Just in: Hard Data Supports the Effectiveness of Interactive Media vs. Passive Content

August 31, 2015

Nothing ends an argument like data, and the data on interactive media is in.

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Demand Gen’s 2015 Content Preferences Survey offers a startling look at just how effective interactive media is when compared to passive content such as text-only articles when it comes to consuming information. People are spending more time using multimedia that they can click on and explore. These interactive, gamified assets, such as news and picture capsules, are quickly becoming engagement magnets for the industry, attracting and retaining the interest of potential clients and customers.

How do the numbers stack up?

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When asked, 88% of respondents stated that interactive content is effective in creating differentiation between brands, while only 55% believed that passive content is effective in creating differentiation.

To read the full highlights of the study and statistics between interactive and passive content, click here.

How can this survey help communicators? By knowing what form of assets  have the greatest impact on modern audiences, communications pros are able to take advantage, create more impactful content and more effectively reach and convert their target market. This data takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what works best and what approach to take in managing dialogue between brand and public.

Understanding the importance of multimedia as a prime tool for communicators, Business Wire recently launched a white paper designed to help communicators take advantage of these highly successful content pieces. The paper details the science and other aspects behind the influence such an asset can have on the success of your news release. Click here to read this piece and click here to share this information with your Twitter followers: http://ctt.ec/f4c3X


Taking Stock of the World Media – A Recap of the Global Media Forum

August 27, 2015

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By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist – Frankfurt

In crisis situations around the world, the media has an undeniable impact on perception of events. It also shapes public opinion and can even manage to influence political decision makers. With the help of the internet, media access has multiplied and more and more platforms now vie for our attention. It made sense, then, that the topic of this year’s Global Media Forum, hosted by Deutsche Welle, was “Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age.” About 2,000 journalists and media workers came from more than 100 countries to take part in the discussions and workshops in Germany’s former capital Bonn.

Participant looking at the Plenary Chamber - Photo by Kai Prager

Participant looking at the Plenary Chamber – Photo by Kai Prager

Many presentations noted that the internet, with its vast platforms of social media, blogs, news sites, etc., has radically changed the media landscape by enabling anyone to participate and creating a demand for speed of information. But the demand for speed also puts pressure on traditional media. This was not lost on Andreas Zumach, a journalist with German paper Die Tageszeitung.

“We have a rat race to see who is first with the most spectacular news,” Zumach said. “That makes it difficult for journalists who cover the efforts to de-escalate or even solve the conflict at a diplomatic level to get coverage.”

Asiem El Difraoui, a researcher for the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, stated, “We run after the news … we don’t do permanent coverage of places which are still potentially dangerous and might explode from one minute to the next.” El Difraoui also lamented that a lot of media reduce its foreign coverage and are later surprised by the consequences. “People are much more interested in what is happening in foreign countries than what we give them credit for.”

Dana Asaad and Asiem El Difraoui - Photo by Kai Prager

Dana Asaad and Asiem El Difraoui – Photo by Kai Prager

At this international forum, the situation of foreign countries was discussed on many levels. It was mentioned that, often, media of countries in transition are not as advanced as media in more developed countries, and this often causes problems. The main problems that were visited and revisited were the lack of quality journalism due to poor training and funding; no freedom of the press; usage of media for propaganda and misinformation; and no access to information.

An example for this problem was shared by Dana Asaad, Editor-in-Chief of Awene.com, who said that a lack of well-trained journalists contributes to the continued conflict in Iraq.

“It’s obvious that covering a post-conflict [Iraq] … we need to have qualified people,” Assad said. “Before 2003, we had few media outlets – you could count them on your hand – and it was the media of the Baathist regime. One color, one opinion, one ideology.  After 2003, suddenly, hundreds of media outlets came out. Every single political party and every single official had its own media. … but we didn’t have journalists.” Asaad continued, “Journalism became the job for jobless people. You fill all those media outlets with people who have no journalism background and they know nothing about the ethics of journalism and those people started to cover the post-conflict time.”

There was also a discussion about propaganda in political reporting within the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Ukrainian journalist Yevhen Fedchenko explained that propaganda tools to promote the government’s message are mainly implemented by Russia to change, omit or manipulate facts. In contrast, the Ukrainian government doesn’t have the same means to promote its propaganda though the media. Instead, news outlets started to target different groups and usually don’t keep up journalistic standards.

Many speakers mentioned problems with authoritarian governments that try to stop unwanted reporting. Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was honored with the Freedom of Speech award at the annual prize competition The Bobs (Best of Online Activism).  In his ceremonial speech, Editor-in-Chief of zeit.de, Jochen Wegner, said the ceremony was “among the most bitter, for Raif Badawi cannot be with us today.” Badawi is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia for criticizing senior religious figures online.

Jochen Wegner holds his ceremonial speech - Photo by Kai Prager

Jochen Wegner holds his ceremonial speech – Photo by Kai Prager

After three days of discussions and workshops, it became clear that media professionals need to band together and work together on a worldwide basis. The Global Media Forum served as a jumping off point for this type of comradery and coordination, and hopes to continue foster international journalistic cooperation into the future.


PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of August 24

August 25, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire

Each week, Business Wire brings you the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

PR Industry Updates

Atlanta
Resolute Consulting announced the promotion of Nick Juliano to Vice President from Senior Account Executive. Article

Dodge Communications announced it has been named to the Inc. 5000 annual rankings of the fastest-growing private companies in America for the seventh consecutive year. Article

Boston
Keds has appointed Emily Culp as chief marketing officer. Article

marlo marketing announced an array of new restaurant and hospitality-focused clients. Article

Charlotte
Boineau & Company has added Dennis O’Neill, Attorney at Law, Frampton Construction and Timberlane, Inc. as new clients. Article

Chicago
Sprout Social announces launch of a new social advocacy platform for employees, Bambu by Sprout Social. Article

DC
Public affairs and communications firm Agenda, along with UK-based marketing and communications partner Engine Group, has been awarded a five-year multiple-award framework agreement by The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Article

Warschawski announced that it was named the agency of record for Biologics Consulting Group. Article

Influent50 is helping businesses connect to an influential consumer group-the 50 and over. Article

Houston
Karen Reynolds is moving into a VP-level global communications role at enterprise IT company BMC Software. Article

Los Angeles
Ranker announced its expansion across content and ad sales with the launch of its video division, Ranker Video, and the addition of key senior executives. Article

Mirrored Media announced the hiring of Chiara Kramer as the new Director of Entertainment Marketing. Article

Kelton Global announced that Amy Snow has joined the Los Angeles office as Vice President of Qualitative Research. Article

Crossmedia announced that it has hired David Heimlich as Executive Director. Article

Miami
3AWORLDWIDE has announced a partnership with a China affiliate which will allow the brand to expand its global services and tap into the Asian market. Article

New York
Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations announced the addition of two clients: The Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont and Tribeca Grand in New York City. Article

Try The World has tapped luxury brand public relations agency Issa PR to launch its Fall and Holiday gourmet boxes. Article

MSLGroup has made Guillaume Herbette CEO. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has named Citizen Relations’ Beth Balsam as US CEO. Article

Olya Moskalenko has joined Rubenstein Public Relations as the new Senior Business Development Writer. Article

Magrino announced that seasoned public relations professional, Emily (Emmy) Lambert, joined the agency as Account Director in the Consumer Division. Article

Porter Novelli announced that Catherine Fink has joined its New York office as executive vice president, health and wellness. Article

NBTY announced the appointment of Sonya Soutus to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications. Article

Tartaglia Communications has been tapped by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to launch the Melvin R. Goodes Prize for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, the first prize to specifically recognize scientists working in Alzheimer’s drug development. Article

Elisabeth Rosario has been named director of communications for Spark Capital. Article

Havas Formula announced the hire of Hispanic public relations veteran, Andy Checo, as director at its HavasFORMULATIN division.  Article

LATAM Airlines Group has chosen Interpublic Group as its new global agency network for markets in the Americas, Europe and Oceania where the company operates.  Article

Rubenstein announced the hiring of William Goss to serve as Senior Advisor to its Real Estate Practice. Article

Lisa Rosenblum joined Brooklyn Public Library as Chief Librarian. Article

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) has announced the appointment of Kelley McDonough as its new Director of Public Relations, based in New York. Article

Philadelphia
M Studio announced it was awarded the contract for web development and digital marketing for Simple Shoes. Article

DDCworks has added four industry veterans to its team of branding experts to expand the agency’s capabilities and dedication to building and managing strong campaigns. Article

San Francisco
Matson has hired Keoni Wagner as director, corporate communications. Article

Mercury360 has been selected by WaterFX, a startup that is using solar desalination to generate freshwater for farmers in California’s Central Valley. Article

Eastwick announced that Inc. Magazine has ranked the company No. 4490 on the annual Inc. 5000. Article

Seattle
The Petrizzo Group announced the hire of Charles McCray III as vice president, public affairs. Article

Chicago & Miami
Uproar PR has been selected as the agency of record for three sports technology and human performance companies, Fusionetics, Mio Global and Milestone Sports. Article

Frankfurt
PR.Konektor has appointed Radek Vítek as executive director. Article

London
Ingela Ulfves has been appointed as VP, investor relations and communications in Eltel Group. Article

Grayling has appointed long-serving executives Craig Ling and Hayley Longdin to lead its Midlands team. Article

CubanEight has been appointed by global learning and teaching marketplace Udemy following a competitive pitch. Article

Paris
Mediacraft Associates has formed an affiliation agreement with FleishmanHillard South Africa. Article

Sydney
The India-based IT services company Infosys is in the final stages of selecting a global PR agency to focus mostly on the US and European markets. Article

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News Sharing in the Age of Social Platforms

August 24, 2015

Many say that social media started as a college campus phenomenon. People wanted to know where the party was and who was going. Many of those same early adopters now have mortgages, kids, careers and a lot more headaches. They also still have accounts on those same social media platforms. Just as daily interests change for people when they’re ten years removed from frats, sororities and mixers, so has the use for social media.

Pew Internet 2015 news consumption via socia;

Pew Research Center released a study recently and the results will make you think of Facebook and Twitter like you think of Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal. As the original social platform user’s interests changed over the years, so has their use of social media. These platforms now serve as a news source, influencing opinions, purchases and professional decisions. What do you see on your wall when you log in?

The exact figures of how people are using Facebook and Twitter can be found in greater detail here.

What does this mean for the future of news distribution? The impact of the digital revolution is being felt daily, and every industry, including corporate communication, is adjusting to how news consumers are getting their fill. The internet is not a new resource, but interactive platforms such as social media are changing where people look for breaking news. People trust people they know, and reading news on the advice of a friend or colleague is transforming how news is distributed and consumed.

When you really think about it, what do you look for when logging into Facebook?


The Experts Speak: How to Brand Your Startup

August 21, 2015

This past year’s SXSW festival offered audiences enough movies, music and tech to keep busy until – you guessed it – next year’s SXSW. For those in the know, however, that wasn’t the end of the fun. From July 19th to the 22nd there was an additional SXSW event, the SXSW v2v in Las Vegas. This boutique event, aimed to help startups grow, brought together great minds and offered future business moguls an opportunity to learn from and connect with industry leaders.

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One of the topics discussed during the four days in Vegas was how a new company can develop a brand with which audiences will identify. Melodie Tao, Marketing Consultant and Founder of Marketing Melodie, spoke on just that and left the crowd inspired.

Coverage and highlights of the session can be found here.

“How can you establish your brand?” was the first question Melodie posed, and what followed was a series of tips and insider tricks to connect with modern markets. Find out what she had to say and how it might apply to your business.

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Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz also spoke about startups prior to the Vegas event at the Austin SXSW. Her fireside chat was insightful and declared that “every business has an audience.” Coverage of the conversation can be found here.


PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of August 17

August 20, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Atlanta

Each week, Business Wire brings you the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

PR Industry Updates

Atlanta
The Gathering Spot has selected Trevelino/Keller as its integrated PR and digital marketing agency of record. Article

Arketi Group has been selected by Path-Tec to relaunch its brand identity and website, with the goal of positioning Path-Tec as a leader in specimen management technology. Article

Boston
LaVoieHealthScience has promoted David Connolly to senior vice president, client services, and appointed Ron Aldridge as account director, investor relations, and Lindsay LeCain as account supervisor, public relations. Article

Charlotte
Derek Farley Public Relations (DFPR) announced that Linsey Beford will join its team as Senior Business Development Specialist, effective August 17, 2015. Article

Chicago
Emerald-Jane Hunter has joined Henson Consulting this week as the agency’s new Director of Media and Content Development. Article

FoodMinds has hired registered dietitian Jackie Schulz. Article

Cleveland
Martin Public Relations has changed its name to Atlas Marketing. Article

Dallas
Halliburton Investor Relations announced the launch of its newly redesigned website. Article

DC
JPA Health Communications has added Patrick Brady as a senior vice president in its Washington, DC, office. Article

Hilton Worldwide has appointed former FedEx CCO William Margaritis as executive vice president of corporate affairs, starting in late August. Article

Marriott International has appointed Tricia Primrose as global chief communications & public affairs officer. Article

Maroon PR announced the firm is working with Feherty’s Troops First Foundation as its agency of record. Article

Warschawski announced that Mark Ludwig has been promoted to Director of Design Development. Article

Denver
CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust has named Lesley Robertshaw as manager of investor relations. Article

Detroit
Airfoil has appointed Jon Gunnells as social and digital media manager. Article

Bianchi Public Relations celebrates 23rd birthday. Article

Eisbrenner Public Relations has promoted Andrew Rickerman from account coordinator to assistant account executive. Article

Los Angeles
ANTHEMIC Agency announced the addition of new public relations client Lucky Strike Entertainment. Article

Trendy Butler has selected PMBC Group as its agency of record. Article

Miami
JoTo PR has added accounting firm Tampa Bay Accounting & Associates as a new client. Article

Nashville
Joe Arnold has been named vice president of strategic communications for Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives. Article

Newport Beach
The Weatherbee Talent Group has launched, specializing in placing top marketing, digital and PR professionals throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Article

Veteran PR practitioner Barbara Caruso is expanding her private practice with the launch of a new boutique public relations and communications firm, C-Squared PR, Inc. Article

New York
Burson-Marsteller has hired Brett Pulley as a senior advisor. Article

Nancy Goldstein joined Ogilvy Public Relations as a Vice President in the Corporate Practice. Article

MDC Partner agency Kwittken has hired its first-ever managing director for its New York office Shanee Goss. Article

Laura Davidson Public Relations has been appointed the public relations agency of record for Travel Portland, Oregon. Article

Brandstyle Communications announced representation of Handsome Brook Farm. Article

Grey New York announced the appointment of two Creative Leads to its Activation & PR team. Oliver Handlos and Elizabeth Valleau are joining as Co-Creative Leads. The new hires come on the heels of Andreas Dahlqvist joining Grey New York as Chief Creative Officer. Article

SundanceTV announced that Denielle Webb has joined as vice president of public relations and marketing. Article

DKC Public Relations is expanding its entertainment division in the New York office with two new hires. Article

Independent full service communications planning and media services agency Crossmedia announced that it has hired Aaron Lewis as its first Chief Financial Officer. Article

The Marino Organization (TMO) and the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering announced an agreement to provide public relations services for startups that are members of the school’s incubator program. Article

Burson-Marsteller announced that Thomas Gensemer, U.S. Chief Strategy Officer has been named to PRWeek’s annual “40 Under 40” list. Article

Philadelphia
Slice Communications has reached separate agreements to work with five new companies: StratIS, the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), JBGR Retail, Atlas Bronze and Sisters of Saint Francis. Article

San Francisco
Sway Group is honored to announce its ranking at number 466 on the 34th Annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Article

Manifold just launched its brand new website. Article

Silicon Valley
Former Blanc & Otus CEO Josh Reynolds has joined an on-demand insights platform for brands Quantifind.    Article

Los Angeles & New York
Hill+Knowlton Strategies announced the appointment of two new senior vice presidents in the firm’s growing MarComms practice. Article

Minneapolis & NY
Anastasia Lopez joined PadillaCRT as Vice President of Social Media, leading the agency’s social media efforts from PadillaCRT’s New York office. Matt Fairchild joined the agency as Vice President of Technology and Innovation, leading PadillaCRT’s digital strategy, user experience and development teams from the agency’s Minneapolis headquarters. Article

London
Last-minute hotel booking app HotelTonight has enlisted Dynamo PR to help with its UK growth. Article

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How to Produce Professional Videos at Low Cost and with No Experience

August 17, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire Marketing

The videos you constantly see online, whether on a branded website, a social media platform, or a news73 percent of all adults outlet, can be replicated at low cost and by someone with no production experience. This revelation is important because if you aren’t currently tapping into the trend of video marketing, you will be soon once you realize how easy it is, and how significant the potential results can be.  How significant?  According to an Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study conducted using 1,000 U.S. consumers, “nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.”

Camera phoneCamera

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.

DSLR tripodTo 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.DSLR

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

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

Lighting

Option 1:  Low cost:
Light bulbs make light. It’s what you choose to illuminate with that light that will make the difference clamp lightbetween clunky amateurish videos, and professional digital media. By utilizing higher wattage bulbs, such as 150w and 200w, and clamp lights that can be purchased at any local hardware store, you can create a studio right in your office.

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

Option 2: Medium budget:
Basic lighting kits are affordable and extremely easy to use, assemble, and store. A light kit is superior to using clamp lights because the light stands are easy to assemble and move around. With clamp lights, creativity is required in identifying objects to which they can be clamped. With a light kit all the tools are available. The height of a light stand can also easily be manipulated, offering many variations of lighting schemes that can be tried out without too much time or effort.

Sound

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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 lavMic microphone system. Why wireless over a wired microphone? A wireless mic system allows you to record your audio directly into the camera or recording device. There is no need to sync audio and picture when editing and you can immediately view back your footage to test quality of both image and sound. Of course, you should still mark each take with a verbal label (saying take one, take two) so you have an easy way to reference the footage during the editing phase.

Editing

Option 1: Low cost:
Editing video is not as hard as most people think. You choose the footage that you want and discard the rest. The digital revolution has ensured that everyone can be an editor and with great ease. Youtube offers editing capabilities, as well as other free online options. If your video and audio was recorded separately remember to locate the exact second the clap (previously discussed) occurred, as well as the sound of that clap; match the two and you have just synced sound and picture.

editingOption 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!  Have any additional tips related to video creation?  Let us know.

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For more information about the role of video in the news process, we suggest the following articles


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