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How to Write News Release Headlines Reporters Love

By Raschanda Hall, Director of Global Media Relations, and Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

Every year, the teams at Business Wire look at changes in the industry that impact news release distribution and usage. We review the technical changes and the behavioral changes that directly affect the visibility and consumption of information. Once we gather this information, we make tactical suggestions that PR professionals can use to increase the success of their work. Still the most frequently asked question we receive is:  What makes a good news release headline and how long should it be? 

The key to writing a good news release headline is to be both compelling and informative. Do not just say what the project is, explain the importance to your end audience. Don’t just tell reporters you’re opening an office in a new city, highlight the effects of the move on the neighborhood, your overall business, and the industry. This is what piques their interest, the implications of their news on their readership.

While headline writing isn’t an exact science, a common formula includes the use of a number or trigger word + adjective + keyword + promise.  Trigger words can be question words like what, how or why?  They can also be persuasion words like imagine, if, and new. 

Whether you choose to use this formula or not, you want to make sure the most compelling word, or phrase, in your news release is also in the headline.  This is why, when it comes to news releases, you write your headline after you write your news release. This will ensure that you include important keywords or data in your headline because they are relevant to your news.

The Key to Selecting Keywords

Keywords are the words and phrases frequently used by your colleagues, industry peers, customers and reporters to describe specific products or services. Once you write your news release, go through and underline the words and phrases you included that are popular right now in your industry.  Pick the keywords that help explain the real impact of your news to your readers. Don’t focus on keywords that are irrelevant to your overall story goal. 

Confirming Your Keywords Have Impact

Once you have selected the keywords or key phrases from your news release that showcase why this is news, you may want to use a keyword tester to see how popular that word is with your audience. Google Trends is a free service that Google offers to show writers, content creators, marketers and PR pros what information people are looking for within Google search. By going to Google.com/Trends, you can type in and search the words and phrases in your news release to see which term or terms may be most useful to reach and activate your audiences.

How to use Google Trends:

  1. Go to Google.com/trends
  2. Set the location to match your country
  3. Set the timeline to match the last 7 days (for blog posts, try 30 days)
  4. Identify the keywords in your news release that ladder up to your headline goals
  5. Type in each of your keywords or phrases
  6. Write down which keywords or phrases have the highest search terms
  7. Add the most popular words to your headline
  8. Review your headline to ensure maximum readability
  9. Distribute your news release
  10. Monitor results and make modifications as needed for your next release

Once you have identified your most searched keywords or phrases, craft several different headlines and use a headline tester to confirm your new headline is both interesting and relevant. Here are three free, online headline testers for your files:

How long should your headline be?

While shorter headlines are preferred, it is important that your headline provide key information to your reader. Depending on keywords, your headline may be short, or it may be longer than usual.  The URL string of the Business Wire version of your news release will showcase the first 5-8 words of your announcement so make sure your most impactful words are included here.

Keep in mind, ideal headline character counts can vary by platform and news partner.

  • Many editorial systems show the first 55 characters of your news release headline.
  • Search engines showcase the first 70 characters of your headline.
  • Social channels tend to pull in the entire headline (along with your Business Wire news release summary)
  • Don’t forget about mobile devices. Keeping your headline to 40 characters may be tough, but some think that is the ideal headline length for mobile readers. 

This means you have between 8-15 words in your headline to entice your readers into opening your release. 

Tip! Let Your Coverage Be Your Guide!

One way to see if your news release headlines are working is to see how reporters revise them in their coverage pieces or how consumers translate your news in their social updates. Did they use your language or your angle? What did they change? Why? Taking the time to review your past coverage pieces is a fantastic way to guide you to crafting a better release next time.

Once you have your news release headline, don’t forget to include the other required news release elements!  Include hyperlinks to provide reporters with instant access to back up materials, add a photo, infographic or video that visually tells your story to activate visual learners and include social prompts in your news release to allow fans to advocate on your behalf.

And once your release has crossed Business Wire, monitor your NewsTrak report (clicking on the Compare to Recent button) to see how your revised headline compares to past releases.  You will also want to monitor social media channels via your NUVI report to see if your newly revised headline message resonates with individuals.

Have questions about using keyword research for crafting news release headlines? Let us know! We would love to set up a time to review your news releases and show you the small changes you can make to drive larger results. Email us at serena.ehrlich@businesswire.com to get started.

Why Newswires? The Past, Present & Future of Trusted News

By Gregg Castano, President, Business Wire

Newswires have a long tradition of fulfilling an industry need for the dissemination of market moving information to a wide range of news organizations and other stakeholders. Trends and technical advancements have influenced how news is both distributed and consumed.

The stability, credibility and widespread usage of newswire distribution networks are a primary reason why communications professionals view them as the backbone of the news dissemination process.

With over 50 years of industry leadership, Business Wire has established irrefutable trust from within the news market and has proven its thorough understanding of the needs of the digital age by creating a technologically sophisticated, patented distribution network. This trust and innovation have made Business Wire the launching pad for turning company news releases into credible breaking news.

TRUSTED SOURCE

The credibility and tradition of trust earned from journalists and other downstream consumers of Business Wire content enables companies of all sizes to confidently submit press releases for distribution across the wire. Within its 22 local newsrooms around the world, Business Wire employs experienced and knowledgeable editorial teams who review this content to confirm legitimacy and accuracy. This process of vetting news content is a key feature of Business Wire’s value proposition and results in the unquestioned reliance on our service by leading journalists and investors who act upon the breaking news we deliver.

Business Wire has spent over 50 years building symbiotic relationships with media, investors and consumers by regularly delivering factually reliable and timely corporate news content.

REACH

A comprehensive global distribution system and the hard-earned trust of media and investors results in Business Wire being able to provide broad reach and visibility to its members. In addition to direct distribution of releases to the news systems and mobile apps of publications large and small on a global scale, corporate announcements are disseminated across a platform in which all relevant potential audiences have access to the information. Pushed to media and investors, and SEO friendly on the web, virtually anyone can easily find Business Wire content and move on it, from reporter to consumer, from investor to blogger. Further, all information is distributed in full text, ensuring full disclosure of all the information an issuer wishes to convey. It is also simultaneously transmitted to all end users over a private, encrypted network that guarantees that it is visible and not trapped by spam filters.

Business Wire has partnerships with 60 national and international news agencies facilitating reach to more than 89,000 media outlets in 162 countries. Industry professionals recognize our benefits as exemplified by the 92,000+ journalists who subscribe to our PressPass service, offering convenient and customized news feeds. We also offer more than 1,676 delivery options in more than 50 local languages that reach specified geographic markets and offer a choice of nearly 200 industry trade categories at no additional charge.

VISIBILITY

Every day companies spend significant dollars creating a broad array of content designed to establish credibility among, and deliver key messaging to, their constituencies. In each case, the success of these programs is tied directly to their visibility.

The more promotion content receives, the more likely it is that the target audience will see and act upon it. Rather than simply promoting the content via owned channels or social advertising and platforms, which can limit visibility, utilizing a newswire can enhance visibility, coverage and engagement and drive the traffic needed to make the program achieve its objectives.

With Business Wire distribution, news is disseminated across major global platforms including AP, AFP, Bloomberg, ThomsonReuters and Yahoo! Finance, with dual-platform posting to BusinessWire.com and EnhancedOnlineNews.com. Your press release also includes interactive hyperlinks and social sharing links to help drive engagement and content sharing, improving performance in search. The goal is to create the kind of visibility that will lead to user activity and engagement.

INNOVATION with BizWireTV

Business Wire created video programming aimed at showcasing not only the importance and impact press releases still hold, but the growing need for their use as a legitimate form of messaging in the wild-west age of internet platforms. Each news release that crosses our wire triggers activity across the web, views, shares, social engagement, mentions and more specifically, sentiment. This data serves as the solution to how Business Wire will revolutionize the industry. The video programming that serves as the solution, BizWireTV, takes the traditional press release and evolves how the message held within reaches audiences around the world. 

In partnership with Al Roker Entertainment, Business Wire’s BizWireTV spotlights stories on disruptive startups and technologies, entrepreneurs and funding announcements, hot business trends and companies to watch. A core component of the video programming is news-related data analysis powered by Business Wire’s NewsTrak reports and NUVI social media tracking. Business Wire has access to a lot of information. We know how often each release is read, how images and videos perform and how the social media universe is reacting to, commenting on and sharing news stories. Using that information as our guide, we turn rich stories and deep data that we have access to into video news show tailored for digital platforms. This data and social engagement metrics help identify trending stories. Video footage is then incorporated to help share stories in an innovative way.  The goal is to deliver it all with a true news spirit that leaves the viewer feeling smarter, better informed about upcoming economic or industry developments and ready to share it with others interested in staying informed.

With over 5,600,000 video views on BusinessWire.com, 1,400,000 views on Facebook and Twitter, 1,000,000 views of news releases announcing new episodes, and 26,000 social media mentions reaching over 25MM followers, BizWireTV has gone far and above all expectations of popularity.

SECURITY

Business Wire’s patented, simultaneous NX worldwide network ensures that news is distributed to every outlet at the same time and in a highly secure manner. In fact, security is Business Wire’s number one priority. As such, Business Wire is currently the only newswire service to have received the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report, providing independent validation that the company’s internal security controls are in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ applicable Trust Services Principles and Criteria.

LONGEVITY

One sure way to maintain visibility is to also ensure longevity.

The online archiving of news releases by newswires ensure that news can easily be discovered by interested parties by searching company names, ticker symbols or key phrases. Such archiving of information guarantees that news is visible and available for reference long after its initial release. Business Wire’s distribution includes full-text posting to thousands of websites and financial databases, such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis, which archive news over a long period of time, increasing the discoverability of issuers’ news to researchers.

DISCLOSURE

As a result of Regulation Fair Disclosure, it is key for today’s public companies to simultaneously disseminate their market moving news to as wide of an audience as possible. It is important to allow analysts, reporters and interested consumers to find company news, and act upon it, as quickly as possible, with no unfair advantage given to any one party.

Business Wire’s simultaneous disclosure network, included in every US geographic wire circuit distribution, simultaneously reaches all key disclosure media including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Reuters, Investor’s Business Daily, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, as well as full-text posting to financial databases, such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis.

A newswire is a trusted method to meet Regulation Fair Disclosure, which ensures all interested parties have access to your news and financial data at the same time. While the SEC has amended its guidance on disclosure to include social channels under certain circumstances, in reality, social channels were not designed or positioned to be disclosure vehicles. Twitter, Facebook and other services modify the visibility of all content to maximize their own advertising revenues. As such, the vast majority of public issuers utilize newswires to ensure broad and simultaneous reach to the investing public.

PUBLIC DEMAND

News consumption is at an all-time high and recent studies show that potential purchasers are spending more time online researching products and services before ever contacting the company directly. Using a newswire helps ensure that news is easily found in the research phase of the buying cycle. The existing interest from potential purchasers coupled with the high visibility provided by a newswire distribution, positions information to both be seen and acted upon in a timely and efficient manner. The news is available in full text as the issuer intended, providing an additional layer of certainty that the consumer has access to full, unfiltered information.

According to a media survey conducted by Business Wire in 2016, 53% of the responding journalists use a newswire service daily. Newswires are a vital utility in the news industry and as a result of Business Wire’s veracity and innovative practices, media professionals routinely rely upon our service.

Business Wire has spent over 5 decades deeply rooted in the news industry and recognizes that a new age has arrived. It is with optimism and enthusiasm that we embrace this new digital age and we look forward to building on our foundation of innovation in order to continue to provide the media, the investment community and the public with a comprehensive, transparent and irreplaceable mechanism for distributing vital corporate news.

About the Author

Gregg Castano was named President in December 2009. In this role, Castano remains responsible for the company’s global growth strategy into new international and vertical markets, and expands his involvement in the company’s marketing and communications efforts on the operational level. He serves on the company’s executive committee and works closely with CEO and Chairman Cathy Baron Tamraz on strategic planning and global branding.

Castano has played a key role in the company’s U.S. and international expansion. During the past decade, Castano lead Business Wire’s efforts as it opened offices in London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and Toronto, while establishing a network of reciprocal sales offices throughout Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Start Off the New Year with the Top Trends in PR, Search & Social Media

The MediaLeaders Team didn’t wait too long before putting together a trends report for the New Year. With 2017 being projected as the year of news content visibility, the goal for any communicator will be generating the most impact through the use of PR tools and solutions. MediaLeaders compiled the information found within the article based on a breakout session at the Digital Marketing Conference in Los Angeles hosted by Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media.

Read the full article on MediaLeaders

What do the trends look like? The infographic below offers a visual roadmap of how to amplify your news and achieve your goals in the New Year. 

Business Wire’s Top Ten Tips from the 2016 Media Blueprint Survey

Business Wire’s 2016 Media Blueprint Survey puts a magnifying glass to the work habits and preferences of today’s leading journalists and reporters. Knowing how to best reach and engage the media is a vital tool in a communicator’s arsenal, and Business Wire’s media survey offers the data needed to amplify branded news.

The following are the top ten tips found within the Media Blueprint Survey and if you’re looking for editorial coverage, there’s no better place to look.  

  1. 79% of surveyed media expect a PR practitioner to know their beat. 

No journalist wants to be just another contact on a long media list. The first step to better media outreach is to only contact journalists and reporters whose beat matches the news being forwarded.

  1. 53% of surveyed media use newswire services daily; 39% use it weekly or monthly.

Reporters rely on newswires because the news is vetted before distribution. Wire services are also a great resource for reporters as it provides usable content, copy can be pulled straight from the release.

  1. 91% of surveyed media prefer to receive news via an email alert linked to the press release.  65% of reporters look for supporting facts in a press release.

Include hyperlinks to all related information in a news release and one-click access to content features.

  1. 63% of surveyed media state that early in the week (Monday or Tuesday) is the best day to receive pitches.

Issuing news when the media is most likely to engage with it is a best practice for achieving editorial coverage.

  1. 61% of surveyed media prefer to receive pitches in the morning.

Like most consumers, reporters prefer to have as much news at their fingertips first thing in the morning.

  1. 33% of surveyed media rank photographs as most important supplement to a press release.

Photographs were the #1 release supplement and it tells us that multimedia is no longer an optional asset, it’s expected.

  1. 75% of surveyed media use an organization’s online newsroom for research.

The online newsroom, along with Google and an organization’s main website, are the top 3 destinations for research by media. It is vital that content within the online newsroom is updated frequently. Not only does this provide fresh material for reporters, but also helps with search engine optimization.

  1. 81% of surveyed media expect to access press releases in an organization’s online newsroom.

Press releases continue to be the most desired content type within an online newsroom year over year. Verified news is more important than ever to today’s media, with HTML being the preferred format over PDF for press releases.

  1. 54% of surveyed media expect a minimum of 1-5 years of historical press releases in an organization’s online newsroom.

Although the average amount of press releases that surveyed media expect to see is 1-5 years of releases, more than 30% of surveyed media still want to be able to access the entire historical archive of press releases. Make sure that all “milestone” releases are available within the online newsroom. Milestone releases recorded major happenings within the company or organization such as mergers, acquisitions, a new CEO, a new product, and more.

  1. 60% of surveyed media expect to search news by type and/or date in an organization’s online newsroom.  

Reporters are on deadline. They need to search, filter and access desired information quickly. Make it possible for reporters to get as detailed as possible in their search queries.

Bonus tip!

58% of reporters create more than 6 articles a week. This tells us that reporters are busy! Give them complete news releases – ones with facts, multimedia, and one-click access – so they can cover your story fast and accurately.  

Download the survey!

Received Editorial Coverage? Here’s How to Amplify It

Your news received editorial attention and coverage giving you reason to celebrate. Although you should celebrate the identifiable ROI, the amplification of your news, generating interest amongst potential clients and customers… remember not to cheer for victory too soon. This is the digital age and there is still more work to be done if you want to maximize the impact of your PR campaign. The real impact of editorial coverage is directly related to its visibility, and what you want to do is increase the visibility even more. That is true amplification of your news.

 

In the newly released Social Media Amplification Guide, Business Wire outlines the role of editorial coverage in the customer-consideration and purchase journey, and presents a series of strategies and tactics designed to increase the visibility of news stories across social channels.

 

Why is editorial coverage important?

 

Nielsen’s 2015 Trust in Advertising study revealed that consumers trust editorial coverage (66%) and this trust was increased greatly when this same content was shared by a friend or family member (83%).

 

Combine this data with the results of the 2016 Business Wire Media Survey in which reporters noted that inbound traffic was a key success metric for their editors (a metric communicators can help meet by broadly sharing their secured coverage across their owned networks) and it becomes easy for today’s public relations practitioners to understand why editorial coverage is so important and why they must create a social media news amplification program to promote this content.

 

Business Wire’s free social amplification guide outlines:

 

  • Best practices in crafting updates that meet each platform’s user aspirations.
  • Best time to share and encouraging coworkers to participate in the share process. 
  • Features valuable insights into Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Reddit.

 

Download your copy of Business Wire’s free Social Sharing guide

 

Know a fellow communicator who would benefit from this guide? Click here to share it with your Twitter followers now.

What Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions Partnering Means for Comm Pros

With the announcement that industry giants Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions are partnering comes the question of what benefits will clients and partners see regarding the amplification of their news. Business Wire clients have specific needs that are wide ranging. Currently, they have access to a wide set of communications tools, and now that toolset expands even more. This new partnership offers clients a seamless and cost-effective solution to integrate media outreach and multi-outlet monitoring into their communications campaigns.

With the strategic partnership of Agility PR Solutions and Business Wire, customers can:

  • Identify Influencers: Search the AgilityTM media database of almost 800,000 verified contacts in over 200 countries and create and save custom lists. Additional information, including how journalists like to be pitched and what they cover, will help Business Wire clients strategically target the press and follow up on news stories crossing the wire.
  • Amplify Messages: Augment Business Wire’s services with personalized outreach to key influencers, with Agility’s integrated email sending and engagement tracking tools. Quickly identify contacts for follow up by seeing who opened or clicked on emails.
  • Monitor Coverage: Business Wire’s new relationship with Agility PR Solutions provides a breadth of self-service and full service media monitoring capabilities. Track trending topics, customer sentiment, share of voice, competitors and social media activity.
  • Measure Impact: Clients can evaluate the success of communications efforts with integrated reporting capabilities and gain actionable insights into the effectiveness of their communication efforts with pre-made or custom reports.

The reasons behind the new partnership, and its goals, are simple: to provide communications professionals with enhanced distribution, monitoring and media analytics capabilities. Additionally, a critical component of this new relationship is both Business Wire’s and Agility PR Solutions’ commitment to providing exceptional customer support and service. Communications tools are most effective when used to their maximum potential. Both Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions make it a priority to assist clients and partners in understanding each tool and how these tools can best be implemented into a communications campaign.

The new strategic relationship between Business Wire and Agility PR Solutions is effective immediately and is designed to help customers as they build and create their communications strategies in 2017 and beyond. 

[PODCAST] Optimizing Press Release Headlines for Search from Business Wire

Business Wire’s Serena Ehrlich dropped by the Arketi Group to join in on an episode of their podcast series, one they self-describe as This American Life for the B2B marketing set.

Serena, Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, gave some strong tips on how to craft better headlines and increase the impact (visibility, accessibility and engagement) of a press release.

The headline is often the audience’s first contact with an organization’s content, and could very easily be the last if the reader isn’t engaged enough to keep reading. A good headline offers enough information to let the reader know the basis of the underlying story and the impact of that story on their life. A headline shouldn’t be a mystery, it should lead the reader down a path they want to go down, a path resulting in key findings, data and facts. A successful headline is also a searchable headline, containing trending keywords that reporters and news consumers use when seeking out a story.  

The podcast covers key aspects to crafting a strong headline, as well as several other tips from Business Wire including:

  • Why headlines are important
  • When to write the headline
  • Subheadline do’s and don’ts 
  • Using Google Trends
  • Importance of using click-to-tweet and hyperlinks

Ask yourself, do your news release headlines hurt or help drive media coverage? If your headline isn't optimized for search, then your release may be buried among a sea of forgotten news releases. 

Listen to the full podcast now: Episode 9

Don’t Leave Journalists Wondering: “How Do I Pronounce That”

By Vilan (vē-län) Trub, Marketing Content Lead

As we find ourselves looking to generate positive news coverage in the rapidly evolving digital era, we learn more about its defining features. Companies are transforming how we see the world, how we consume, learn and socialize. For a creative brand seeking media coverage, it’s important to distribute interesting news along with engaging multimedia. Although helpful advice, this is a tip that gets suggested often enough to no longer be considered an insider tip. To really tip the scales and leave a memorable mark on the media and news consuming audiences, we need to look closer at how brands can better acquaint themselves with journalists and reporters. Today’s companies exude creativity in all of their decisions, first and foremost with their corporate names. A great way for companies to familiarize their target market with their brand is to announce their name clearly, in a memorable way. Don’t leave journalists and reporters asking, “How do I pronounce that?” Tell them with a pronunciation key!    

Business Wire’s BizWireTV is a video news show that spotlights the top trending and most interesting stories crossing the wire each week. Our editorial production team takes great pride in presenting the brands behind those stories as accurately as possible and that starts with the correct pronunciation of their names. Great research is done into the companies behind the releases that serve as the backbone for each episode. BizWireTV, like every news media program, would benefit if brands included a pronunciation key with their releases. It would prevent the media from making an error they wouldn’t want to, and make sure that the brand behind the story is presented accurately.

How it works:

Using a pronunciation key, spell out your brand name using characters that will allow the reader to understand how each letter and section should be pronounced. For example, Bacchus, the Greek God of Wine, would be written out as: (ba-kəs). The reader will have a clearer understanding of how each vowel is pronounced and how the word should be said when spoken aloud. By encouraging the reader, and providing an opportunity to learn how to properly pronounce your company name, you work to create a memorable impression of your brand.

As for where to include the correct pronunciation of your company name, that can depend on several factors. If you’re a startup, a new brand looking to make a strong impression, it might make sense to include the pronunciation along with the first mention of the company in the release. If you’re a publically listed company, including a pronunciation along with your ticker will bring added attention to both. A neutral location within the release is the boilerplate. Readers look to this section to learn more about the company and their goals.

A tool for whenever necessary:

Using the same pronunciation-key, you can provide pronunciation accurate spellings of people’s names and locations pertinent to your company announcement. When issuing a news release always ask yourself, what questions will journalists and reporters be asking? Sure, they’ll be asking about the content of your announcement, details and data points. The one question you don’t want to leave them wondering is how to correctly pronounce a bit of information when presenting your story on air. 

Multimedia & Visualization: Key insights from an expert session

By Seval Dogan, Business Wire & Christian Salow, altii GmbH

This article touches upon the issue of visualization on the internet. It provides some key insights drawn from an expert session, which was jointly organized by Business Wire Germany (www.businesswire.com) and altii (www.altii.de). The session was held at the Communication Congress 2016, one of the most popular events for the PR industry in the German-speaking countries.

Radical technological developments such as the internet and social media enable us to create and distribute visual content in a much easier way than ever before. Pictures, videos and interactive visualization have become increasingly important. In fact, the internet without visual content is hard to imagine today. Undoubtedly, the rise of social media platforms had an impact on visualization. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and many other sites have become platforms where multimedia posts dominate over text. Compelling visual assets and creative illustrations stimulate the interest of the audience and make a story much more engaging. As a response to the significance of visualization, online platforms such as ThingLink, Glogster, PictoChart, Flixel, HSTRY and others emerged, enabling users to create interactive content and bring visuals to life.

This has triggered a new phase of competition where visual content is used as a stimulus for brand awareness and as a means to generate potential customers - it is through social media and modern communication platforms that companies often reach their target groups in the digital age. But with the appearance of new tools, new rules of communication apply. As a result of this, marketers are increasingly paying attention to the needs of the users by looking at what is being said on social media platforms and what the trending topics on the internet are, before they distribute their visual content. On the other hand, internet users are increasingly becoming picky, especially when it comes to what to read, to listen, or to watch, and where to do so. This implies that if you want your visual content to make an impact, it has to be implemented within the right context. Therefore, a clear understanding of target groups is very important in order to find the right channel and to be properly perceived by the audience. Just as important is making the link between image and message perfectly congruent. The same applies to videos - good videos need to be well-prepared. All these inevitably raise the question: How can the attention of consumers be obtained and maintained in the digital age?

In our expert session, we analyzed how the interest of users can be triggered and what role attractiveness plays when it comes to videos. One of the key ideas discussed was that, overall, using the ‘right’ image generates more clicks, and this is especially the case with images that evoke emotions. Shock, anger, fear, disgust etc. can be as powerful of emotions as joy, happiness, hope, and so on, on the internet. However, this does not mean that emotionally-triggering visual content is the only way to go viral. For instance, some visual content (e.g. videos) regarded as ‘unattractive’ can be more long-lasting in popular internet rankings than more ‘attractive’ ones.

This prompted our session to discuss the significance of virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The new media devices are likely to change not only the meaning of visualization but also the use of interactive media on the web. VR and AR tools create a whole new customer experience and interactive multimedia might be soon challenged by these communication tools. With these new tools, content can be displayed in new visual ways which can be very impressive for the consumer. They do not only trigger the senses, they can literally absorb them. The user is fully immersed in the new reality created by those technologies, giving the feeling to the user of being physically present in another environment. The three-dimensional environment depicted by the VR and AR tools provide a highly interactive and life-like experience where the user can move around. An employee of Google once said: "In a room with people, some of which carry Google Glass and some not, in no time there are two separate groups apart where there is no physical distance. The no-Glass in the one corner and the Glass people in the other!” (Perhaps this could be a reason why Google did not let the Glass project grow from the development stage). Microsoft is also working on a similar project, the HoloLense project. Such technological developments keep us excited about the future applications and acceptance of virtual media, as well as about their impact on the meaning of visualization in the age of digitization.

Are you interested in this topic? Take a look at the following presentation slides, or share your thoughts with us.

To learn more about best practices for using visuals in your own communications content, download and read our guidance report, Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the Press Release.

The Media Blueprint is Out: Results from the Business Wire 2016 Media Survey

This week, Business Wire released the Media Blueprint, a collection of key findings from Business Wire’s annual media survey. The results of the survey shed light on how leading journalists and reporters view today’s communications, creating a blueprint for the journey news takes from source to audience.

Communicators have a vested interested in the current trends of how journalists seek out, identify, and publish news. This survey offers an in depth look at the branded news industry from the very perspective that Comm Pros need. It details everything from how journalists and reporters look for stories to how they prefer to be reached, from the best day of week and time to method (email, phone, etc).

The data was released to coincide with the start of the PRSA International Conference, where thousands of attendees will connect with more than 150 industry experts from all career levels, sectors, work environments and industries for three days of practical insight and networking.

A glimpse at the findings

In an interesting reversal from last year’s survey, this year 50% of respondents, the majority, perceive The New York Times “traditional” style of media as being the future of news media, while the BuzzFeed “interactive” model came in second. When analyzing the data further it was revealed that the BuzzFeed model does lead among the Generation X demographic, however, the emerging journalists in the Millennial age bracket lean towards Reddit.    

Respondents were asked questions on a wide range of topics including:

  • Integrating more interactive multimedia online
  • Press release elements most beneficial to reporters
  • The role of long form and short form news produced by platforms such as BuzzFeed and The New York Times
  • Reporters’ increased usage of video

Key questions were asked regarding journalist’s use of newswires. Journalists that use a newswire do so daily (54%) with nearly a quarter using one several times a day (24%).

Online Newsrooms

While pitching the media and issuing a news release constitutes outbound media relations, it is just as important to have an inbound resource, an online newsroom and investor site. Our questions to the media regarding their engagement with online newsrooms will help companies and organizations determine if their website is properly organized and fully utilized to meet the needs of journalists and reporters. Our findings relay the blueprint for constructing a newsroom that the media wants and expects.

One expectation is that over 50% of media surveyed want between a minimum of 1-5 years of historical press releases available within the online newsroom, while almost 30% want the organization's entire archive.

As technology continues to evolve and push the digital age further, the question of how journalists seek out the news they present for public consumption has never been more important. The industry’s redeveloping identity, traditional models of news delivery and encroaching new platforms create a wide variety of communications’ tools and outlets for brands to consider when issuing a news release.

Download the free 2016 Business Wire Media Survey

The report and analysis are from a Business Wire survey of more than 600 members of the media from more than 40 countries - our largest study yet.

 

 

 

 

[EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR] The Year of News Visibility: Introducing Reddit

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

When it comes to moving people in to and through your organization’s marketing funnel, one of the biggest tools in your toolkit is the news content you create. Why? News is always hot. News has impact. News drives engagement. Everybody loves news.

News within Search and Social

Google places news coverage at the top of search and news is the top content-type shared on social media channels every day. Pew Internet continues to release studies showcasing how many U.S. adults are using social channels as news sources and Nielsen studies confirm that that editorial coverage, when shared across social media, can increase consumer trust in your news by as much as 83%.

Your news has impact when it is seen. So when the Business Wire team had the chance to meet with Mark Luckie, Reddit’s head of media and journalism at the recent Online News Association (ONA 16) conference, we jumped!  And we have seen Reddit shares drive millions of viewers into individual news releases triggering deep engagement within highly targeted subreddits (topic-specific discussion-based groups). And after a few minutes with Mark, it became obvious you need to meet him as well. 

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a massive, global website built to drive discussions within topic-based communities such as news, public relations, knitting, pasta, and of course cats. Organizations that properly engage in highly relevant Reddit communities see an increase in the visibility of their information, are able to identify and build brand fans and receive immediate feedback on their news and programming.  But engagement is not as easy as submitting a link. You have to find a community, join it and build your presence. 

In our October 20th webinar, Mark will speak exclusively to our clients to teach them how to identify relevant Reddit communities, engage with key audiences, conduct Ask Me Anythings and how to identify and submit the content their communities wants to see.

Date:     Thursday, October 20, 2016

Time:     12 PM ET/ 9 AM PT

Register here:   http://go.businesswire.com/increase-message-impact-with-reddit

Studies continue to show that there is no better time to promote your news content so why not learn how today’s pros are using Reddit? Register today to determine just how integral this site can be in your news visibility program.

Top 10 Reasons to Reach the US Hispanic Market

By Pilar Portela, US Media Relations Manager

Every year during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the presence of Hispanics in the U.S. However, your PR and marketing efforts should not be focused around this one month celebration but instead should continue year round. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Fifty percent of the U.S. population growth from 2010 to 2015 came from Hispanics and now stands at 57 million, making it the nation’s second fastest growing group. The U.S. Census expects this key demographic to more than double within the next two generations.
  2. In 2015, Hispanics controlled $1.3 trillion in buying power and it’s expected to reach $1.7 trillion in 2020.
  3. Average household income was $42,396 in 2014 up from $40,946 in 2009.
  4. Increased voting power: a record 27.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote in 2016, up from 23.3 million in 2012.
  5. Latinos are powered by millennials; Hispanics are the youngest of the major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. The median age for Hispanics is 28 years old.
  6. Millennials make up almost half (44%) of the Hispanic electorate in 2016.
  7. Latinos make up the largest group of immigrants in most states. Mexico is the biggest source of immigrants in 33 states.
  8. A majority of Hispanic adults (55%) say they are Catholic.
  9. Latinos who speak English proficiently is increasing. In 2013, 68% of Latinos ages 5 and up spoke English proficiently up from 59% in 2000.
  10. There is a Latina Power Shift.  Latinas are outpacing Latino males in education, career development, and are the primary household decision makers. Eighty-six percent of Latinas are the primary shoppers in their households and 74% of Latinas who graduated high school between the years 2012 and 2014 are now enrolled in college.

With their buying power expected to reach $1.7 trillion in 2020, how are you reaching U.S. Hispanics? One of the easiest ways to reach this influential group is by sharing your news via a service like LatinoWire. This news service translates and distributes your news in both English and Spanish to all relevant on- and off-line news and industry specific publications ensuring discovery and action by your key Latino audiences.

Click here to see the organizations—both large and small—who are already marketing successfully to this important audience.

Want to try LatinoWire for your next Hispanic audience release or have questions about LatinoWire distribution? Let us know; we would love to answer any questions you have.

To read and access the full Nielsen, Pew Research Center, and Advertising Age reports that were mentioned in this article go to:

Why Clean Communication is a “Must” in Press Releases

Guest article written by Alex Ivanovs, lead managing editor at Colorlib --

an evergreen resource for aspiring and growing developers and web designers.

You have just wrapped up launching your business, or perhaps you’re launching a new feature for an existing product, and it’s time for getting some exposure.

What’s your best option?

Press releases can be incredibly valuable assets for promoting your news, and with the help of a newswire service your press releases will help to expose your business to a wide audience of potential customers, and journalists who are eager to write about groundbreaking news.

That last bit offers a particular clue for how to better reach your target audience: “groundbreaking news.”

Good press releases are focused around news announcements that are intriguing, newsworthy, and don’t sound like the average sales letter. Journalists aren’t interested in yet another sales pitch. The theme of the press release is a vital component for getting maximum exposure, but another such component is the content itself. Press releases with an overly utilized sales jargon just don’t seem to generate the same results as PR that have been thoughtfully crafted to be informative and appealing.

The first fundamental thing to understand about good press releases is their format, so here’s a breakdown of what a professional, solid, press release would look like when built on step by step basis.

  • Headline -- What is the main point of your news? What is your announcement?
  • Intro -- Go all out. Answer as many questions as possible before stepping into the next parts of the release.
  • Sources -- What are your sources of information, if any? Don’t make others question your confidence.
  • Key Components -- What makes your announcement significant? What makes it different?
  • Quotes -- Make any important remarks, provide input or any further advice.
  • Ending -- Keep the ending short and sweet, reiterating the importance of the announcement to the reader.

Gina Gulberti from LaunchMetrics suggests that another way to improve the quality of press releases for the modern age is to implement the use of visual graphics, including visualized information to better describe the announcement that you’re making. Such visual graphics can be built using traditional infographic tools, or if you have an in-house designer you could assign them the task of building PR graphics.

Clear communication

If we understand PR as the stepping stone for seizing the attention of journalists and industry-specific bloggers, it’s helpful to understand how journalists function and why clear communication is a vital element for getting your press release picked up as a story for media publication.

The following guidelines can be applied to the process of writing your press release so that it is easier to understand and digest for journalists:

  • Write for busy people -- journalists are by no means sitting at their desks without stories to write, or pitches to consider. Make your pitches short, concise, and straight to the point. Sometimes it helps to add a comment such as, “Please ask for more information if interested.” at the end of your pitch, so in the event of a journalist being intrigued by your story, they’ll happily reach back out to you with more questions.
  • Explain your use of jargon -- the journalist at hand might be an expert at your business category, but who says that their readers are. Assume complete lack of knowledge about your field, and use language that reflects ease of understanding.
  • Write for the reader -- a journalist isn’t interested in purchasing your product, they’re merely trying to find a good story to publish, with that in mind; compose your press releases for the readers / viewers, people who could eventually become your new customers.

It goes without saying that applying these small and concise tips is going to make life easier for yourself and the journalists who’re reading your pitches, so much so that it might be the breaking point for getting your voice heard. In a saturated market, it helps to stand out by portraying understanding and expertise over clear communication and how it helps to create a smooth communication experience.

 

The Multi-Channel Approach Every Marketer Needs to Know

By Shirley Leung, Brand Marketing Specialist at Business Wire

Over the past few decades, the media landscape has been a rollercoaster of changes, evolution and revolution. Advances in technology, growth of the internet and adaption to new digital practices have changed how we communicate and how we collect information and gather news. So here are three musts for every marketer to master the multi-channel approach:

1. Mobile-Friendly

We’re in the digital era, not implementing a fully responsive website is just technology faux pas. Media consumers are increasingly ditching stagnant desktops and laptops in favor of mobile, so not only is this where your audience wants to see your content but also expects you to provide that content in an adaptable format. A mobile-friendly website has many major advantages: clear navigation, easy-to-read text, faster download speeds, improved user experience and can recognize what kind of device is being used. If you’re not optimized for mobile, you’re missing an opportunity to reach potential customers and clients.

A recent comScore report states there was an overall 57% increase of mobile users while the news sector saw an audience growth of 66% on mobile. With these numbers to keep in mind, mobile is a force to be reckoned with.

Even Google has made changes to its search algorithm that favors mobile-responsive web designs so don’t penalize yourself or your business! Not only will Google be less likely to display your site in the search results, but having a responsive site also helps with mobile SEO, search traffic and organic reach.

Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Test your site URL using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

Learn how Business Wire can amplify your news with GMSM features.

2. Social Media

Regardless of whether your brand is taking on the “digital-first” approach, social media is one of the biggest weapons in in any marketer’s arsenal. Many marketers struggle to seamlessly blend social and traditional marketing practices because they see one or the other as a sole strategy and not both as a tactic. By using this integrated approach, your brand is maximizing impact and putting every single marketing dollar to use which ultimately increases ROI.

This naturally leads to a multi-channel approach where social is most commonly used to extend the message from direct mail, television commercials, print and other forms of traditional marketing to be continued online. While traditional marketing reaches the masses, social will allow you to actively target (and retarget) your audience in real-time and also at a lower cost than traditional! By using both of these methods simultaneously, your brand is bound to reach more prospects and achieve higher conversion rates.

Learn more about integrated marketing as covered on Tempo, Business Wire’s home for white papers, trend reports, videos, articles, tips and tools.

3. Apps

The development of a branded mobile app usually comes later within a marketing strategy. This includes advertising or branded content delivered to smartphones, tablets and other devices. So where does it exactly fit?

A mobile app isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy but should work alongside your current strategy. Find your niche and run with it! By defining your target audience, you will be able craft content for your app and hold on to the app market space with other big name brands but not necessarily compete with them. Know who your ideal clients are and deliver content that’s unique and useful to their needs.

Recognizing the growing audience in digital and mobile news, Business Wire’s digital news series, BizWireTV, brings the best of both worlds. Designed to showcase the hottest news stories published over Business Wire’s distribution network, episodes can be watched on-demand, any time, while on-the-go.

Learn more about the new BizWireTV app.

Make your move!

Implementing a multi-channel approach is a game-changer. Today’s consumer uses several different channels and devices to communicate. By using a multi-channel approach with consistent messaging, a single user is able to pick up several touch points in between channels and devices from reading a news release to seeing your presence on social media. Now give your customers the multi-channel experience they won’t be able to resist!

 

Top 5 Things Journalists Look for in a News Release

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

Journalists and media professionals get bombarded daily with emails and news releases. Those same journalists and media professionals also don’t have a lot of time. Make sure that you’re doing everything you can to grab their attention by giving them exactly what they’re looking for. What are they looking for?

Who are you?

Before you write your news release, you have to answer one big question: Who are you?

News is an industry of trust, so always ask yourself, why should journalists trust me? Treat a press release like a self-endorsement when trying to arrange a blind date. What are your best features and why would you (or your news release) be a perfect match for someone? It’s also good to have a trusted mutual friend, such as a newswire service, to make the introduction to your desired media outlet. Remember, you must woo a journalist with your release.

A key tip is to include a well-written boilerplate at the bottom of your release. A boilerplate is a mini-bio of your company that lets the reader know exactly what you do.

A Headline Comes First

Before a journalist reads your release, they first see the headline. The headline is like a trailer to a movie, one that is well made will garner the interest of the audience. A bad headline, however, is the last thing that gets read before a journalist moves on to their next email.

A good tip for putting together a strong headline is to remember what the reader is looking for: information. Avoid using click-bait tactics because media pros have developed a keen sense of what to look out for. There are good reads online about the difference between click-bait and a well-made news releases, so make sure to be on the lookout.

There is even an online headline analyzer by CoSchedule to help you craft the perfect headline that hooks the reader in and doesn’t let go.

The Ws
Journalists aren’t looking to read Moby Dick when opening your news release. Today’s reporters are looking for two key elements.  They want to know the facts, and they want to know the story behind the facts – the one that tells why the product was made, who it impacts, what that impact was and why it would impact the publication’s core audience.  This is when you turn to your “W”s!

Who, what, where, when, and why is an exercise taught in elementary schools so that students can get a grasp of how to break down a story to its most basic and relevant elements. Use this same exercise when drafting your release because journalists don’t want to go looking for key story elements. By reducing the amount of work needed for a third party to tell your story you will find a much higher likelihood of coverage and engagement with your news.

Social Media is Honey – Use It

Every news release is designed to attract readers. In the digital age, social media has become a swap meet where information is traded free of charge. Including social media links to your news release gives people the opportunity to easily distribute your news, the very same news you want covered by journalists. The name of the game is reach so make it easier for people to distribute and redistribute your release.

Multimedia

Cavemen didn’t write paragraphs about the beauty of horses. They made drawings on cave walls that are easy to understand even today! Believe it or not, that was the earliest form of multimedia.

Thanks to technical and mobile device advancements and penetration, humans are creating and consuming multimedia at unheard of rates. When thinking about crafting your press release, you must understand that multimedia supplements are no longer optional. Reporters and consumers use multimedia to create emotional connections and to showcase the real “why” behind your news.

But even multimedia is changing. With more than 63% of the world being visual and interactive learners, static multimedia is being replaced with interactive assets that create engagement opportunities for newsreaders.

Hundreds of news releases are sent out each day, make sure that your next one stands out. Follow these steps to grab the reader and make sure that they’re getting, and sharing your message.

 

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 

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. 

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