by Ai Arakawa, Senior International Media Relations Specialist
Many of us in the PR/Communications business spend our days focusing on our work with local media. While we may dream of it, rarely do we imagine our news being picked up and shared by global media. But maybe it's OK to dream big in this constantly changing media landscape.
To find out, Business Wire Hong Kong invited two renowned journalists from the Associated Press and CNBC International to speak to a sold out and inquisitive audience at The Hub in Wan Chai. Kelvin Chan, a business reporter and correspondent for the Associated Press, and Ted Kemp, Managing Editor - Digital of CNBC International, spent the better part of two hours exploring a myriad of subjects from pitch preferences to virtual reality to fake news to what their media organizations have planned for the future.
Ted Kemp of CNBC International speaks to sold out Hong Kong media event crowd
Both journalists have been working for their respective media outlets for 11 years and have worked in the journalism industry almost their entire careers. After starting as a copy editor for the Globe and Mail in Canada, Kelvin Chan has been covering Asia for more than a decade working for Bloomberg, South China Morning Post, and the Associated Press. Ted Kemp just moved to Singapore to serve as managing editor, Digital of CNBC International. Prior to that, he served as CNBC's Editorial Manager in London and was the Senior Editor, Markets and Finance in the United States.
Kelvin Chan of the Associated Press
All of the topics discussed were immensely interesting for a host of reasons. Some of the highlights:
- The Associated Press has 10 regional editing hubs around the world and Bangkok is the hub for Asia. There are six reporters in the region that cover business and finance news and Kelvin is one of them.
- Kelvin uses Twitter quite frequently as he finds it to be the most useful social tool due to its immediate and updating nature. He noted that the AP’s official Twitter account has lists of their journalists by the stories they cover. He thinks Twitter is especially useful for PR professionals to find appropriate journalists to pitch.
- Photos and videos are a big part of their business and one new thing for them is 360-degree videos and VR. You can see their visual activities on their YouTube channel and Kelvin takes part in producing the content.
- CNBC International is the number one business and financial news network worldwide, with content consumed by 282 million people with a global audience of almost 42 million unique users every month on CNBC’s digital platforms. In Asia, their TV channel reaches 15 million affluent consumers every month and the viewers tend to spend more time watching CNBC than any other international news channel. Their regional HQ in Asia is Singapore where Ted is based.
- What Ted is drilling into his team in Europe and Asia for news decision-making is, “Do we have the whole story?” He thinks there’s very little media that is giving thought to this even though he sees, globally, that more people have the sense that their lives are been directly impacted by transnational issues and they want to understand the underlying dynamics of it.
- What they are closely watching: Geopolitics (China from good/bad/uncertain perspectives, North Korea threat); cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum etc.); technology (big news such as AI, or big public company news); energy; and new content that they’ve launched, ‘Make IT’ content … which is content that attracts younger demographics (successful stories of entrepreneurs etc.).
Regarding the credibility of news as counterpart of today's buzz word "fake news. Ted mentioned they confirm with multiple resources and Kelvin introduced their AP FACT CHECK that they use to investigate dubious claims about (mainly) political subjects.
Both Ted and Kelvin also discussed their interactions with the Public Relations industry and spoke about ways PR people can have the global media to pay attention to the press releases ... and how things could be made better. Kelvin advised to avoid too much jargon in the headline and try to tell exactly what's going on with a story with an informative subject line (for email pitches). Ted's advice for PR professionals was that they get to know the individual reporters to whom they wish to pitch using social media like Twitter and LinkedIn. He also stressed that the news that is sent to the reporters be appropriate to the subjects they cover.