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

Decoding Facebook’s Changes: 5 Ways PR Professionals Can Generate Reach and Impact in 2018

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

In early 2018, Facebook announced a news feed update that dramatically changes how brands can engage with their communities and audiences within the Facebook platform.

 

“We’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands, and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Zuckerberg said in his Facebook post.

 

These changes, designed to enhance the platform’s user experience, remove almost all brand content from the Facebook News feed unless the user selects the “Most Recent” news feed viewing option. This means consumers will see less of an organization's content, and brands will have fewer opportunities to build deeper relationships with their customers.

 

However, there are still ways brands can get their content into the Facebook newsfeed. Status updates by organizations that drive engagement and discussion between brand fans within the comments will continue to receive high visibility. 

 

Here are five ways to gain visibility within Facebook in 2018:

 

     1.Build a Community that Engages

While Facebook’s change may affect brand content, it will not affect community content from communities with high engagement. 

 

Look at the Instant Pot Community. This is an advice community. People join to both learn AND share – their members are vested in each other’s success. Members ask questions and the community rallies together to provide answers, support and tips. 

Recreating this kind of community to support your business goals is not easy. You must identify why people use your product, what problem does it solve and how your community members can help each other succeed using your tools.

 

Implementation Tip!

Consider revamping your Facebook goals to be less about broadcasting content and more about asking questions and providing room for your community to share their experiences and success tips.

 

One note of caution about building a community on Facebook: This process takes lot of time and ultimately you are giving Facebook control of your community. Many brand managers are now building communities tied to their websites, leveraging social share prompts to allow members to take these smart discussions out to social channels.

 

     2.Leverage the Surprise and Delight of Live Video

Live video drives community engagement. A LOT of community engagement. Up to six times as many interactions as regular video. Facebook Live was designed to generate engagement while showing your audience your attention, in real time!

 

Facebook Live’s format allows a person or brand to broadcast to their audience, and for their audience to reply in real time. For PR pros, Facebook Live is a terrific way to supplement a product launch, to bring viewers to a hosted event, provide tips on how to maximize the use of your product, interview industry experts, provide market updates and more.

 

Implementation Tip!

One way to increase the impact of Facebook Live is to look at what products and services your brand is focusing on for 2018. Then identify those internal and external experts who can speak to the value of your organization. The next time you launch a new product feature, add FB Live to your list of tactics. Once your news release has crossed the wire, launch your FB Live and invite page members, internal employees, external partners, reporters, customers and prospects to tune in as you discuss the value of your update with product owners and customers implementing the tool.

 

     3.Host a Watch Party

Another way to get eyeballs to your Facebook group and content is to host a watch party! This new feature allows group owners (initial testers of this feature) to host an online viewing party of either a live video or an existing one. This way you can engage a larger audience with a singular piece of content, encouraging feedback and reactions in real time.

 

Implementation Tip!

For PR pros, consider utilizing this service when you are launching a new event, hosting an external event or panel, walking a trade show floor and more. A video-viewing party allows you to create a situation that permits viewers to watch and respond; generating that “community engagement” that Facebook is striving for, and ultimately gives your page the option to appear in the news feed.

 

     4.Increase your budgets with FB Advertising

It is no secret that Facebook is a giant advertising network and that this move was designed to not only make users happier, but to increase Facebook’s overall revenues where brands must pay to garner eyeballs on their content. The reality is, if you want to guarantee people see your information in Facebook, and you have not yet built up your community or news-sharing army, the fastest way to do this is through paid advertising options.

 

Implementation Tip!

Utilize Facebook pixels to track website visitors as they move across the Facebook platform. Rather than showcase a traditional ad or brand content, showcase editorial coverage related to the product or service they’ve shown interest in. Editorial coverage has shown to be a major part of moving people in and through the marketing and sales funnel. This content is terrific to use when building ads to reach people who entered and exited your website purchase pages without buying.

 

     5.Get Your Audiences to Share Your Press Releases and Editorial Coverage

The easiest way to get your organization’s content into Facebook? Via news and news shares.

 

Shortly after Mark Zuckerberg announced the news feed changes, a second update went out to address news and editorial content. In this update, Facebook specifically noted that editorial news content from highly trusted sources that users felt were informative, would continue to be surfaced within Facebook.

 

 

 

This is a huge boon for PR pros! Securing highly trusted editorial coverage is a big part of our jobs! And it is the one kind of content Facebook is not actively demoting.

 

Implementation Tip!

Create a visibility program for your news releases and editorial coverage. It is time for brands to realize that people rely on news, and this will move them through the sales and editorial funnels.

 

Employee Amplification: Every time you send out a news release or secure editorial coverage, take the time to promote this information heavily to internal and external audiences. Write social messaging and share it with your internal teams. While not every coworker will share the message out, those who do will help increase the visibility of this content across all channels, including Facebook, because their individual shares are not restricted like brand shares are. Human shares beat social algorithms!

 

Search Amplification: To get news releases directly in front of decisions makers, you need to use a TRUSTED commercial newswire like Business Wire. Both Google and today’s social channels recognize that Business Wire is a highly used, highly trusted news source and, as such, they give visibility to content from these sources.

 

Social Amplification:  PR professionals must create amplification programs for every news article and press release they generate. Not sure how to start this? Download our free social sharing white paper to learn how to leverage social channels for business news amplification.

 

Mobile Amplification: Today’s readers are actively utilizing news apps to find news. The great thing about these apps is that they all include sharing tools, allowing any reader to take your news out of the platform and across their social channels. Business Wire content is not only available in the Business Wire news app, it is easily accessible in AP’s mobile app, Apple News, News360, Google Newsstand and more.  These placements ensure your news is easily found, and sharable, no matter where your audience is.

 

In Summary…..

Facebook is the world’s largest social network. These recent changes were designed to re-engage Facebook’s user base, increase interactions within the platform and ultimately lead to an increase in advertising revenues.  To leverage this social behemoth in 2018, smart PR and marketing professionals must be prepared to spend less time promoting corporate marketing, and more time promoting highly trusted news and editorial coverage, real time events and of course, advertising.

 

Have questions on how to increase the visibility of your news releases and editorial coverage to move customers through your sales and marketing funnel? Let’s set up a time to talk about leveraging Business Wire to meet your visibility and engagement goals.

 

Working with Global Media: CNBC International and The Associated Press Share Tips

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

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

Kelvin Chan of the Associated Press

All of the topics discussed were immensely interesting for a host of reasons. Some of the highlights:

 

Kelvin Chan

  • 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.

 

Ted Kemp

  • 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.

 

I’m in the Mood for a Good Holiday Story

I'm in the Mood for a Good Holiday Story

 

by Millicent Hasandras, Business Wire

Millicent Hassandras | Account Executive, Business Wire

 

Fall just started recently, but I can't stop thinking about ... Holiday Story Time. I love the holiday news cycle. Every year I look forward to pictures of kittens in silly outfits, outlandish gift guides, intriguing cocktail recipes, and crazy predictions by Futurists. When you’re in PR, the holiday season starts early with long-lead publication deadline dates and doesn’t stop until the final “last-minute gift ideas” blog posts published in late December.

 

Business Wire takes holidays seriously.

 

We’re a natural fit for holiday news – our weekly holiday recap news distributions kick off November 10 and run through the end of December. The recaps provide companies a second round of visibility for their news, and give reporters an easy-to-follow list of options to write about. If you’re looking to activate reporters to cover your holiday news, NOW is the time to write your holiday stories. 

 

Top Holiday Story Ideas

 

Black Friday:

  • Store hours, discounts, and promotions
  • New products and services
  • Special accommodations for employees to help them survive Black Friday (onsite massages, yoga classes, or meditation opportunities)
  • Tips on a successful shopping plan of attack
  • Success stories, sales figures

 

Cyber Monday news:

  • Last-minute offers lined up for Cyber Monday
  • Predictions for the holiday shopping season
  • Information on Cyber Security   
  • Success stories, sales figures

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Company-sponsored charity events
  • Charitable giving programs and results
  • Toy or food drives and drop off locations
  • Stories of employees in the field volunteering for a company-sponsored charity

 

Holiday gift news:

  • Gift guides! Use Business Wire’s customized distribution options to promote gifts by age and demographic. I have a 73-year-old mother and a 92-year-old grandmother. How about a gift guide with ideas for aging parents and grandparents?

 

 Holiday food stories:

  • Holiday recipes
  • Special menus at restaurants
  • Holiday cocktail recipes
  • Seasonal product offerings
  • Holiday cooking classes by local chefs

 

Holiday travel stories:  

  • Last-minute holiday trip packages
  • Tips and tricks on travel with young children or pets
  • Ideas on celebrating the holidays away from home

 

Late December ideas:

  • Economic predictions for the New Year
  • Weight loss product launches
  • New Year resolution stories with customer testimonials
  • Predictions by futurists

 

To truly tell your holiday story, you will need to write a multimedia rich news release – this means you will want to include a photo, infographic or video showcasing your offer. Reporters need your multimedia content to create a compelling story. Humans are visual learners. They retain 65% of what they learn when a visual is added. Make it easy for reporters to tell a compelling story by adding photos, videos, and infographics.

 

And don’t forget to leverage the reach of others! Social influencers can act as sales associates for you. Work with them to create custom content or give them your assets to drive higher engagement and ROI. Give them easy content to use including infographics, PDFs, and Customer Testimonials. Include videos but keep them short. According to Vidyard’s 2017 Video in Business Benchmark report, a video less than 90 seconds in length sees an average retention at the end of 53%.

 

Once your holiday season is over it will be time to measure the success of your work. Utilize the data Business Wire provides including metrics on volume, sentiment, influencers, geographic location, and virality. These reports provide instant access to a wide range of metrics you can use to extend your outreach or highlight your PR program’s results to your management team, ensuring you, and they, have a very happy holiday season.

 

The holiday season is here! Are you ready? I, for one, can’t wait to read your news! 

How to “Play Ball” with the Media

When Business Wire’s Florida team had the innovative idea to host a baseball themed media luncheon, they didn’t know just how effective the exercise would be for all those in attendance. At the event, “Playing Ball with the Media,” communications pros were matched with journalists and asked to “pitch” their stories.

 

A special thank you to the leading South Florida journalists who attended: Rick Hirsch, Managing Editor at The Miami HeraldAmy Reyes, Editor at Miami.com – Miami Herald’s online lifestyle magazine; Kerry Weston, Assignment Editor at WPLG Channel 10Teresa Frontado, Digital Director at WLRN NewsCatherine Wilson, Managing Editor at Daily Business Review; and Terence Shepherd, News Director at WLRN News.

How to “Play Ball” with the media:

  1. Assemble several tables in a room, each featuring one journalist matched with several comm pros.
  2. Each communicator has one minute to pitch their story with their matched journalist and receive feedback.
  3. After each ten minute round, the journalists switch tables in order to hear what every table has to pitch.
  4. After the final round, the journalists vote on the best three pitches and share why they were selected.
  5. A special award and trophy are presented to the three winners. The awards are: Cy Young (for the best pitcher), MVP (for the best overall player), and the Delivery Man award (for the best closer).

It’s as simple as that but don’t be dissuaded, the educational value from this game will help bolster the impact of any issued news. Not only does it help communicators sharpen their pitching skills, it helps them better understand how to frame a story to pique the interest of targeted media. Start planning your own “Playing Ball with the Media” event and see the results yourself.

Find out what journalists have to say by downloading Media Matchmaker, a blueprint for how and when to best reach members of the media based on the survey results of over 600 journalists in more than 40 countries. 

Vote Business Wire for SXSW

SXSW PanelPicker allows users to propose which panels they’d like to see take place at the upcoming SXSW conference. Always at the technological forefront, and keeping a strong connection with the audience that helped transform what the conference/festival is today, SXSW continues to place the keys to the kingdom in the public’s hands. Business Wire is proud to announce that two of our very own thought leaders have organized creative, and unique, panels that all communicators can benefit from and now’s your chance to vote them in and make them a reality.  

 

Raschanda Hall’s Hacks, Flacks & Robots: Automation in Today's News

Vote here

About the panel: First, you were told to write for robots. Now, robots are doing the writing for you. What are these robots looking for in a news story? What do you need to know to protect your brand and job when robots and algorithms are shaping your company’s image? 
Leading reporters and experts on news automation and A/B testing discuss their impact on the future of the PR/journalist relationship. We’ll also tackle how both sides, are harnessing this technology to feed seemingly insatiable news appetites.

Raschanda Hall, Business Wire’s director of global media relations, has spent 16 years as a leading part of the media relations team. She sets the direction for the brand’s global media relations through the fast-paced, changing media landscape by utilizing her understanding of emerging technology and her pioneering social media presence. Additionally, she serves as the president of the Chicago chapter of Black Public Relations Society.

 

Serena Ehrlich’s The Messy Truth about News and PR in 2018

Vote here

About the panel: Communications today is messy. Today's reporters and PR pros have a wide range of tools at their fingertips that drive ROI, so why are so few actually using them? Which tools are worth using? In this session, we will look at the technologies - from A/B testing to interactive multimedia to chatbots to analytics - available to brand or media communicators today to create and amplify the type of news and content that deepens bonds between their audiences and their organization.

Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, provides guidance for internal and external content creation and distribution services, ranging from PR programming to mobile marketing to social media updates. Over the last 25 years, Ehrlich has worked to provide guidance on investor relations, public relations and overall consumer behavior relations trends.

 

Register with SXSW PanelPicker and become a part of the experience. Voting ends on Friday, August 25th so make sure to get your choices in before then.  

Which Social Media Marketing Measurements Matter Most

The digital revolution has brought upon a whole new world of platforms and analytics. Although it can get confusing when scrolling down a long list of numbers, it’s important to pay attention because some of those numbers can help amplify your social marketing efforts. The key is knowing which metrics matter most.

Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, Serena Ehrlich, sat down with Arketi Group to discuss the important social media measurements that can have the biggest impact on your goals.

Read the full interview

Conversation highlights include:

  • The top three measurements that matter for social marketing
  • Measurements to be cautious about 
  • Cost effective measurement solutions
  • Important tools to enhance social marketing measurement

When asked why measurement matters in social marketing, Serena described the qualities that make social platforms unique and offered a glimpse into just how jarring the digital revolution is when compared to previous tech used for communications. She explained that “the ability to access such granular data so quickly, combined with the real-time nature of social discussions, means you can modify your programming instantly when the data suggests you need to pivot.”

The term clip counting is a relic of the past and results are expected instantaneously today, and the reason is because everything moves so quickly. Nowhere is this more evident than on social media platforms. Find out how to maximize efforts on social media by utilizing the right measurements. 

Find Out How to be a PR Superstar by Using Data

The statement that PR pros are just not paid enough is sure to get any communicator’s attention, and it made quite the impact as the phrase that started off the recent webinar Monitor, Measure, Evaluate, Evolve. The webinar was hosted by Business Wire’s own director of social and evolving media, Serena Ehrlich, and it focused on the role data must play in order for today’s PR professionals to be truly successful in what they do.

In 2017, PR is no longer about relying on one’s gut. You must use data to truly showcase the value of PR and to get PR to be taken seriously within your organization. The data gleaned from companies like Agility PR Solutions creates a roadmap for content – from creation to launch to follow up. By utilizing internal and external data, PR pros can create content that resonates with their desired audiences and generates more coverage pieces. They can then provide senior management with detailed information on how each program impacts the organization’s overall business goals.  By using data, PR pros can now demonstrate the true value of PR.

Learn more about the role of data in today’s public relations programming (including how to do it!) by reading Cara Valle’s recap of what Serena had to say, or watch the full webinar here. Click here to learn more about Business Wire’s NewsTrak reports or here to learn how Agility PR Solutions can create a successful data program for your organization.

Business Wire Miami “Playing Ball With the Media” Event

by Stephan Useche, Client Services

 

On Thursday, July 20, the Business Wire Florida team hosted a successful media luncheon titled “Playing Ball with the Media.” This event brought together a group of “pitchers” and “catchers” to play ball at the Newman Alumni Center in the University of Miami. At each table there was one catcher, a journalist, matched with several pitchers, PR agencies and private companies, who had the opportunity to throw their best news pitches.

Business Wire was proud to bring top South Florida journalists: Rick Hirsch, Managing Editor at The Miami Herald; Amy Reyes, Editor at Miami.com – Miami Herald’s online lifestyle magazine; Kerry Weston, Assignment Editor at WPLG Channel 10; Teresa Frontado, Digital Director at WLRN News; Catherine Wilson, Managing Editor at Daily Business Review; and Terence Shepherd, News Director at WLRN News.

The format for this event went as follows: all of the comm pros had one minute to share their pitches and receive feedback from their matched journalist. After each 10 minute round, the buzzer rang and the journalists then switched tables, giving them the oppurtunity to hear what every table had to pitch. 

After the final round, the journalists voted on the three best pitches and shared why they were chosen. Each of the winners were presented with a special award and trophy. The awards handed out were “Cy Young” (best pitcher), “MVP” (best overall player) and the “Delivery Man” (the closer). Congratulations to these 3 winners:  “Cy Young” - Joanna Palmer, Public Relations & Communications Executive at Gastro Health; “MVP” - Isabelle Pike, Development Director at Branches; and “Delivery Man” - Juan Diasgranados, Public Affairs Manager at Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation. The event ended with each award winner sharing their winning pitch with the audience. 

Overall the event was a great opportunity for both the journalists and participating attendees. Journalist, Terence Shepherd expressed that this event was a way to put a face behind the pitch and said, “An email is too easy to ignore, but you always remember the face.” The other “Catchers” said some news stories may come out of the pitches they received.  

How New Journalistic Practices Are Influencing The News Release

By Agnes Deleuse, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

Recent studies published coincidentally by The New York Times, Reuters Institute and Business Wire Media Survey are highlighting how journalism is changing in order to survive. New technology brought in new challenges and revolutionized our relationship to media consumption.  

The smartphone is our connection to the world. 51% of consumers are getting their news from their mobile device and the trend is going upwards. We hop from one site to an app, and from one social media platform to the next. Our eyes scan thousands of pieces of information and we only stop when an image is appealing or when the news is pertinent.

Tech innovation goes so fast that Facebook Live and Google News Lab have dedicated training centers for journalists, bloggers, and influencers.

What does it say? First, that journalists must today master editorial and technology techniques, social media specifics and creativity. Secondly, that they must constantly train to acquire new competences matching the pace of digital evolution. 

For PR professionals the takeaway is this: if journalistic practices are changing, it is obvious that the news release has to change as well.

Mobile = Visual

Multimedia is not an option anymore. It is the entry door to visibility and engagement. With Business Wire, images and other multimedia included with a release are sent to photography press agencies and are posted on many news sites and social media platforms. They are available for journalists and other news consumers to download in a hi-res format. If you look at a news feed (AFP, AP…) on a mobile app, news with multimedia is news that gets the most attention.

PR professionals must accept these transformations if they want their information to perform. We now live in a digital era and crafting a news release requires new adjustments. Forget the old habits! Here are a few tips that may help:

1/ Anticipation is key - Include the press release in your communications strategy. Think about your message, your target, what you are expecting from the release….
Don’t choose your multimedia at the last minute. If you need a headshot of your CEO or a picture of your new product, anticipate to get the best shot. If you are exhibiting at a tradeshow, take pictures of your booth so that they are available for later use. Create a photo library where you can dig in at any time.

2/ Forget the text only release – A NYT report says that 800 words articles don’t do great on the web. And 63% of the world are visual learners, so why are your news releases text-only? Add multimedia because the old adage that an image is worth 1,000 words rings truer than ever in the digital age. And don’t forget to include a detailed caption of your multimedia asset. News release multimedia captions can be 100-words long so take the time to describe what your multimedia asset is trying to convey.

3/ Be creative - Innovate when preparing your news release. Utilize the latest storytelling tools, such as interactive photos and videos. There are numerous shareable multimedia options that will engage journalists and consumers.

4/ Think like a journalist - Present your message in a journalistic format. The media covers stories they deem newsworthy so offer them a story that mirrors their usual content. Give them what they are looking for: visuals and quality content.

5/ Think social media - Write pertinent and quality content; it will drive sharing and engagement. Engagement is a major goal when issuing a news release because it shows that audiences are interested in your message. The question to ask yourself is how to maximize engagement. Choose the community you want to reach and craft messages adapted to its members.

Like journalists, you should master the popular social media platforms and know exactly which one is the most appropriate for the type of message you want to deliver.

6/ Searchability - Journalists love Google when researching data and info to write an article. To make sure your press release comes on top of searches, it needs to be written for optimization. The first 5-7 words of your news release headline becomes your URL string. These words must be carefully chosen. Click here to learn how to write a headline Google will love. And don’t forget to include multimedia and captions. The distribution process by your news service provider (Business Wire for example) will post your news release on multiple sites on the web and facilitates its archive on the Internet. News release optimization and distribution by an experienced partner will ensure your news release is easily found across the web.

7/ Headlines and Sub-Headlines – Your headline can be as long or as short as you would like, but they should include all the information a reporter needs to see to open your news story. Most editorial systems showcase the first 55 characters of your headline while search engines will show up to 70 characters. This means you have between 8-15 words in your headline to entice your readers into opening your release.  Since sub-headlines are not seen until the news release is open, be sure to include the impact of your news on your desired audience in your headline.

Business Wire Releases New White Paper: Is Your IR Site a Security Liability?

The modern IRO has many areas of responsibilities. At the top of that list should be the creation and maintenance of an investor relations site, a beneficial communications tool that makes it easy for analysts, shareholders and the media to find essential financial documents and material news.

A platform offering important financial news, requiring stringent security measures, might seem like cause for stress, but the good news for IR professionals is that Business Wire just released a new white paper outlining the best practices for internal workflow, technical compatibility, and security awareness and diligence. Is Your IR Site a Security Liability?, written by Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire’s senior vice president of web communications services,  offers guidance and tactical tips for ensuring that your branded IR site is safeguarded against situations that may compromise your efforts, such as the premature disclosure of earnings data.

Download Is Your IR Site a Security Liability? now and find out how to better protect yourself against unwanted investor relations disruptions.   

One of the most important elements of an IR site is the internal workflow that makes it function, identifying how an investor relations team can efficiently prepare, publish, and protect required content.

Workflow topics covered within the white paper include:

  • Assignment of site administrators
  • Password management
  • Recommended content for publication
  • How to best streamline workflow process

With this white paper, Ibrey aims to educate the reader and bring about a stronger understanding of the technical compatibility between all of the systems used to both announce and host your company’s financial information.

Finally, learn how to protect yourself against the very real threat of cyber security incidents. Ibrey points out what questions to ask your IR site vendor and how to look for a strong information security program supported by industry standard certifications.


About the author

As SVP Web Communications Services, Ibrey is responsible for Business Wire’s InvestorHQ IR site and NewsHQ online newsroom solutions. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a Webmaster certification. Ibrey has been involved in strategy and launch of websites for 3M, Bank of America, Gannett, Office Depot, Procter & Gamble, ServiceMaster, Williams-Sonoma and many other publicly traded and private companies.

Detroit TV Execs Share the Ins and Outs of What Catches Their Eye to Garner Coverage

By Cindy Hopman, Corporate Communications Manager, Valassis

Business Wire, in collaboration with PRSA-Detroit and IABC-Detroit, hosted a panel discussion with executives from the city’s three major networks to provide PR professionals insight into their world and how it has changed. We learned more about what catches their eye for not only the 6 o’clock news but news that starts as early as 4:30 a.m. for some morning shows all the way to the traditional 11 o’clock telecast.

Once upon a time, to announce big news, you either issued a press release or held a press conference.  Subsequent front page news and broadcast coverage meant PR success. Today, those are just two tools used to get the news out and by no means do they stand alone. There is pitching, tweeting and blogging to follow up a press release or press conference for coverage in print, online, TV, radio and across social networks with rich media to further enhance the story.

Despite all of these channels to get the news out as well as for coverage, there remains a strong desire to have your story told on the evening news. And today, broadcast coverage may also extend its reach online with video and via social channels. You see, broadcast, too has re-invented itself to remain relevant and capture the attention of its viewers wherever they are.

While Fox 2 Detroit averages 70 hours of news a week, there is much competition for those time slots.  The WDIV Channel 4 NBC affiliate executive indicated her email blows up each morning between 5:55 and 6:15 with an average of 25 pitches hoping to get first in line for potential broadcast coverage. So how do PR professionals get a step up?

Here are just some of the takeaways from the Detroit-area Business Wire-led panel discussion with:

  • Rhonda LaVelle: WXYZ Channel 7 News Director (ABC)
  • Kevin Roseborough: WJBK Channel 2 Vice President and News Director (FOX)
  • Kim Voet: WDIV Channel 4 News Director (NBC)
  • Tom O’Connell, Business Wire/Detroit 

Consider this:

  • Pitch to reporters and producers direct – but first, do your homework and find a reporter whose beat aligns with your news.
  • Pitch your news via email – do not reach out early in the morning or prior to the evening news; be concise yet engaging.
  • Put a human face on pitches
  • Once there is interest, follow up with a call.
  • Strengthen your pitch with visuals i.e. b-roll, infographics, demos, etc.
  • Target morning shows for non-breaking-type stories/features.
  • Search TV station websites for niche opportunities/features.
  • Make your press release impactful in the headline and lead to garner interest. With the multitude TV stations receive daily, they may not read beyond the headline so put your best foot forward as quickly as possible. All three network execs indicated they are looking at press releases for potential coverage.

Broadcasters realize PR professionals/companies may be pitching the same story to all three networks; whenever possible, deliver a slightly different pitch or offer up a different spokesperson. Keep in mind that the TV stations are also competing for viewers and a different angle or brand-messenger can make a difference in coverage on multiple networks. And if the story is engaging, it may be syndicated across network affiliates and shared via the station’s social channels or on their web page. What they share on their websites and across affiliate stations is selective. TV stations too are looking for ways to attract younger viewers and those on the go. Take a step back and look at the broader appeal of the story you are pitching. With this in mind, the reach of the story can extend exponentially across the country and channels.

When assessing the value of a story, consideration is given to those that are consumer-friendly and still maintain the integrity of the show – meaning, don’t be overly promotional. As PR professionals we do follow the Cheers mantra and want “everyone to know our name,” but it’s a fine line that will factor into whether or not the story is deemed newsworthy.

Happy pitching and see you on TV!

Business Wire Receives Coveted PR Daily Video Award

Business Wire celebrates after receiving PR Daily’s Video Award for News Story Video. Although the announcement was first made earlier this year, it wasn’t until this week that the beautiful glass statue arrived at our offices honoring everything BizWireTV has accomplished. 

PR Daily is saying loud and clear that “video has become one of the fastest-growing, most engaging communication channels,” and these awards aim to bring spotlight onto video content that showcase the power of the medium.

BizWireTV launched in 2015 as a digital video-news show to bring attention to industry disrupting and trending stories crossing the wire. Hosted by Jordyn Rolling, the show airs weekly every Thursday at 6am ET on BizWireTV.com.   

News issuers looking to be featured on the award winning show now have multiple partnership opportunities including:

  • News Segment Sponsorship: Sponsor regular features such as Top of the Wire, Quick Biz Hits and VC Watch, with onscreen logo and verbal mention.
  • Branded News Spotlight: A custom news segment with creative guidance and video/image assets.
  • Branded News Feature: A custom, fully-owned 90-second episode.
  • Influencer Video Blog: A custom two minute episode featuring commentary and/or interviews with industry experts.
  • Brand Films: Custom long-form videos including extended interviews, location shoots, facility tours and more.

News issuers can also bring their news front and center with a Sponsored Headline:

  • An on-air read of a client’s headline within the show by host, Jordyn Rolling 
  • Listing on-screen via a text crawl and release screen grab
  • Inclusion in the episode’s National news release
  • Promotion across Business Wire social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram)

Learn more about BizWireTV Partnership Opportunities and Sponsored Headlines

 

How the Canadian Newspaper Industry Can Adapt to Changes

By Jean-Adrien Delicano, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire

Another month, another round of layoffs and “restructuring” in the Canadian media world. In March 2017, Postmedia Network, Canada’s largest newspaper company, announced 54 layoffs at the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province newsrooms.

The struggles faced by Canadian news media professionals are well-documented. Declining advertising dollars, low subscription numbers, and the emergence and disruption of digital have all contributed to the financial hardships affecting many Canadian news publications.

Perhaps none have been affected more than print newspapers. Across Canada, newspapers ranging from local dailies to national media are dealing with organizational restructuring, as they layoff long-tenured journalists and make changes to employee contracts and benefits.

The Challenge

John Hinds of News Media Canada (formerly Newspapers Canada) is well aware of the issues and concerns of newspaper professionals. As CEO of an organization that represents newspapers across Canada and provides a wide range of services to their media members, Hinds knows firsthand the main challenge that the newspaper industry is facing.

“Like any news business, they’re challenged and the big challenge we all face, the real frustration, is the idea that people aren’t reading newspapers anymore and I think that’s really wrong,” Hinds says. “All the data shows that people are reading newspapers more than ever… it’s just that newspaper companies are having a hard time monetizing those readers and monetizing their content.”

“It’s a business challenge, not a reader challenge.”

Hinds likes to reiterate the message that people are reading newspapers and that media professionals should not buy into the idea that journalism doesn’t matter.

“They’re reading it and they’re reading it across platforms,” he says. “They’re just not reading it the way it used to be read and the unfortunate problem is the creators and owners of that content aren’t able to monetize it the way they used to.”

Causes for Optimism

With advancements in technology and new found ways to do things, the future of media can be bright. Hinds is optimistic that the newspaper industry can take advantage.

“We don’t have a reader problem, or a viewer problem, or an audience problem, that’s the thing,” Hinds says. “We just have to look at ways of monetizing content and there are some really interesting things happening out there.

(John Hinds, CEO of News Media Canada pictured right) 

“When you look at La Presse, with them going fully tablet, that is world-leading…there is no other major daily newspaper in the world that has done what they’ve done,” he continues. “There’s also the Winnipeg Free Press, which has a fantastic micropayment thing set up.”

Even with all of that, the fact remains that the backbone of the industry are the journalists themselves. Hinds commends them on their abilities to quickly and efficiently bring the news to readers every day.

“I admire journalists today,” he says. “It used to be that you had a 24-hour news cycle and now you have a 24-second news cycle.”

“And they’re trying to do that on 4 or 5 platforms,” he continues. “So they’re doing audio, they’re doing video, print, and I just admire the skill that is required now to do credible journalism and to do it fast.”

Dealing with Fake News

Another challenge that the news media has had to face recently is the rise of fake news. But Hinds sees this as another way for newspapers to stake their claim as the bringers of true and accurate information.

“In a funny way, fake news has been a boon to newspapers and their sites,” Hinds says. “People will see something on social media, they’ll want to fact check it and their source for fact checking is a credible news site, which is a newspaper.”

“I think that’s a real strength of the medium… to continue to deliver credible news.”

End of Mass Media?

Ultimately, Hinds believes that the future of newspaper media lies with their ability to connect with their readers and provide them with useful content that is relevant to their interests.

“Newspaper companies are being challenged to do things differently and now, community papers are much more vertically integrated…they’re doing magazines, tradeshows, and events,” Hinds says.

“It’s a much broader thing, but it’s all building on that community of interest or geographic community,” he continues. “I kind of think that the days of the mass media are over and it’s about much more niche media, identifying your audience, and having them pay for that content in some way.”

“I’m not one who says the industry is dead…It’s going through challenges, but the demand is there for the content.”

Marketers to Increase PR Spending Over Next 5 Years – New Study Says

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism have released a new report that offers a candid look at how marketers plan to tackle public relations in the upcoming years.

The most eye-opening data found in the report is that 75% of respondents answered that they plan on increasing PR budgets over the course of the next five years. When it comes to internal PR staffing, 79% said that their numbers would stay the same in the next year with 13% saying they would moderately increase. When the same question was asked but in the timeline of the next five years, 54% said it would moderately increase.

Learn more about the report on Adweek

This study exposes just how public relations is evolving and its growing importance within the marketing landscape. A lot of this can be attributed to the digital technological revolution and the speed with which communication now takes place between businesses, clients and the public. The result is a convergence between PR and marketing and a shared use of specific tools aimed at building a bridge with potential clients and customers.

 

Needless to say, the future of PR looks very bright. 

“Digital has put PR front and center, as it allows immediate outbound communication and inbound feedback,” said ANA group executive vice president Bill Duggan.

When asked how PR programs can best demonstrate their value, there was a strong consensus with 89% saying they can achieve measurable business objectives. Industry lines are being blurred and industry leaders are well aware of this phenomenon. The only question now is how far will marketing and PR grow together.   

Find out how to best track inbound traffic from a press release. 

How to Write a Professional Press Release

This article details exactly what content should populate a press release and where it should be found within the release. Use the following as a template and make sure to amplify its message through the use of a commercial newswire such as Business Wire.

It's important to remember that while subheadlines are terrific for outlining your news release’s key points, they are not seen by the reader until the news release is clicked on. Make sure your news release headline showcases the full impact of your news to increase the open rates and usage of your release.

 

Create an Intriguing Headline That Lets the Reader Know What the Release is About

Subheadlines are not seen by readers until the news release is opened so include all pertinent information in the headline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CITY, STATE (or CITY, COUNTRY) – Start the release by stating the brand making the announcement and the news being announced. Make sure to include hyperlinks to all official websites. Journalists rake through countless emails every day so it’s important to fill them in on the newsworthy content of your announcement right away to let them know if this release fits in with their beat.

Explain the industry effected by the announcement and what the targeted audience can expect from this news. 

“Include a quote that highlights the benefits of this announcement for the brand’s targeted audience and what the brand hopes to accomplish,” attribute this quote to a decision maker at the organization who had influence in the news being announced and state their role.

Offer background details about the brand behind the announcement, some recent accomplishments and brief details sourced from the company’s mission statement.

“Include a second quote that goes into more detail about the announcement and what led to it, expected results,” attribute this quote to someone with the brand who intimately knows the details surrounding the announcement.   

 OR, if the announcement is regarding a partnership:

“Include a quote describing the benefits of this partnership both for the two organizations as well as clients and customers,” attribute this quote to someone from the other brand.

Conclude the release by including final details such as websites, social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and other accounts.

 

ABOUT THE BRAND

Include a company boilerplate describing the company history and highlights.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Include contact information of someone who will be responsible for handling media inquiries.

 

This is what a press release should look like and standard lengths range from 500-1000 words. It’s important to also include multimedia such as images and video and a logo that links to the company page. Digital technology has transformed the way people consume news making multimedia an expected asset. Providing a high quality image or video will help amplify your message and impact reach. A press release is news and journalists need to be engaged in order to cover your story so focus on the newsworthy aspects of your announcement. With the right targeting and distribution you’ll be reaching interested parties covering your beat so give them what they’re looking for.  

Also make sure to utilize Business Wire's included social media tools as well as selecting applicable hashtags and cash tags. 

What Are the Real Consequences of Fake Financial News?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or AICPA, released the results of a new survey revealing the startling impact that fake financial news is having on Americans' ability to make retirement, investment and healthcare decisions. Fake news is no longer a simple distraction or nuisance, it is a dangerous tool subverting investing habits and people are concerned. 

Learn more about the AICPA survey from the release issued on Business Wire.

There is a proven antibiotic to treat exposure to fake news, unfortunately it’s time consuming and involves vetting and verifying information. To the casual news consumer this solution treats the fake news epidemic successfully, turning it into nothing more than an inconvenience and at most temporary embarrassment in the form of a social media post. To the investing community that relies on quick transactions based on constantly changing trends, however, fake news is becoming a serious problem. 

While more than 63% of Americans say that the spread of fake news has made it more difficult to make critical financial decisions, the real red flag is that only 14% expect the fake financial news epidemic to subside and become less prevalent in the next few years. This pessimistic outlook is a reflection of today’s media landscape. However, tools do exist to ensure consumption of quality, factual news.

One consistent bright spot is the trusted news content provided by commercial newswires, which publish news directly from thoroughly vetted sources - brands, corporations and organizations whose announcements move the markets.

To further narrow the field, a long-tenured commercial newswire such as Business Wire has earned the hard-won trust of journalists and other downstream news consumers – credibility that took decades to establish and almost a foreign concept in today’s pop-up digital media environment. This proud tradition enables companies of all sizes to confidently submit press releases for distribution across the wire and allows those reporting on and consuming the end product to be equally confident in the veracity of the material being disseminated. 

A commercial newswire is a widely relied upon method used to meet Regulation FD, which ensures all interested parties have access to corporate 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. Social media platforms are also plagued by fake news, making it more difficult to discern fact from fiction.  As such, the vast majority of public issuers utilize commercial newswires to ensure broad and simultaneous reach to the investing public.

While fake news is believed to be here for a while, the platforms that have spent decades developing trust from both newsmakers and news consumers continue to service the public with valid information. It’s easier to focus on where to look for real financial news when you know where it’s coming from. 

 

Best Bets to Get Featured on BizWireTV

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

BizWireTV is a sleek digital news show that reaches audiences around the globe. For a brand looking to amplify their latest announcement, there is no doubt that being featured on the program creates greater access to wider audiences, making a strong visual impression on potential clients and customers.

Here are some great tips from Executive Producer Amy Feller that will increase the chances of your news release being featured on BizWireTV:

Write a compelling headline

Headlines don’t just attract readers, they entice viewers as well. A succinct and intriguing headline is the perfect lead-in to a digital news story, sucking in viewers’ attentions. It’s not by accident that local televised news broadcasts offer a taste of the stories coming after a commercial break, what can be considered a form of a headline. A great headline should offer enough details to allow the viewer to know that the story is relevant to them, but at the same time create mystery and offer the opportunity of enlightenment. A great headline that garners interest from readers will also garner the interest of BizWireTV’s staff and enhance the chance of the story being featured in the show.    

Include HD video files that help tell your story

We live in the multimedia age and today’s news releases have the capability to take full advantage. Sending out a smart news release, featuring a video, makes it easier for the featured news to travel around today’s most popular platforms, all quickly transforming into multimedia platforms. Scroll down a Facebook page, or Twitter and see how much content is visual. Today’s tech is designed to be smart, so a news release should be as well. Visual news highly increases a brands chances of landing on a visual news show.   

Include large hi-rez images

For the same reasons that videos are an important asset to the news release, hi-resolution images are as well. It’s not enough to just tell audiences your story, you need to show them who the story is coming from. When audiences see the people behind the stories or see the products being described, they have a stronger connection and interest to the brand issuing the news. These are vital aspects to a news broadcast and BizWireTV looks for these assets in the news sourcing each episode. 

Share your news socially

A core component of BizWireTV is news-related data analysis powered by Business Wire’s NewsTrak reports and NUVI social media tracking. Sharing your story on social platforms increases its chances of landing on the top 5 trending stories of the week.   

Include your official logo 

There is no more important branding than a logo. It’s how the public recognizes a brand and that’s why BizWireTV looks for news releases that include official logos. Logos are just as important for startups and other new companies as they are for more established corporations because the logo will become how audiences will come to recognize the brand.    

What kind of stories does BizWireTV look for?

  • Launch news of new product and services 
  • "firsts" in whatever industry you're in
  • Startups, Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaigns/young companies with fresh VC funding
  • Entertainment stories

Sponsored Headlines

BizWireTV features a Sponsored Headlines segment allowing clients the opportunity to have their story featured in the show.

BizWireTV Sponsored Headlines include:

  • An on-air read of a client’s headline within the show by host, Jordyn Rolling 
  • Listing on-screen via a text crawl and release screen grab
  • Inclusion in the episode’s National news release
  • Promotion across Business Wire social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram)

Learn more about BizWireTV’s Sponsored Headlines

Al Roker Visits Business Wire for BizWireTV Event

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

BizWireTV was born when Business Wire partnered with Al Roker Entertainment to create a video news show with stories sourced from announcements crossing the newswire’s patented distribution network. Two years later and the show is a huge success with millions of views. To celebrate, Business Wire put together an event giving some of today’s leading communicators the chance to meet and learn from Al Roker as BizWireTV host Jordyn Rolling led a livestreamed fireside chat.  

You can view a replay of the livestream here

Al Roker touched upon many subjects, starting by explaining that he initially had no intention of a career in television. It was during college while taking a class on television performance, Roker joked, that he was told by a professor that he has a face for radio. A class he shared with fellow icon, Jerry Seinfeld. He did, however, land his first job as a weatherman at the time in Syracuse after submitting a tape.

Jordyn Rolling, host of BizWireTVAl then touched upon an event that entered him into the record books, Rokerthon. After hearing about a Norwegian woman who set the world record for longest continues weather cast, the unimpressed Roker joked that he could top the tally with ease. Following the taping of the live episode, his crew inquired as to when the record breaking event would take place. Al, forgetting his braggadocios claim, had gotten himself into a corner and took the challenge head on. The result was a 36 hour live marathon, a precursor, he points out himself, to the live streaming culture prevalent today. In usual Al Roker fashion, he joked that when a microphone was accidently left on during a restroom break, the world got to hear him actually “live streaming.”

 

While most attendees admitted to starting their days at 6 or 7 in the morning, Al admitted that his duties force him to rise at 4am. He’s hard working and ambitious and with Al Roker Entertainment and Al Roker Lab he’s creating content seen around the world. His goals, however, are inspiring in their humbleness. “I don’t want to change the world,” Al said wholeheartedly, “I just don’t want people to feel like they’ve wasted their time.”     

Partnering with Business Wire gives Al Roker a unique opportunity to create factual, news driven content. The conversation turned to the current trend of fake news, but Roker wasn’t distraught, instead having faith that majority of people can identify the veracity of the news they’re consuming. He then explained what it was about the newswire that piqued his interest, “When people see news from Business Wire, they know they can trust it.”

New episodes of BizWireTV are available Thursday’s on BizWireTV.com with apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Learn more about BizWireTV and Sponsored Headline opportunities. 

Journalists Want (and Need) Your Images

Benefit: Business Wire Provides Them Rights and Royalty Free

By Sandy Malloy, Manager, Licensing & Content Development

We frequently tell our clients that including a photo or other multimedia increases release views.  Here are a few findings that reinforce the power of images to reach an audience:

  • BuzzSumo found, in a study of over 100 million Facebook updates, that updates with images had 2.3 times more engagement than those without.
  • A different study by a consulting firm found that using images on Twitter increased the rate of retweets by 150%
  • Our own research has shown three times more activity on releases with multimedia than on text-only releases

What you might not know is that by using Business Wire to transmit your photos and videos, you are making it much easier for the media to take advantage of them. Images on BusinessWire.com are available for journalists to download in a variety of formats, already rights-cleared and free of royalties (though they do frequently ask the Licensing Department for permission.) This ease of use encourages the media to enhance their stories with visuals – your visuals.

Amazingly enough, Licensing has been asked for permission to use images that are months or even years old if the image suits the purpose. For instance, a good head shot accompanying a personnel announcement can be extremely useful for at least a couple of years.

When you use images on your site or in news releases, marketing materials and the like, it’s best to use the ones your company or client has created. You might not have to start from scratch, as companies often have content commissioned for another purpose (e.g., an annual report) available to re-use in other ways. Or, you might be able to buy an image from a stock photo company, as long as you have the budget and are able to comply with the license terms that will apply.

If you try to find images online, be aware of the usage rights. Google image search has guidelines that are very helpful.

Be creative, think outside the text box, and make your releases memorable with the right multimedia elements.

Tempo Presents: The Future of PR with Sandra Fathi, President of Affect

Business Wire recently had #CommPro Sandra Fathi, president of Affect, stop by and offer some insight into the current and future trends in public relations. An ardent entrepreneur, Sandra has spent the last 20 years helping technology, healthcare and professional services companies achieve their goals.

Communicating in the digital age requires an understanding of today’s rapidly evolving popular platforms. From issuing and amplifying content to tracking the impact of that content, Sandra covers the tools currently in use and how they might change in the years to come. She offers her thoughts on platforms such as Twitter and the recently discontinued Vine, as well as predictions on how users might be engaging with social media in the future.

Fathi covers some of the toughest questions facing today's PR and marketing professionals:

  • What are some of the tech trends you're seeing that will have the biggest impact?
  • How do you think social media is going to evolve over the next 5-10 years?
  • What role do traditional tools of communication such as newswires have today and what role do you feel they will have in the future?
  • The digital age has dramatically changed content and content marketing - how does that impact communicators?
  • What will PR look like in 10 years?

Watch the full video and see what Sandra (pictured left) has to say and learn more about Affect.

 

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