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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.

Business Wire Goes to Capitol Hill – a Visit to the Senate Press Gallery

Danny Selnick, Business Wire’s SVP, Strategic Markets, and Ana Pinilla, Business Wire’s Media Relations Representative for the Washington, DC region, visited the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 26 for a tour of the Senate Press Gallery.  Danny is co-chair of the National Press Club’s Marketing and Communications Committee, which arranged the tour for a group of communicator members. 

Shawna Blair, deputy director of the Senate Press Gallery, met the group and brought them to her office where she explained that she and her colleagues function as an intermediary between the Senate and the media – from taking care of accreditations for media organizations, to granting media access for extraordinary events like the President’s annual State of the Union Address or the inauguration of a new President.  They also facilitate media requests to use the Senate’s Radio/TV Studio.  The Senate media staff also enforce the rules set up for journalists who cover the Congressional body.

The Senate boasts some 3,000 reporters as credentialed media members -- 1,500 working at daily newspapers, 1,200 at periodicals, and 300 photojournalists.  It’s interesting to note (and maybe a very good thing because space is so limited in the galleries) that most of these journalists don’t come to the Hill to all cover news at one time.  There are only about 100 “regulars” who cover the Senate hearings, news conferences held at the Senate Radio/TV studio, and news conferences on the steps of the Capitol or in front of the “Senate Swamp” which is now covered over with pavers.  (Because much of Washington, DC was originally built on swampland, this part of the Capitol was literally a wet mushy area.)  About 100 “irregular” journalists come the Senate to cover special interest hearings or votes.  For example, agriculture journalists will show up when the Farm Bill comes up for vote.

The Press area, inside the Senate Chamber itself and with some 20 seats and desks, overlooks the floor, but few journalists actually cover debates and votes “live.”  Perhaps because of some strange tradition or something else, no electronic device can be taken inside the Senate. This means no cell phones or laptops on which reporters can write their stories.  Instead, they watch the proceedings via television in the Senate press offices (dailies, periodicals, radio/broadcast, press photographers’ gallery) where they can more easily accomplish their jobs.

News conferences held at the Senate Radio/TV studio (which is also used by print journalists) are organized by the journalists themselves.  Senators can only hold news conferences on the steps of the Capitol, in front of the “Senate Swamp” or in certain meeting rooms.  They can, however, ASK a journalist (and it only takes one) to hold a news conference in the Senate Radio/TV studio for them, but it’s also first-come, first-served (there’s a sign-up sheet, of course).  Space in the Senate Radio/TV studio is fairly tight, so I couldn’t help but ask if a fight ever broke out among journalists.  The answer:  usually not beyond someone complaining that someone might be blocking the view of a camera.  But there was one reported story back in 2004 where not-so-nice pushing and shoving occurred between a CBS videographer and a reporter from the New York Post – all caught on tape.

Of course, professional communicators want to get their story in front of reporters who are covering issues near and dear to them and their organizations (especially if the head of their organization is testifying).  While they can’t simply go to any of the Senate press rooms, they can get in front of reporters covering Senate hearings and talk to them directly.  They can also use Business Wire’s Public Policy Circuits to reach not only reporters (and trade press) covering their issues, but also a broader audience including decision-makers, key influentials, and the public that consumes news online.

NB:  As an aside, the group also visited the House chamber press gallery that sits above and behind where the President would stand when giving the State of the Union Address.  From that angle it’s all but impossible to see the speech given without leaning way over the side, almost to the point of falling over.  So why do journalists like to be in the House chamber?  They can see and report the “color of the moment” as the president talks -- who stands, who sits; who claps, who doesn’t; who’s making off-handed comments and more.  

Business Wire Webinar Recap: How to Amplify Your News Content with Reddit


On October 20th, the Business Wire team sat down with Noam Cadouri at Reddit to discuss how today’s communicators – from PR pros to reporters – could leverage the power of Reddit to increase visibility and engagement within highly targeted discussion channels called subreddits.


What is Reddit?

Reddit is a website that hosts highly active discussion groups broken out by topic or theme called subreddits. Reddit currently has 45,000 communities and 240 million monthly active users around the globe. While the community is global, conversations occur mostly in English.


Community topics range from very broad, like /r/news, to very niche such as /r/tuckedinpuppies.  Community members, Reddit users, are quite passionate and protective of their subreddit communities. Reddit is not a place to simply drop a news link and go. Smart communicators take the time to get to know Reddit, its communities and it’s users before sharing content into the service.


Why does Reddit matter?  Amplification and Market Research

There are many reasons why PR professionals and reporters may want to use Reddit to amplify their news, programming or information.  It is a highly engaged community, we at Business Wire have seen news releases receive tens of thousands of views simply because it was placed in an appropriate subreddit and received a high number of upvotes.  But inbound traffic is not a guarantee. Inbound traffic is simply a side effect of the relevance and resonance of your content. The more upvotes the submission receives, the more likely it is to receive strong inbound traffic.


But it is also smart to think of subreddits as potential focus groups – allowing brands to see arguments for and against their organization, products, service or industry at large. This type of data is perfect for product development and communication change alike.


How do you use Reddit?

First, you need to create an account and select a user name.


Reddit actively encourages organizations and media outlets to join Reddit utilizing their own names. If you plan on using this account for work, pick a user name that represents who are you and what you hope to achieve on the site. The Reddit community values authenticity so be transparent with who you are, your agenda, what you hope to achieve.


You can create a name such as CNNTeam and then each member of your team can use that same account to show the depth and reach of the team participating in conversations.


Once you create your Reddit account, keep in mind that all submissions and commenting you make as that user are public to everyone within Reddit. All they have to do is click your user name to see your Reddit usage history.


One suggestion – if you find you are participating in two equally strong but completely unrelated communities such as technology for work, but food for fun, consider creating two Reddit accounts so you can become an expert in each channel.


Tip! Join Reddit’s Media Partners Page!

The best way to ensure our clients and media partners get off to a smooth start with Reddit is to join Reddit’s private Media Partners page. This page is available to organizations and media outlets alike. 


To join this page, you need to send an email to media@reddit.com. Provide your Reddit account name so they can add you to Media Partners page. This page will provide guidance on how to best serve your content into Reddit or how to participate within certain subreddits in a more detailed manner.


But that’s not all the media page can do for you.  See someone on Reddit with your company’s name as their user name? Let the moderators of the media partner page know so they can help you secure your name. When it comes to organization names, Reddit has rules in place to ensure users cannot masquerade as your organization or media outlet.


Next? Search the site to find relevant content.

Reddit has a terrific search engine that will help you find the subreddits that are best for you to participate in.  Simply type in the terms you are interested in and you can find both content and subreddits relevant to you.


To join a subreddit, open that subreddit and click on the subscribe link.  If there are several subreddits on a particular topic or theme you want to follow, you can create a multireddit which is simply one landing page that hosts all the posts for the subreddits you selected.


Want to see if any of your content is already in Reddit? There is a tool for that!  Simply type https://www.reddit.com/domain/WHATEVERYOURDOMAINNAMEIS so for us at Business Wire, our content can be found at https://www.reddit.com/domain/businesswire.com/.  This is a great way to see what content you are currently creating that others find interesting enough to share, and the discussions each submission generated.


How to participate in a subreddit

There are two easy ways to participate in Reddit. One is to vote (up or down) submitted content, the other is to join the conversation via commenting on submissions.


Selecting and submitting your content

Submitting content is easy! Once you identify the relevant community, you can submit a link or write a text post that will appear on the community page.

The submitted content can be from anywhere. Your website, USA Today, a niche blog, even a tweet. As long as the content aligns with the subreddit, it come from anywhere.


If you do want to actively promote more than one piece of content into one particular community, the simplest way to find out if the community will allow it is to ask the moderators.  On the right side of every subreddit, there is a list of subreddit moderators. Click the message button and let the moderators know what you are trying to do and why and they will work with you on the best way to achieve your goal.


Remember a good headline is key to content engagement in Reddit. Be interesting without being misleading.


Using Reddit content in your published works

You can now embed Reddit comments into blogs and other published works. You can find step-by-step embedding instructions here.


Tip! Avoid these content submission blunders

When people think of Reddit, they frequently think of being attacked by Redditors.  The truth is, Reddit users are pretty good at sniffing out one’s agenda for submitting news to the site or joining into conversations. 


Try these two tips:


  1. Redditors want authentic discussions. Some Reddit users are on the site all day long, others just a few hours a week.  Do not submit content into subreddits you have never looked at or participated in. Community members are very protective of their group and “drive by submissions” are frequently irrelevant and off topic.  Instead, research the groups out in advance and spend some time in the group, commenting on posts, participating and building up your own reputation within the group.


  1. Do not submit content without reading the rules first. Each subreddit has their own set of rules. You can find these on the right side of the community page above the list of moderators.  For example, while posting a How to Use Reddit blog into /r/socialmedia may seem like a no brainer. The rules on the page specifically note no blog promotion. In this case, it would be better to submit a text post outlining the top theories discussed in the blog post, and the rationales of why you’re sharing it, with a link at the end in case others are interested in reading more.

Handling negative reviews:  Protect your Rep

One of the most asked questions Reddit receives is how companies can overcome negative reviews or negative sentiment within Reddit.  The truth is, this is not something you can necessarily control. Reddit users are individuals who come to Reddit to have an authentic discussion about a topic – to share what they love, and what they hate.  Organizations must be mindful of the context of that subreddit. These individuals are not interested in being converted but they are interested in being heard and respected.


However, some groups are specifically negative groups.  Do not attempt to convert these groups to you way of thinking via content submission.  Do not go into the group /r/antiFacebook and promote your Facebook tool. It would not fit into the context of the group. Instead, consider joining /r/socialmedia to find more likeminded individuals.


Hosting an AMA:  Build your Rep

One of Reddit’s most powerful promotional tools is called Ask My Anything (AMAs). These are heavily promoted discussions in which the featured individual answers questions submitted by Reddit users.  AMA participants range from people you’ve never heard of to Bill Gates and Donald Trump.  It is a terrific way to showcase your company experts!


There is an AMA calendar and to schedule your AMA, email your speaker and topic to ama@reddit.com and they will tell you when is a good time, good day, any requirements and ensure you’re up and running when you’re kicking off the process. Consider supporting your AMA with paid ads in relevant subreddits to ensure a vibrant discussion. Click here to see previous AMAs.


Drive Impact with Ads

One of the most interesting parts about Reddit is the ability for users to advertise within a subreddit.  


You can craft a text add and pay just to promote it in a particular subreddit or category, you can promote your own post or you can promote someone else’s post. Each of these options ensure your content is seen exactly where your audience is.  And the pricing on advertising is not that expensive! Advertising on Reddit is a terrific way to expand a product launch or industry changing news, by ensuring your news will be seen by some of the most vocal and passionate members of your community.


The future of PR is changing. It is no longer about one story for millions of readers. Today’s consumers want highly customized, frank discussions about the organizations they are interested in and these discussions are happening in a big way on Reddit.  With millions of passionate users discussing everything from your company news, to their favorite non-profit, to the impact of global warming on kittens, if you are looking to increase connections with your audiences, this platform is for you.


Interested in learning more about Reddit? Click here to access the 90 minute replay of this webinar or contact us at serena.ehrlich@businesswire.com



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.

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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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. 

The Press Release: Vital and Valuable in the Digital World

A guest post by Daniella DelaOsa, The Zimmerman Agency


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

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

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

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


Old Reliable Can Still Be Effective

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

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

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


Continuing Value of Press Releases

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

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

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


All Hail The Pitch

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

By Vilan Trub, Marketing

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

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

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

Read - How companies are making earnings more stressful for investors

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Easy Ways to Increase the ROI of Public Relations

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

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

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

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

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

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


















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

















































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



















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



































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

Watch the BNSF video 

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

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

















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

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

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

Keep the data visualization coming!


Six Simple Steps to Switch Your IR Site

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

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

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

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

1.       Schedule Launch

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

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

2.       Transfer Content

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

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

3.       Choose Categories

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

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

4.       Select Navigation

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

5.       Match Design

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

6.       Go Mobile

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

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

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

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

Hungarian Media Today: Q&A with László Dobos

By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist

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

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

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

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

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


What sources do journalists usually use to access information?

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

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


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

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


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