlights such as hair and shoulder, creates separation between the subject and the background. This allows the viewer to perceive depth on a two-dimensional medium.

Option 2: Medium budget:

Basic lighting kits are affordable and extremely easy to use, assemble, and store. A light kit is superior to using clamp lights because the light stands are easy to assemble and move around. With clamp lights, creativity is required in identifying objects to which they can be clamped. With a light kit all the tools are available. The height of a light stand can also easily be manipulated, offering many variations of lighting schemes that can be tried out without too much time or effort.

Sound

Option 1:  Low cost:

For a production, sound is the most important aspect. If the audio is crisp and clear, clean of ambient noise and static, the audience will accept your media as professional grade regardless of what type of camera or camera phone you use. Eyes can fill in the blanks better than your ears, so it’s important for the audience to hear what they need to as if the speaker is in the room. This can be accomplished quite easily and with a low budget.

Wired lavalier microphone: A microphone that clips to the subject’s lapel can be purchased in the $50 dollar range. This microphone is great for capturing the speaker’s voice because it is located so close to the source. This particular microphone is designed to work with mobile devices, however, if you already have a microphone or are purchasing a microphone not designed to work with a mobile device there are solutions. With the addition of an adapter, in the $20 to $30 range, you can easily connect your microphone to a smartphone to use as an audio recording device (use the voice memo app if filming with an iPhone).

Remember that sound and video need to sync. For every time you roll your camera or recording device, film a piece of paper labeled with what take you are recording, then clap your hands together. That clap provides a distinct sound that you can use later to sync your audio and video during the editing process.

Option 2: Medium budget:

If you have any budget at all, it’s always recommended that sound be your first investment. If you can afford it, invest in a wireless lav microphone system. Why wireless over a wired microphone? A wireless mic system allows you to record your audio directly into the camera or recording device. There is no need to sync audio and picture when editing and you can immediately view back your footage to test quality of both image and sound. Of course, you should still mark each take with a verbal label (saying take one, take two) so you have an easy way to reference the footage during the editing phase.

Editing

Option 1: Low cost:

Editing video is not as hard as most people think. You choose the footage that you want and discard the rest. The digital revolution has ensured that everyone can be an editor and with great ease. Youtube offers editing capabilities, as well as other free online options. If your video and audio was recorded separately remember to locate the exact second the clap (previously discussed) occurred, as well as the sound of that clap; match the two and you have just synced sound and picture.

Option 2: Medium budget:

For basic digital media there is no need for excessive editing software. This is not because of the price but rather the learning curve required to maximize your purchased editing software. If you are willing to put in a little time to master such techniques as color correction and more intricate editing, look into tools like Sony Vegas Movie Studio, or the higher end Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. A list of other recommended software can be found here.

We know video is one of the fastest growing content tools, and consumption rates are at an all-time high. We also know that video builds relationships between organizations and their customers. Now you know just how easy it is to make your own!  

What is the Role of Traditional Media in the Age of Social Media

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

The dawning of a new age brought forth platforms for sharing thoughts, pictures, videos, and assets yet unimagined. Social media united cultures that developed isolated from one another, created avenues for sub-cultures to flourish and gave a voice to crowds that could now wield great power. For brands it felt like a gold rush but, the reality quickly sank in – social media only solidified the importance of traditional media for reaching audiences and easing them through the marketing funnel.

Social media offers brands direct access to audiences, but it’s important to remember the crowd-culture that exists on social platforms. These are platforms where users create a majority of the content and they’re very protective of their control over what content sticks. Imagine a TV channel that allowed viewers to create and broadcast their own programming. Not only are brands competing with each other, they’re now competing with consumers as well and that’s a competition that brands will lose 9 times out of 10. This isn’t to say that social media can’t be an impactful tool, it is actually one of the greatest tools currently available for brands. The issue is how it’s being used.   

So much content is being created and recreated today that a trustworthy source stands out and quicker attracts attention. Traditional media, having developed a relationship with audiences over the course of many decades, is a trusted source that news consuming audiences, especially people accessing social platforms specifically to consume news, recognize and prefer. This is how social media reminded the communications industry the importance of traditional media. It offered audiences a view at the other side of content, allowing for a new found appreciation for vetted, factually driven news.  

Issuing news over a wire service, such as Business Wire, allows a brand to amplify their message and access highly targeted media points, whether by geographic location or industry, or other criteria. This is why Business Wire is where your news is made. Bringing a news release, or media coverage to social media allows a brand to present their message as trustworthy content.

The digital age is an amazing time for communicators because the tool belt seems endless. Although newer tools, such as social media, deserve to be investigated and utilized, they shouldn’t automatically negate what might actually be more beneficial. The news release is effective and, now more than ever, wanted by both the media and news consumers.

Learn how to use Business Wire’s social features for your next release 

How to Watch BizWireTV on Your Apple TV, iPhone and Android Devices

BizWireTV, Business Wire's video-news show, launched a series of apps for the hottest mobile and over-the-top platforms including AppleTV, iPhone and all devices featuring the Android operating system. The new apps will bring the show directly to audiences on any screen they choose, amplifying Business Wire’s top trending news stories crossing the wire. 

Why now?

With BizWireTV’s growing success, over 4 million video views to date on Business Wire websites and over 1 million views on social channels, the show has amassed a large audience that continues to grow with every new episode. BizWireTV and BizWireTV Accelerator Report are also influencing conversation, with over 20,000 social media mentions reaching over 12 million followers. Expansion of the program with the new apps gives viewers more opportunities to watch the show. It also gives BizWireTV the chance to develop new viewers looking for stories on disruptive startups and technologies, entrepreneurs in the startup community, funding announcements, hot business trends and companies to watch.

Where to find the apps?

The BizWireTV Apps can be downloaded through the Apple TV and iPhone App Store and Google Play for Android devices.

iTunes app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/business-wire-pr-news/id1104136311?mt=8

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frankly.channel.BIZWIRE&hl=en

In collaboration with Frankly, Business Wire set out to develop an easy to use app that would be engaging and accessible on all the top platforms. The keyword behind the design was usability and the end result exceeded everyone’s expectations. Episodes are easy to scroll through and identify with concise descriptions and clear images. Watch as host Erin Ade brings you the latest trending releases whether you’re at home, on a train, on a plane, or just out and about looking to catch up on some news.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New episodes of BizWireTV premiere every Friday at 6am and catch new episodes of BizWireTV Accelerator Report on Sundays at 3pm. 

8 Questions to Determine if a Newswire is Your Perfect Match

Before deciding on a newswire to help you distribute your message from local markets to audiences around the world, make sure that the services offered match your needs. For a newswire to be your "perfect match" they need to provide the right tools for amplifying your announcement, they need to make your news.  

 

1. Does the provider help me target the journalists, bloggers and influencers that cover my industry?

When releasing a message out into the world for consumption, the key term is targeting. You want your news reaching audiences that are interested in your industry and are ready to engage with your message. Business Wire puts the customers first with 31 offices and 22 newsrooms around the globe, and distribution outlets spanning 60 national and international news agencies. Our highly trained and knowledgeable editors advise clients on the best distribution for their news, from local to global markets. Business Wire has numerous highly targeted circuits with over 150 trade categories.   

 

2. Which news platforms will display my news?

Always remember to find out where your news is being distributed to and what websites will present your messaging. Business Wire has agreements with the world’s leading news agencies including Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones. Your news will be presented in up-to-date web formatting, so your links, bold and italic text, bullets and other style elements carry through to downstream sites including Google News, Yahoo! Finance, Dow Jones Marketwatch and more. Have your news distributed to print and online trade media and industry opinion leaders in your choice of more than 200 vertical market categories.

 

3. What types of traditional and new media outlets do you reach?

As technology changes the way audiences consume news, communicators need to take advantage of all the new platforms available. Business Wire created a distribution network that places just as much emphasis on reaching traditional media points such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, as it does in reaching popular new media portals, such as BuzzFeed and VentureBeat. From A to Z, Business Wire’s reach spans across 60 national and international news agencies.

 

4. How can I reach multicultural and international audiences with my message?

News knows no boundaries or borders. If you have messaging that needs to reach audiences from around the world, audiences that speak different languages, you need a newswire that is built to handle a global market. Business Wire is an international newswire with distribution to more than 100 countries in 19 languages. Reach every region of the world by using international circuits such as Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. 

 

5. Does the provider help me reach my target audiences in social media?

A recent post on Tempo shined light on the importance of social media in today’s age of communications:

For many journalists and readers, social media is a way of life and a primary source of news and information. For marketers, this provides an opportunity to build faster, more direct media relationships, and identify key audiences by keeping tabs on the news organizations that readers follow.

Business Wire offers a series of social media tools to amplify your news on the leading social platforms. You’re able to include with your release a live Twitter feed of your choosing, a preselected Tweet this message, buttons leading to branded social media profiles, and hashtags and cashtags that best represent your story. 

 

6. Can I distribute other types of content like photos and videos?

How people consume their news is changing, as well as audience’s expectations of how that news will look. Multimedia has become so prevalent that visual journalism should be considered standard journalism. Business Wire encourages clients to include photos, videos, and other highly engaging multimedia assets.

 

7. How do you measure online distribution and what type of reporting will I receive?

Putting out a news release is only half the battle. To have a clear idea of the ROI of your communications’ outreach you need to be able to analyze how the audience engaged with your message. Business Wire offers several tracking reports that allow you to identify how your release performed after crossing the wire, as well as on social media platforms. With NewsTrak reports you gain access to release views, traffic sources for those views, multimedia views and user engagement, as well as other metrics. With NUVI, you gain access to real-time social media monitoring and analytics. Gain deep insights with  access to social conversations around your brand or organization happening on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, Google+, Reddit and approximately 5 million RSS feeds.

 

8. What type of customer service can I expect to receive?

Issuing a release can have wide spread effects, from influencing markets around the world to how consumers recognize your brand. You want to make sure that the newswire handling your news is available to work with you in making sure your message gets to the right audience, and without errors or issues. Business Wire has 31 offices and 22 newsrooms around the globe with trained editors that work with you, 24/7 to make sure that your message becomes the news that audiences will be talking about. 

The Press Release: Vital and Valuable in the Digital World

A guest post by Daniella DelaOsa, The Zimmerman Agency

 

Long debated and well established, the press release is a traditional, yet essential marketing tool. By definition, a press release is communication directed at the media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy. Creating and distributing press releases is an essential part of a well-rounded marketing plan because of the lasting effect widespread distribution can have on a business or organization.

While there is plenty of argument surrounding the press release as “outdated,” this marketing tool has been modernized and adapted to the online media landscape. Well-written press releases create defining content and are a great opportunity for business owners, marketers, and PR professionals alike. Among many advantages, press releases increase:

  • Online presence
  • Customer consideration and interaction
  • Credibility within an industry
  • Opportunities to establish media relations
  • Social relevance
  • Traffic and, as a result, sales

Well-written, well-formatted, and well-thought-out press releases have the ability to bring visibility and industry influence to an organization, client, or personal business. Mastering press release creation and distribution is a key skill in public relations. As a millennial marketer, crafting a captivating press release provides added credibility to communications and creates the opportunity to develop deeper, more impactful media relations.

 

Old Reliable Can Still Be Effective

With the fast pace of technology, it is no surprise what is considered “media” shifts, changes, and evolves, leaving us wondering if traditional techniques are still applicable. Take bloggers, community forums, podcasts, and social media stars — the fast pace of media’s evolution presents constant new opportunities for publicity and all types of journalists carry influence. New media has created a plethora of new channels and in turn, much more ground to cover, if the goal is to saturate the media with a timely news piece.

Press releases allow for across-the-board saturation of widely read outlets, creating a possible “trickle effect” where a journalist is likely to stumble on news and reach out for more details or a follow-up piece. Additionally, when press releases are picked up by news outlets, they provide cues for journalists to know what audiences are talking about and interested in.

This is especially true with social media. For many journalists and readers, social media is a way of life and a primary source of news and information. For marketers, this provides an opportunity to build faster, more direct media relationships, and identify key audiences by keeping tabs on the news organizations that readers follow.

 

Continuing Value of Press Releases

Today, successful marketers know that achieving success with press releases relies on a few key factors, such as telling a story, having current relevance, personalizing the pitch, and understanding the publication as well as the journalist’s beat.

As such, a press release must first and foremost bring value to the journalist, but also be supported by a strong media relations strategy. For instance, a small business opening its first store would not need to invest in a large national press release package and may instead opt for online-only distribution, supported by direct pitching to media contacts in their local and regional market. However, should that same small business see a 200 percent spike in revenue in a few years and grow to operate hundreds of franchises, that is a story worthy of larger distribution and support strategy.

In any instance, marketers and business owners should never consider the press release in a vacuum. An impactful press release will be supported by a tactful media strategy in order to achieve the desired influence, consumer engagement, or other goal.

 

All Hail The Pitch

You’ve got your press release, you’ve got your media list, now you need the pitch — the “make it or break it” factor of a campaign. Short, informative, professional, and captivating, the pitch should not only suggest a journalist covers a story, but also directly answer the question of why they should. Journalists can receive hundreds of pitches a day. Therefore, a pitch must be absolutely perfect for your story to gain traction.

A team from Communications@Syracuse, the online Master of Science in Communications program from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, recently surveyed 25 key professionals from highly ranked agencies on O’Dwyer’s annual top PR firm rankings. They were asked: “What is the most crucial element of a PR pitch?”

From “deep understanding of the reporter’s readers” to “customizing will always yield the best results,” and “your pitch must answer the question ‘why now?’ ” —  the surveyed PR pros shared the same sentiment. Notably, the responses continually stressed the importance timing, relevance, and personalization as key factors in the success or failure of a pitch.

When a pitch is successful, and results in coverage by a trusted third-party source, your message will stand out. Stories written by a third-party source are more trusted by consumers and as a result, bring greater value to your business than traditional advertising or promotional avenues. A recent study by Nielsen shows that earned media — credible, third-party articles — is the most important source for impacting consumer decisions.

It’s this type of result that ensures press releases will adapt and live on. Effective and valuable, press releases will continue to be an important part of digital media strategy, especially when they have the power to steer social conversations and bring lasting influence.

 

Daniella is a Senior Account Manager at The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, FL where she specializes in global PR efforts for hospitality and tourism brands. She is a graduate of Florida State University where she majored in English: Editing, Writing & the Media. 

 

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING? Journalists and Investors Get Candid about Your Earnings’ Release

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

It hasn’t been a secret for some time that reporters are more interested in simpler, easier-to-follow earnings’ releases. We’ve covered the subject before, even bringing attention to a “Squawk on the Street” segment where commentators David Faber and Jim Cramer took several issuers to task for their “newfangled” press releases.

Read - Financial Journalists: “Where’s the News Release?”

Several months passed and it’s the same old story again. New articles have been appearing by Ciara Linnane, a longtime critic of confusing disclosure methods, and they plead with those that continue the practice to include a standard press release. By forcing interested parties to have to find the financial data they’re looking for, stress is created by delaying a process that needs to occur in real-time. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at the retail brokerage First Standard Financial, gave his take on the consequences of the added time it takes to get the information he needs: “by that time, if it’s good news the stock is already up, and if it’s bad news the stock is already down.”

Read - How companies are making earnings more stressful for investors

It’s important to revisit the discussion and reiterate the importance of a traditional earnings statement. Although new technology creates opportunities for issuers to communicate their message using multimedia and other tools, assets that are welcomed by journalists and investors, these practices should be applied only in addition to a standard release, not instead of one. Think traditional + visual, not traditional vs. visual.   

It wasn’t all doom and gloom however, as among the articles was a positive sign as Kohl’s was praised for providing reporters and investors with a “straightforward” release. Referring to the release, Linnane writes, “coming in an earnings season in which companies continued to irk reporters and investors alike with releases that concealed important numbers like revenue and included hard-to-follow non-GAAP metrics, Kohl’s release was a delight.”

Read - Kohl’s deserves praise for a clean, easy-to-follow earnings release

 

 

 

Editorial Coverage Drives Trust…It’s Time to Increase Your PR Budgets

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

It’s been happening for a while now. With the number of communications platforms growing at an ever-increasing pace, marketing executives have been under pressure to move dollars away from traditional public relations efforts in order to fund emerging communication channels. In many cases, this money is being redirected to marketing teams with the belief that marketing can meet company goals better than public relations. And yet, survey after survey continues to show that it is editorial coverage, the work our PR clients do, that is building trusted relationships between organizations and their key audiences.  

Earlier this week, Ogilvy proved this point again in the Ogilvy Media Influence survey. In this survey, Ogilvy asked over 200 journalists and bloggers what sources they trusted when it came to doing company research. Their answer?  The information they trust the most is the information written by their own colleagues.  Even reporters trust reporters more than they trust any other type of content!

When you combine this information with the results of Nielsen’s 2013-14 studies showing editorial coverage is the most trusted content that consumers refer to when making business and personal decisions, we see something startling.  The role of editorial coverage is much more important than any other marketing content an organization can create. 

Let’s take a closer look at the Ogilvy study. Here are a few key bullet points.

  • Reporters consume most of their news via social media (50%), traditional newspapers (20%) and newswires (18%).
  • Reporters believe that earned and paid media (55%) are the most influential medium for driving purchase decisions followed by social media updates and marketing (45%) content.
  • Based on their experience, reporters overwhelmingly trust editorial coverage (72%) vs. company content (27%).

Now let’s look at the Nielsen Inpowered Trust Survey released in 2014:

What is the impact of content types on purchase consideration, affinity and familiarity? In each of these instances, it was expert content that moved people into the marketing funnel the furthest. Why? Trust.  More than 60% of respondents said they were less likely to trust brand-created content due to perceived biases vs. editorial coverage, which was seen as content created by impartial writers.

If editorial coverage generates higher trust, stronger brand recognition and product alignment, why are companies continuing to eschew public relations for marketing?

In many cases, it comes down to attribution. While the impact of one’s marketing programs can be measured from start to finish, the impact of editorial coverage is harder to track. We cannot (yet!) read minds to see exactly how much this content swayed a potential customer.  But there are a few things PR professionals can do to better showcase the ROI they are generating.

4 Easy Ways to Increase the ROI of Public Relations

  1. Promote the editorial coverage you secure:  If editorial coverage is the most trusted content you can generate, you must take ownership of sharing this content out. Create a news amplification program that includes heavy, scheduled social shares (15 times or more per coverage piece), employee advocacy (write social support messages and share these with your coworkers), coverage seeding and more. The more visible your coverage pieces, the faster you will move audiences in and through your funnel. And as an added bonus, by driving traffic to media sites, you are helping the reporter meet their number one metric – story views.
  2. Take credit for your work:  Include URL builders and/or UTM links into your news releases and news conversations.  These snippets of code will allow you to track the impact of the traffic generated from these pieces. Keep in mind, this will only provide you a snapshot of all inbound traffic you initiated but it is enough to show if you are bringing new prospects to the table, moving people through your marketing funnel or if your piece connects directly with a desired action or sale.
  3. Ask for the link:  Ask reporters to include a link (that contains a code snippet) to your website in their coverage.  Many media outlets will resist doing this as they view this as a form of free advertising, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Then you can connect the inbound traffic directly to the publication, providing you insights into whether or not you are pitching the right outlets to achieve your company goals.
  4. Go local! Use the news release data provided to identify the geo-resonance of your news and support the markets with high conversation rates via additional pitching, targeted sales efforts and online/social localized advertising.

With editorial coverage continuing to maintain its high position within the sales and marketing funnel, there is no reason PR budgets should be reduced in 2017.  Want to learn more about tracking the ROI of your public relations program so you can truly take the credit (and budget) you deserve? Let us know; we would love to show you how easy it can be. 

A Visual Look Back at The #dataviz From This Year's “Woodstock of Capitalism”

Text and photos by Paul J.F. Bowman, Senior Editor at Business Wire

When it came to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting, the Q&A sessions with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger dominated the news cycle. Lesser known was the meeting’s accompanying expo: a trade show of companies in which Berkshire Hathaway holds a significant stake. As a Berkshire Hathaway company, Business Wire was afforded a booth at the event. Other Berkshire displays included a giant GEICO Gecko, an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a Clayton Homes prefabricated house, and a Challenger 650 NetJets plane cabin. While all of that was entertaining and impressive, what was especially awe inspiring was the addition and prominence of data visualization throughout the 2016 event.

As a thought leader, Business Wire regularly advocates the importance of multimedia in today's communications. We even went as far as proclaiming that visual journalism should just be called journalism. What better way to practice what we preach than to take a look back at the wide range of #dataviz displayed at one of this years biggest events, visually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directly inside of the expo, three 20’-by-10’ infoposters detailed the current state of Berkshire Hathaway resources. These towered over attendees as they entered the main floor. The displays were a graphical “State of the Company” address: informative, visually interesting, and detailed Berkshire’s various assets clearly. Separating the information into parts allowed visitors to find specific resources and geographies quickly. It makes sense to highlight your foremost data at conferences and trade shows; data visualization is an exceptionally efficient way to self-promote without unnecessarily repeating information. Additionally, our brains process images quicker than text—60,000 times faster according to The SAGE Handbook of Political Communication—and multimedia increases the likelihood of information comprehension from your audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating infoposters can be costly, but keeping current or potential investors interested and confident in your company is priceless. Hiring a top graphic designer to create these images is unnecessary; the posters need to be more intelligible than flashy. Essentially, data visualization does not need to be elaborate to be impactful. For example, layering too many graphics above or below each other will only complicate reading—not to mention updating—the graphic(s). Convoluting the image(s) may distract from your primary goals: presenting and enhancing understanding of data while keeping the reader’s attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were other tall stands with infoposters from Berkshire Hathaway companies throughout the venue. They maintained formality and consistency while presenting data from a range of industries. Whether organizing or presenting at a trade show/conference, consider asking your graphic design team to create infographics/posters with congruency to the show’s design and palette. You may even be able to obtain the specific font types and stock graphics from the organizer of your event ahead of time. For example, these posters use a standard format (fonts, colors, icons) while their logos, products and highlighted data are very different:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most prominent data visualization highlight was the BNSF booth. Behind their elaborate model train display, audiences watched what could be a future component to earnings calls: an infographic-type video looping on the booth’s backdrop included data of total track length, asset totals, sustainability, carbon emissions and other notable statistics for both consumers and investors. Imagine an earnings conference call that kicks off with an impactful video equivalent to bulleted financial highlights!

Watch the BNSF video 

While viewing the video, consider how your company could make its own version. BNSF’s digital 2015 Annual Review, the inspiration for the backdrop video, is definitely worth a view as well.


(A special thanks to the BNSF Corporate Communications team for uploading the backdrop video solely for this piece!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Wire is a strong proponent of data visualization and other multimedia; news releases with photos and videos receive up to five times as many views. Take a quick look at the type of multimedia releases being issued using Business Wire’s services

To learn a great deal more about the expanding intersection of text, images and video in modern news distribution, download our free Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release white paper.

You can also watch the Yahoo Finance webcast of the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in its entirety (7 hours, 10 minutes).

Keep the data visualization coming!

 

Six Simple Steps to Switch Your IR Site

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services, Business Wire

Many companies are rapidly performing due diligence to find an IR site hosting partner. If you’re one of these companies and you worry about your IR site – don’t. Review the six simple steps we’ve laid out below, and let Business Wire, and the InvestorHQ platform, guide you through the entire process. 

  1. Schedule Launch
  2. Transfer Content
  3. Choose Categories
  4. Select Navigation
  5. Match design
  6. Go Mobile

These steps will help you understand what is involved so that your IR site can be converted quickly and cleanly.

1.       Schedule Launch

Anytime you begin a new project, you should visualize the desired end result first, and lay out a structured plan to achieve that outcome. Once we have established your required launch date, Business Wire will provide that plan, including a timeline featuring milestone dates that help us meet the deadline. If your corporate site is in the process of being redesigned, the redesign stage will also be incorporated into the timeline.

During this time, you will be trained on the easy-to-use content management system, and advised on best practices for important areas that span a variety of levels. Consultation will encompass the time zone of your IR site so dates and times post accurately, how your site will display in each of the latest web browsers, the importing of your contact database for email distribution, and the security of your content with access levels for individual site administrators.

2.       Transfer Content

Depending upon how long your company has been in business, you may or may not have a lot of content residing within your current IR site. All you need to do is let your assigned Business Wire InvestorHQ Product Specialist know which content you want to keep and where you want it located within the new site. Your InvestorHQ Product Specialist will physically move the content for you, expediting the launch of your IR site. If you are creating new content for new features and sections within Business Wire InvestorHQ, just send the content to your InvestorHQ Product Specialist for set up.

Not only will all future press releases distributed over Business Wire post automatically into the IR site, but more importantly, the releases will post directly. The distribution of Business Wire press releases and the Business Wire InvestorHQ Investor Center remain within the Business Wire framework, eliminating the need for a third-party wire release aggregator and decreasing the potential of a lost or delayed press release. There are cost-savings, workflow efficiencies and security inherent to using one partner for both services.

3.       Choose Categories

Content should be categorized so that it is readily accessible for site visitors. Not only should press releases be available by date, but also by topic or subject matter.  For example, note that CKE Restaurants (http://investor.ckr.com) created categories entitled “Financial Releases,” “CKE,” “Carl’s Jr.,” and “Hardees,” so that their press releases are organized by parent company and brand, yet still allow investors and analysts to locate and access financial releases quickly.

Events and presentations should also be categorized even as commonly as “Past Events” and “Future Events,” as displayed on the Jernigan Capital investor center (http://investors.jernigancapital.com/events-calendar) when future dates are available. If your company has multiple events, you may consider fine-tuning with classifications like “Webcasts,” “Board Meeting,” “Analyst Day,” or “Press Conference.”

4.       Select Navigation

There are certain types of content, including Analyst Coverage, Stock Charts, SEC Filings, Executive Biographies and additional Corporate Governance documents that should be available within every investor center. Your navigation structure should reflect those content types, and your InvestorHQ Product Specialist will present each of these content types to you and order the navigation in a pattern that best suits your company’s needs.

5.       Match Design

Site visitors need to be able to visually trust that the IR site contains official company data. This is done by following the same fonts, colors, spacing and other design elements that reflect the identity of the corporation. It can also be done by using the company’s domain name within the uniform resource locator (URL) similar to http://investors.servicemaster.com/ or http://investor.jalexandersholdings.com/, as well as linking to the IR site from an “Investor Relations” navigation button located on the corporate site. We recommend that the investor center follow the same design as the corporate site, positioning all branding available, even down to the “From” identifier on email alerts and broadcasts.

6.       Go Mobile

As mobile usage increases dramatically, it is imperative that sites are easily accessible by a mobile audience. Business Wire offers adaptive-responsive IR websites that are legible when accessed by smartphones and tablets of varying screen sizes.

When it comes to news distribution, hosting and consumption, it is worth noting that Business Wire has been around for more than 53 years and provides a multitude of financial disclosure services. Partner with Business Wire and stop worrying about your IR site.

For more great tips and tools visit Tempo, Business Wire’s new platform for white papers, trend reports, videos, and articles.

About the Author: As VP Web Communications Services, Ibrey Woodall is responsible for Business Wire’s web communications services including corporate websites, the NewsHQ Online Newsroom, and the InvestorHQ Investor Center. Ibrey is a published writer and active industry speaker. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a Webmaster certification. She has been involved in launching online newsrooms and investor centers for multiple Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at Ibrey.Woodall@BusinessWire.com, http://www.linkedin.com/in/IbreyWoodall or via Twitter @IbreyWoodall. 

Hungarian Media Today: Q&A with László Dobos

By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist

To understand what is going on in Hungary, we spoke with László Dobos (pictured below, photo taken by Daniel Blaser), a Hungarian journalist who currently lives in Germany and works as a freelancer for the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine, and other publications. He tells us how he sees the media market in his native country and also has some tips how to reach Hungarian journalists.

How did the move to digital media change the Hungarian media landscape?

The move to digital media had both positive and negative effects on the media landscape. Overall, I think there have been more positive changes. The Internet offers journalists the possibility to create and distribute journalistic content at a low price. The Internet allowed the start of a lot of independent, creative journalistic projects in Hungary. Hungarian entrepreneurs quickly discovered the possibilities and started news portals that became profitable. Most notable in this regard is Index.hu that has been in operation since the late 1990s and now is a well-established and trusted media brand. It offers some of the best investigative journalism in Hungary.

News portals play in Hungary a greater role than in most Western countries. Since in the communist era media was completely state-controlled, many Hungarians regarded printed newspapers with mistrust. A habit of reading newspapers did not develop, yet people were interested in news. Online media filled this void. The internet also allows journalistic projects to raise funds for themselves more easily. The highly active investigative journalism portal Atlatszo.hu relies to a great extent on crowd-funding.

On the downside, the rise of the Internet put printed newspapers under financial pressure, as the number of readers and advertisement revenues declined.

 

What sources do journalists usually use to access information?

Journalists in Hungary use in general the same sources as in other European countries. However, there is a tendency towards working solely at the desk. Newspapers publish more press releases, agency material and opinion pieces than Western counterparts. This is probably due to the lack of money which does not allow for extensive research. The same applies for radio and TV stations. You hear and see a lot more studio talk in Hungary than in Western countries. Extensively researched features where radio and camera teams have to travel to remote locations in the country or even abroad are much rarer than in Western media.

Hungarian journalists quote extensively from other media in their own journalistic work. It is worth noting that purely Internet-based portals like Index.hu enjoy a high reputation and are among the most quoted.

 

Do you have any tips for people who would like to reach journalists in Hungary?

I think they value it a lot if you are willing to listen to them and make an effort to understand the circumstances they are in.   

 

Learn more about Business Wire's circuits with geographic targeting from local to global.     

IR Sites and Social Media: Integrated and Automated Equal Effective and Efficient

 

by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services

 

Any communications professional worth their salt knows that communications tools are tactics, and that tactics are much more productive when exercised in unison. The fitting strategy is to coordinate these tools to work together automatically so that they are not only effective, but also efficient and timely.

Superior practices performed by multiple investor relations officers (IROs) begin with a safeguarded earnings release broadly distributed and tweeted by an established, trusted wire service. The next step is to make sure that the earnings press release posts directly and simultaneously from the wire service onto the company’s investor center, and into the correct category. If a third-party aggregator is used, there may be a delay in that press release being accessible and organized correctly on the IR site. If the IR site is solely used as a means of disclosure, there is the potential security concern that the information may be found before it is officially made available to all parties. Sadly, this has been experienced by some companies.

The IR communications professional is also responsible for determining that the IR site accepts registration for select email alert and text message or Short Message Service (SMS) delivery. Investors, analysts, financial media, executives, and others who have expressed a desire to be notified when an earnings release is posted must immediately receive either the chosen email alert or mobile alert delivery method, or both. It is imperative that the message be identified as being delivered from the company’s official investor center, and should always contain a link to the full text version of the press release located on the IR site.

There are ways to successfully implement social media tools into the IR communications mix – in a useful and harmless manner. This can be done by integrating authorized social networks and a sharing module. Once a material news release is automatically posted onto the IR site, the IRO should then, if desired, be able to distribute an official tweet, as well as post onto Facebook or LinkedIn from the IR site administration dashboard. This creates a much more efficient workflow than logging into individual company social networks and preparing messages to tweet or post.

At the minimum, social media badges should be visible on the Home Page of the IR site, but if there is a company Twitter stream, it should also be integrated and displayed. Site visitors can then quickly see the most recent tweets made by the company, including the earnings release announcement, the scheduled webcast event, and the video interview of the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Financial Officer discussing the latest earnings release. The Twitter stream should contain only tweets made by the company, and not include tweets by followers.

The addition of a sharing module within an IR site expands the distribution potential of vital content. Once the earning press release is officially public and available on the IR site, site visitors can share their interest in that news by electing to tweet or post the content onto their social networks or send it by email.

There are many helpful ways to utilize social media in IR communications; however, when it comes to full and fair disclosure, these communications tools should be used as part of an overall strategy in conjunction with tried and true, secure communications techniques.

Learn more about Business Wire's web services tools and how they can help amplify your news. 

How to Avoid Plagiarizing in a World of Copy

 

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

With the explosion of news media on digital platforms came a constant onslaught of content for audiences to consume. The journalists penning that content are forced to break stories quicker and more often to attract and maintain readers. With the modern 24-hour news cycle, and speed motivating much of today’s publications, the issue of plagiarism raises its nasty head with cases popping up on some of the most widely-read platforms.

Although there exist a few rotten apples in the bunch, intentionally lifting content that isn’t their own, many journalists caught in the plagiarism whirlwind are unaware they’ve even committing the act. With everything moving so fast, it’s important to slow down and remember the old rules for a new age. 

Write what you learned, not what you read

A lot of content can be consumed when researching for an article. Sometimes the words you read might come out as your own simply because you don’t even remember that you read them, their origin got lost in the mix. This is why it’s important to learn what you read, instead of just filtering information. If you actively learn the material you come across, it makes it easier to translate that content into what it means to you personally.

Attribute information

Even if you’re not copying text word for word, you should still attribute the sources of your information. No one is born all-knowing and especially when researching for an article, you come across specific information from specific sources that were a mystery to you prior. Let your readers know the source of information that creates the meat on the bones of your piece.

If you’re quoting, use quotes

If you’re using someone else’s words, you’re quoting them. Whether the words were initially intended to be a quote or not is irrelevant. Remember to attribute quotes to their source and you’ll avoid any issues in the future.

Check your work

Even if you have all the right intentions, sometimes a few words that weren’t your own might slip through into your own work. You might even think they were your own, but in the end, it’s still plagiarism. To avoid breaking the cardinal rule of writing, always check your work. There are plenty of free options available including Dupli Checker. If you find instances of copied words, rewrite it. It’ll make you a better writer and offer your readers better, original content.      

The world of copy offers a lot of content. Quality journalists learn from their sources and present their own articles, their own take on the happenings they’re covering. Use these lessons to avoid unintended instances of plagiarism, unwanted consequences, and offer your readers breaking news in your own words. 

When Posting Financial News to an IR Site, Risks Are Not Acceptable

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

 

Security of an investor relations (IR) website and news distribution is paramount to any public company. Ask the investor relations officer (IRO) who has suffered due to earnings information being released to the public prematurely. If a company’s earnings news release is accessible too soon, it can move markets, and quickly. When this happens, expect heads to roll in many ways.

Although most IR site vendors state that earnings releases post automatically to the IR site service they manage, only a few can actually confirm that the posting of the news release happens directly from the distributor to the IR site. Some vendors utilize a third-party aggregator to obtain newswire-distributed news releases and then post the release onto the IR site service. Anytime an additional step like this is added to a workflow process, more time is needed, and the opportunity for something to go wrong is greater. Most experienced communicators are familiar with the concept of Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

At Business Wire, an earnings release is never staged onto an IR site before publication – hidden or not. When the earnings release is distributed to the desired outlets, it gets posted directly to the IR site at that time, not any sooner. This leaves no opportunity for Murphy to cause trouble. Once the news release distribution is ordered, the option to post the release to the InvestorHQSM IR site is selected, as is the option to place the release in one or more subject matter categories. Sweet, simple, streamlined and secure.

Earnings news releases that are distributed via Business Wire post directly and simultaneously to the Business Wire InvestorHQSM IR site service.

As important as the technical dangers mentioned above, so are the internal workflow risks.  All internal procedures at Business Wire have gone through a rigorous audit. Departmental shields against unauthorized access to data can be attested to by the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report that Business Wire originally received back in 2014. This means that your news release (in text or PDF format) will not be posted to your InvestorHQSM site by a Business Wire product specialist to save time or effort.

So, when selecting an IR site vendor, do assess and compare the basic features and functionality of the service. Don’t forget, however, to pay close attention to the details of the IR site service when it comes to security of your financial data.

 

Business Wire's Frankfurt Office Finds Out How Important Pictures and Videos are on the Internet

By Seval Dogan, Marketing Specialist, DACH Region and Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist

If you use the internet frequently, you will probably say that pictures and videos are an important part of the experience. But just how important are they?

To find some answers to this question, the Business Wire office in Frankfurt, Germany organized a new edition of their popular discussion series MEDIAtreff and invited the panelists Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Scientific Director @Smart Future Initiative), Dieter Moritz (Executive Director @vwd), Christian Salow (CEO @altii.de) and Sophie Schüler (Photographer & Multimedia Artist) to give their expert opinions.

 

The emergence of pictures and videos on the web

At the beginning of the panel, Norbert Streitz remarked that the internet mainly used to consist of texts that were connected via hyperlinks which lead from one website to another and created something like a so-called ‘real net’. The number of pictures was fairly low and didn’t start to grow before the emergence of the high-speed internet. More speed over time also created the possibility to include videos. However, he sees videos as a linear medium, which goes against the original idea of the hyperlinked internet.

Nonetheless, most of the panelists emphasized that the emergence of pictures, videos and other multimedia elements was an important step forward in the evolvement of the internet: In the beginnings, the text based internet did not offer much capabilities to make a text stand out. With the appearance of pictures, more choices were available for composing content. In many cases, a picture can function as a preview of the textual information. A country flag, a celebrity or a picture about a car crash for instance, can already give cues what the news would cover. The recognition value that images create, do not only generate more awareness but also induce users to read a text. The same can be said about social media, where a picture often functions as a call-to-action. As Christian Salow explained, an image gets more likely noticed than a text and animates the user to click on it which then leads him to an external website where the original textual information is based.

We also learned, that the color of the picture is of vital importance and can lure a user to read a text. Colors are associated with different emotions, or feelings. Christian Salow’s website altii.de mainly reports on financial matters and he noticed that blue creates trust and people are more inclined to read a text in a layout with pictures that are mainly blue. Dieter Moritz asserted to this, and added he noticed that the color red has the opposite effect. Especially on financial web sites, the color red creates a sense of danger, or warning. As no businessman or broker wants to be in the red, these articles are less read than texts that come with pictures in other colors. Sophie Schueler, added to the discussion that images are also helpful in making online communication more personal. When you see a face or a facial expression in an image along with textual information, it tends to reinforce the tone of the message. A strong image can influence the consumer’s opinion about a matter as it triggers emotional responses. Videos are often even more effective in triggering emotional responses because of its sound. Words become more powerful when spoken than when they are static. The tone of the voice, the way words are pronounced or the volume can affect the consumer’s behavior and the way he feels about the story.

 

Some sectors have not fully embraced the visual age yet

Even though visual communications seem to have been accepted as normal by now, there are sectors in Germany that still struggle with the idea. In the financial sector for instance, visuals are still not common practice and there are plenty of business professionals out there who are hesitant to implement them in their news. Traditionally, financial news have been less wrapped up with creative videos or fancy images. Nevertheless, the attitude towards the use of multimedia in this sector is slowly changing as both experts, Christian Salow and Dieter Moritz, who are leading financial media, pointed out that images are helpful in motivating the reader to engage longer with the content. Christian Salow added that financial information can be quite somber so images and videos are useful to visualize information and to enliven technical themes. Infographics for instance, work very well for illustrating statistics and other technical content. The creative format of infographics also help to steer the consumer to look at data, which would have been otherwise more easily overlooked. It seems, the importance of images and videos are finally getting recognized in a sector, which has been long dominated by numbers and textual information. On top of that, Dieter Moritz stressed that pictures have not only become increasingly important online, but also for financial print media. Not necessarily as a standalone medium, but in combination with technical information.

 

Why textual information still matters

We know that using images and videos has many advantages but they should be relevant. If visuals are only used because everybody else is using it, then the story loses its point and overkills the message. Too many images can be confusing for the reader. Instead, media outlets should build trust through providing informative and relevant messages. Dr. Dr. Streitz, who evaluates the importance of images and videos from a different angle added that factual text would also be effective without multimedia content. It is questionable whether images or videos would add additional quality to text-only news. Textual content is often more objective and factual. He argued that pictures or videos do not always provide more information than text-only news. They can be interpreted in many ways and be sometimes misleading. Text-only news however, do not give as much space for interpretations but can help the reader to gain a clearer understanding of the matter. Before adding pictures and videos, one should first think about what value they add to the message.

Many of the PR and marketing professionals who attended the Business Wire media event thought that the right mix of multimedia and text would be important. Marketers should not discard text-only news but add it to images and videos in a targeted manner. Lastly, as Dr. Dr. Streitz indicated, one should not come to expect that media only informs, but it also entertains. In this regard, videos and pictures certainly enhance text-only news.    

The Online Newsroom Debate: Combine or Split Out Financial Data

In this piece by Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s VP of web communication services, we take a closer look at the various ways public companies present their company news to reporters, analysts and other parties.

Some online newsrooms combine public relations, branded content and investor information on one single landing page. While this allows all interested parties access to a wide range of content, many experts have noted that the experience these newsrooms present are not customized enough to produce significant results.

The other option is to decouple company and branded content from investor information by creating two sites, an online newsroom and an IR site that link to each other as needed. Since each audience has such differing goals when visiting the company’s site, this allows each section of the website to be tailored enough to the visitor that it drives higher rates of adoption of content and alignment with the company message itself.

What type of corporate online newsroom does your company have?  And why should you care?  (Hint –over 70 percent of reporters access the company’s news page when writing a story).  Read more here to find out which set up works best for you and your goals.

Have News about The 2016 Elections, Legislation or Important Issues of the Day? Think Public Policy

 

 

Professional communicators know that success hinges not only on the importance of the message, but also delivering it to the right audiences.  Companies use Business Wire to send their news releases to various media and online audiences – to ultimately get their news in front of consumers.  If the company is also listed on an exchange, Business Wire will help it meet all disclosure requirements.  Company news is transmitted to the media over the Associated Press’ proprietary newsroom software to member newsrooms and journalists, Business Wire’s online newsroom (Press Pass) and its own NX system.

But when it comes to organizations and even companies dealing with “issues news” they need to reach a very different set of key audiences including, newsroom reporters covering their issue, decision-makers, influentials and the public that goes online looking for news.  The end-game for anything “issues-related” is getting the organization’s message seen, read, reported and acted upon by the public.  And when it comes to issues dealing with legislation it’s critical to reach decision-makers.  

Public Policy distributions are unique in their ability to send public affairs/issues news to key audiences – certainly beyond what can be done only via “blast email” from a media database and/or social media outreach.   In terms of reaching the media, it’s important to explain that our news distribution systems (AP and Press Pass) route stories by beat, industry, geographic location and even keyword.  And Business Wire’s feed is part and parcel of the news systems of the Congress and the White House, and is seen by all federal and independent agencies.  At the state level, news is sent to the communications staff of each governor’s office and the state’s legislative leadership.  Public Policy news release amplification is guaranteed via posting of news releases to hundreds of important media and public news sites and on mobile platforms like AP Mobile.  Finally, all news releases are distributed to Search Engines, appropriate Twitter feeds, social networks, mobile news sites and other forums.

Business Wire’s Public Policy news distribution service – whether used nationally, by state or just to the Washington press corps – clients’ news reaches:

  • Media Outlets – from key down to community level – at print, broadcast, wire services, online journalists and editors covering the campaigns.  Reach to appropriate political and trade press is also included at no additional cost.
  • Postings of your news to appropriate Business Wire Twitter feeds, including Public Policy where news is read and shared by journalists and the public.
  • Search audiences -- auto-posting of your news to many hundreds of public and media websites helping to get your news easily seen and read online.  Also to the number one news app – AP Mobile (under politics).

Business Wire also tracks the success of news crossing our wire by providing:

  • Powerful measurement and feedback reports that come with each release, including a 7-day social media measurement report as to what was said online about your news AND by whom – enabling you to connect directly with other influencers.

Learn more about Business Wire’s Public Policy circuits and reach the right audiences with your issues-focused news. 

How to Catch "Erors" Before They Happen

 

 

We’ve heard it many times here at Business Wire: We catch a typo in a press release, let the client know, then the voice on the other end of the phone stalls, then sighs, “You don’t know how many people have looked at this thing, and that wasn’t caught.”

That exasperation can be and should be avoided – especially before the release hits the wire and Web. Mistakes, alas, are inevitable, but it’s important to guard against them before they happen. After sending out a press release, the focus should be on promoting your news, not fixing it.

The editing process of any document can be cluttered at times with too many cooks in the kitchen, too many rewrites, and tracked changes simply can be confounding. Plus, don’t edit just for the sake of editing. Sometimes the writer has it right.

At newspapers or websites, editors generally read stories three times and three different ways – have you tried these yet?

  1. Breeze through it initially to get a sense of the story – it’s helpful to literally sit on your hands during this process so you’re not tempted to edit.
  2. The heavy lifting: Rewrite, rework and restructure the story as necessary.
  3. Fine-tune: Polish the prose and clean up typos.

The step between 1 and 2 can be tricky – you need to know how the story needs to be reworked, but that usually comes with practice and experience. This blog, however, is more focused on step 3 – finding those minute mistakes before they become major mistakes.

Eradicating Errors

So how do you sidestep slip ups while editing press releases? Most editors anticipate problems before they occur, know where things could go wrong before they do, ask where things could go wrong and think of the consequences of their editing actions. Yet sometimes it just comes down to having an eagle eye.

Also, be mindful that the absence of one lone letter or the transposition of a couple letters changes the meaning of a word, and spellcheck won’t necessarily pick it up.

For example, heath vs. health: A heath is one thing, and health is something different. United vs. untied – these two words clearly have very different meanings. Other common press release examples include: manager vs. manger, complimentary vs. complementary, premiere vs. premier, chief vs. chef and through vs. though.

And be sure to check your spellcheck carefully; don’t just breeze through it because the document may be teeming with tech or biotech words. Often, Spellcheck will flag a word it does not recognize, yet the word is spelled correctly. Then later in the document, Spellcheck will flag a similarly spelled word, but it’s off by one letter. If an editor is on Spellcheck “Ignore All” autopilot, then the misspelled word will fly under the radar.

These spelling discrepancies are especially problematic in business press releases with mismatching company and product names.

‘Confident paranoia’

Many press releases simply could use a healthy dose of preventative medicine – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In my local newsroom, we track the time spent on each correction issued by our clients. In my office, we average about 12 client corrections a month. During high-volume times, that correction total can spike. The corrections can be costly to our clients and counterproductive for everyone.

Some press release corrections are more significant and easily avoidable than others. Some common culprits include: incorrect event dates in releases; incorrect media contact information, especially phone numbers; incorrect titles for people; incorrect press release submitted; and not getting the proper approvals from all the companies involved in the release. But perhaps the most frequent offender is a broken or incorrect embedded hyperlink.

At Business Wire Boston, we preach the idea of “confident paranoia.” Be confident in your editing abilities, but, like a good carpenter, measure twice and cut once.

Meet Simon Ogus, Co-Founder & COO of SportTechie

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist at Business Wire

 

Last week I was able to sit down with Simon Ogus, the Co-founder and COO of SportTechie a new website that focuses on the intersection of sports and technology. Ogus gave insight into the world of creating a new startup, how to pitch SportTechie, and their new partnership with Sports Illustrated. Check out our conversation below. 

 

What is SportTechie and when was it created?

SportTechie is a website that started as a “passion project” in 2013. My co-founder and I found that the sports industry was not as up to date as other industries when it came to technology. We decided to create something that pulls sports fans that are also interested in technology by building a niche audience. We update the website on topics like: player performance, sports science, green sports, virtual reality, and how to use technology to run your business smarter.

 

What sets you apart from other sports outlets?

I think we’ve done a good job at targeting a space that has a lot of interest and is underutilized. It’s about getting unique content and distributing news that is interesting to people. The content matter is so important. Providing content that isn't readily available is also important, or at least providing additional perspective on more mainstream topics is vital

 

If someone in public relations wants to pitch you, what do you look for?

When I read a pitch I’m constantly asking myself, “What is the SportTechie audience going to be interested in?” I don’t care how long the pitch is, I just care that the person presents pertinent topics. You can easily research our page, or sign up for the newsletter, so you know exactly what we cover. 

As a startup we need PR professionals to help coordinate interviews and send ideas. We look for pitches or releases that provide photo and video options. There are so many restricted photos on the internet that can get you in legal trouble. As a small company, that can be difficult, so that’s why we appreciate Business Wire because the photos in each release are unrestricted which helps speed up our process.

 

How do you find your news?

We find stories in multiple ways. We use Business Wire because it helps collect varied breaking story ideas in one place and each day we evaluate which releases we may cover. Business Wire has also served as a great tool to form relationships with relevant public relations professionals. Since each release has the contact information, we are able to contact those that we are interested in and continue to build those relationships. Business Wire helps to facilitate those relationships.  

 

How did the partnership with Sports Illustrated come about?

SportTechie is cobranding content for Sports Illustrated, so some of our content will appear on our page but also on the Sports Illustrated media page. In addition to online, we write one article per month in the magazine. The partnership was fairly seamless. Each side saw the mutual interests and benefits, and we created a relationship from there. We’ve been a startup with limited resources and limited man power, so we’re really excited to partner with Sports Illustrated. Their reputation is unmatched in the industry and will help get our message out to a larger audience.

 

In a rapidly shrinking media world, what is your strategy for continuing to grow and evolve with the industry?

Our strategy evolves as the industry does and opportunities arrive. I would say our main strategy is to provide really interesting and compelling content. We need to continue to bolster our connections in the space and continue to write about tech + media in sports but also in our lives as it is being impacted so greatly each day, and is a really compelling area to be in. As long as we continue to stay at the forefront of this topic, it will just add to the Sport Techie audience.

 

Read further on SportTechie and their partnership with Sports Illustrated. Also, look for updates on Business Wire products, media tips and more.

 

 

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