The Role of Consistency in News Releases, and Gym Workouts

February 28, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director, Social +Evolving Media, Business Wire

StetchingEarlier this month, CommPro.biz published a piece by Business Wire Newport’s Kathy Tomasino outlining the seven reasons why sending out a news release is a lot like going to the gym and sharing her top tips for creating a communications fitness plan.

Click here to read this piece. Have a comment or a tip of your own?  We would love to hear your thoughts!  Just leave a message in the comment section below.


7 Leading CEOs Discuss the Future of Company Communications [Free Webinar]

February 26, 2015

The strategic communication landscape is evolving at an ever-increasing pace.  We’ve seen the move from plain text releases to an era of activation through rich, multimedia storytelling.  Now, more than ever, growing your skill set is critical to keep up with the changing demands of clients and the media. It’s a “learn or get left behind” world.

On March 3 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, seven of the nation’s leading communication CEOs will come together to discuss the changes and innovations changing the way organizations communicate with media, analysts and consumers.

CommPro CEO Leadership Discussion

On March 3, join 7 of the nation’s leading CEOs for an discussion on the future of communications.

Hosted by Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and CEO of Business Wire, this conversation will provide attendees of all levels with best practices that will directly impact communications programming for 2015 and beyond.  Discussion topics will include:

  • Where the PR/Communication industry is headed
  • Instilling and showcasing a spirit of innovation in the workplace
  • The role of collaboration in the creative environment
  • How to create a sense of purpose in your organization
  • The value of mentorship and training
  • Mastering the work-life balance

Participants include…

Register for this free webinar now:  https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/10/7387

Click the following link to share this invitation with colleagues and industry experts via Twitter: http://ctt.ec/1b7fd


PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of Feb 23

February 25, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Senior Client Services, Rep Business Wire 

Here are 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!

Boston
Racepoint Global announced the hiring of Edward Christopher as Executive Vice President, Account Services. Article

Dallas
Lewis Public Relations announced Ashley Brazell has joined the firm as an associate to accommodate new clients and continued growth. Article

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has named its officers and board of directors for 2015. Article

Deoleo North America has chosen The Integer Group as its agency of record. Article

DC
Planit announced the promotion of Hector Gonzalez to director of account management. Article

BrandLinkDC has been retained by &pizza, a Washington, D.C.-headquartered pizza brand. Article

Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group has been selected to spearhead a golf destination public relations program for the greater Branson area in southwest Missouri. Article

DBC PR + Social Media has been hired as AOR by handcrafted soda maker Q Drinks and Kitchensurfing, a private chef service. Article

Los Angeles
W2O Group has acquired Arc2 Communications & Media. Article

Virtual Piggy has selected Los Angeles-based technology public relations firm PMBC Group as its strategic public relations partner. Article

JMPR Public Relations, Inc. announced that it has been signed as agency of record for Strider Sports International. Article

Miami
Ink Link Marketing was named PR Agency of Record by Church’s Chicken. Article

Sachs Media Group has launched the Breakthrough Research unit, which will specialize in public policy analysis, data collection, and message testing. Karen Cyphers will lead the team as VP of research and policy. Article

Republica has appointed Tony Arner to the role of CFO. Article

Fish Consulting announced it has added Blink Fitness, Captain D’s, i9 Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe to its roster. Article

InHealth Media has named Patrick Shaw as its new public relations coordinator. Article

New York
DBC PR+ Social has been appointed the agency of record for Kitchensurfing and Q Drinks. Website

René Mack, former president of the travel practice at Weber Shandwick, and Cathleen Johnson, founder and head of the travel practice at Edelman, are now leading Percepture Travel, a division of Percepture, Inc. Article

Jennifer Connelly, founder and CEO of Jennifer Connelly Public Relations (JCPR), has been named one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ. Article

5W Public Relations has been named PR Agency of Record by Dr. Creflo Dollar, American evangelist pastor and founder of World Changers Church International (WCCI), and Creflo Dollar Ministries, one of the largest Christian community churches in the world. Article

Curzon PR is expanding its international presence with the establishment of a New York office. Article

Indra Public Relations announced the signing of Aquaçai USA and is the official PR agency on record. Article

Didit has acquired public relations firm Bridge Global Strategies LLC in Manhattan. Article

Atrium PR announced that it has hired Gabrielle Fratangelo as Account Executive. Article

5W Public Relations announced that senior PR executive Dara Busch has joined the agency as a Senior Vice President who will be overseeing its Consumer division. Article

Philadelphia
ScripsAmerica announced that it has selected Gregory FCA as agency of record for its investor relations initiatives. Article

Phoenix
Havas PR has opened a full-service office in Phoenix. Article

Harlem Globetrotters International is partnering with five firms as it celebrates the team’s 90th anniversary. The company is working with United Talent Agency, Whistle Sports, Licensing Street, and Lead Dog Marketing. It continues to work with Coyne PR on communications. Article

The members of the Public Relations Society of America Counselors Academy have elected Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations as its chair. Article

San Francisco
Expense report technology Tallie has selected Waggener Edstrom Communications as its AOR. Article

DC & New York
ICR announced two senior hires to its Corporate Communications Group. Crisis communications and public affairs veteran Michael W. Robinson joins the firm as managing director and former business and financial journalist John Jannarone as senior vice president. Article

Los Angeles & Paris
The Comexposium Group has acquired Mobile Motion LLC. Paran Johar, the founder of the Los Angeles-­-based company, remains its CEO. Article

San Francisco, Seattle & Paris
Edelman has hired four new executives to help boost its food expertise in Europe and the US Western region. Article

Hong Kong
Ogilvy Public Relations Indonesia announced Misty Maitimoe as Deputy Managing Director of the organization. Article

Ogilvy China has been selected by the Consumer Electronics Association to assist with strategic brand communications and activation in support of the 2015 International CES Asia, which will run May 25-27 in Shanghai. Article

Vero Public Relations has launched a new division to manage social and digital communications and content development for clients. Vero Content Creative will be based in Bangok and offer services including community management, social media strategy development and implementation, online brand monitoring, key opinion leader outreach and management and creative content marketing. Article

À La Carte Productions, a division of Peter Knipp Holdings, has appointed Heat branding as the official public relations agency of the World Gourmet Summit 2015. Article

Lenovo is looking for marketing communications agency support for its global smartphone business, the Holmes Report has learned. Article

Frankfurt
Rocket Internet has spun-off its communications division as a standalone agency called RCKT. Article

London
Former Shell communications chief  Björn Edlund has joined Omnicom public relations firm Kreab as a senior advisor in London. Article

Weber Shandwick’s Stockholm-based business intelligence unit, United Minds, will open in London. Headed up by Hélène Vinberg, associate at Prime-the Swedish firm acquired in 2014-and United Minds, the new operation is part of a push to expand the firm’s strategic planning offer. Other moves include the recent appointment of UK director of analytics Elizabeth Gladwin and the addition of an analytics practice in Germany. Article

Teneo Holdings has appointed Charles Watson as chairman of Teneo International. Article

Corporate law firm Addleshaw Goddard has added media lawyer Lucy Middleton to its reputation protection team. Article

Baku 2015 European Games has appointed Colin Gibson as deputy director of communications. Article

Instinctif Partners has been appointed by Fisch Asset Management to raise its pan-European profile. Article

A new oil and gas consultancy backed by GE and McDermott has called in H+K Strategies London to help build its brand. Article

Ogilvy PR has named Michael Frohlich to the newly-created role of chief operating officer for EMEA.  Article

Paris
MSC Cruises has named Luca Biondolillo as chief communications officer. Article

Sydney
Dilip Yadav is departing Weber Shandwick after 20 years with the agency in India. Article

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!


The secrets behind press conferences, product reveals and trade show marketing

February 24, 2015

By Raschanda Hall, Director of Global Media Relations, Business Wire

Trade shows are all about product reveals, updates and, engaging media.  And by engagement I mean, “come ye media and tell the world of the things you have learned today.”  All meant to guide consumers into the conversion funnel, from awareness to action, faster and farther.  The Chicago Auto Show is no different.

Chicago Auto ShowMany exhibiting auto manufacturers will host exciting and sometimes theatrical and humorous press conferences geared toward glamming up the reveals and editorial coverage.

A successful press conference and product reveal is virtually a Hollywood production, and with sticker prices nearing $500,000, what you’ll hear from the communicators responsible for pulling off these events is that you have to nail the basics.

Birthing an automobile:
Preparation and planning are fundamental tenets of public relations. As the dust settles on one show, exhibitors are looking ahead at ideas for next year. According to Curt McAllister, Midwest public relations manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, “This is a little bit of Hollywood. Typically a press conference reveal [the birth of an automobile as he called it] may last all of 20-25 minutes and will probably range between half a million to a million dollars to produce. It’s the closest thing we get to Hollywood here in the auto industry. A lot of preparation is involved.  There is constant communication with our media to let them know we are going to do something big in that city so that they can save a spot on their schedules, and we can ensure a really good attendance.”

Authentic messages and messengers:
“Focus on what’s changed, what’s new, and why you did it,” says Andy Love, the head of car product marketing for Chrysler Group.  “Explain things in an easy-to-understand way.  If you have a new safety feature, help the audience relate with a story.  Explain how things matter and fulfill a need.  If it’s a high-end technology show, how it is easy to use and how it applies to their lives.”

Wendy Orthman is the Manager of the Midwest Region for Chrysler Group Communications.  She works with Chrysler

2015 Dodge Viper GTC

2015 Dodge Viper GTC

executives to get them ready to present on the big stage by first having them present at smaller shows.  “We want our executives at these shows. You want to make sure the speakers you choose have a high enough title that they attract the media. Their quotes bring authenticity and have significance and weight.  The sweet spot is when you have someone with title that can speak with knowledge and be impactful to the media.”

James Zahn, the pop culture and lifestyle blogger better known as The Rock Father, has seen his fair share of press conferences. “Excitement and Enthusiasm. It’s all about the two E’s. Don’t make us [journalists and bloggers] feel like you’re giving us the company line.  If a speaker sounds passionate about the business or product, that makes it more fun for us.”

Show up differently:

SpongeBob Inspired Toyotal Sienna

SpongeBob Inspired Toyotal Sienna

There is a lot of competition for news at these tradeshows and many of your competitors are also holding press conferences. You want to think of how you can show up differently.  Nissan of North America flipped the order of their press conference reveals. “A lot of other guys, they would do a slow build up and reveal the vehicle at the end. We do the opposite,” says Joe Gallant, Manager of Shows & Exhibits at Nissan.  “We keep the speeches short and we reveal the vehicle almost right away.”

The showbiz side of your product reveal means nothing if it doesn’t further your message. “There are very extravagant and flamboyant ways to pull a drape off a car. But don’t get over your budget, and be realistic. Make sure the message and the product is at the heart of it.  If you get so caught up in the smoke and mirrors you’re going to lose your audience,” warns McAllister.

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Business Wire and Black PR Wire Host Free Webinar: Building Brand Believers

February 23, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Social + Evolving Media, Business Wire

In recognition of Black History Month and in celebration of their continued partnership, Business Wire and Black PR Wire will host a free best practices webinar for business professionals featuring a distinguished panel of accomplished corporate leaders, brand representatives and non-profit pioneers. The panelists will share their case-studies and insights on how they have connected with black consumers for their industries and organizations.

What:   Building Brand Believers: How to Reach the Black Market
When:  Wednesday, February 25, Noon – 1 p.m. ET
Register now: http://go.businesswire.com/Building-Brand-Believers

Featured Speakers:      

  • Alicia R. Alston, Vice President, Global Communications, Prudential Financial, Inc
  • Amber Bullock, Executive VP, Community & Youth Engagement, American Legacy Foundation
  • Courtney Cunningham, Esq., Co-Founder/Managing Director, Commonground/MGS;
  • Danyele L.C. Davis, Vice President, Flowers Communications Group.

“This will be a powerful session that no PR professional would want to miss,” says Bernadette Morris, CEO of Black PR Wire.  “These experts will share their experiences and we all look forward to hearing from them.”

The webinar is free and open to the public. However, registration is required for all participants. To register for the session, please visit http://go.businesswire.com/Building-Brand-Believers.  Registered guests will also be able to follow along with our conversation and ask our panelists questions by tracking and including the #bwbprw hashtag on Twitter during the webinar.

Want to share this webinar information with friends and colleagues? Tweet it out by clicking this link: http://ctt.ec/vdhd0

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Studies Show Reporters Rely on Press Releases — Are You Providing Them With What They Need?

February 21, 2015

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

In this day and age, there really should be no question on how to garner media coverage. Yet, day after day, organizations distribute news releases that lack the information needed for the reporter to initiate coverage.  In this PR Week article, Jahana Hayes, from Business Wire Atlanta, shares six ways to make sure your press releases hit, and activate, your target audience.

Read the entire piece at PR Week:  http://www.prweek.com/article/1332549/six-straightforward-ways-sure-press-releases-hitting-target

bizwirepressreleaseprefs


Don’t Eclipse Your News During the Lunar New Year – Why Sending News to China During the Spring Festival is a Bad Idea

February 18, 2015

Bio Pic 2

By Matt Allinson, Media Relations Manager – International Markets

China’s Lunar New Year is nigh (February 19), but the travel frenzy known as Chunyun (a 40-day period surrounding the Spring Festival) is well underway. It is a migration unlike any other, with an estimated 2.8 billion passenger trips undertaken between February 4 and March 15. Millions upon millions of people will be hurrying home to reunite with family and enjoy the holiday. It is said to be the largest annual migration in the world.

China

Chunyun travel in progress

With so many people concentrating on getting from one place to another, it stands to reason that not a lot of business gets done in the People’s Republic of China during this time of celebration. It also stands to reason that sending out a news release around the holiday is not a wise move – unless, of course, you’d rather people not see your news.

Shaun Bowers Interfax ChinaI had the opportunity to speak more about this with Shaun Bowers (pictured left), the Managing Director of Interfax News Services in China. He was kind enough to answer some questions I had, as well as some questions that are often put to me.

Q: Can you describe the impact Spring Festival travel has on not only the news distribution business, but all business in China?

A: It (business) almost stops. Family is at the very center of Chinese culture and this is the time of the year that workers all across China return to their home province to visit family. Often, it is the only time they will see their family during the entire year.

Starting in January, factories will stop taking orders because of the holiday and will be rushing to fill orders they have in hand. The distance workers have to travel means journeys can take days, so often workers will start traveling two weeks early … and it’s not uncommon for a factory to close for an entire month. So for most businesses, it is a quiet period … unless you are a food vendor near a train station or a retail clothing store (it is traditional to buy new clothes for the Spring Festival).

Q: A question I have received in the past is: Don’t the Chinese have the most cell phones (per capita) in the world? Wouldn’t they still be absorbing news on their devices during the holiday?

A: Perhaps you should ask them if they sit around the Thanksgiving dinner table and read the news. The Spring Festival is a time for celebration – the whole of China is on holiday and people are focused on fun and seeing old friends.

Q: To which western holiday would you compare the Lunar New Year? Or is there such a comparison?

A: It’s hard to compare … for Europe it would be Christmas, and for the U.S. I would say it’s like Thanksgiving … at Thanksgiving, people will do anything to get home. The U.S. has 330 million people and I’m sure readers can relate to what a nightmare travel can be during Thanksgiving. Now imagine adding another 900 million people, and you get a sense of what it’s like.

Q: What have been your personal observations and experiences with the Lunar New Year? Any crazy travel stories?

A: My wife’s family is from Hong Kong so we don’t have to travel, but it’s quite normal for us to sit down to dinner with 67 immediate family members … some of whom have traveled from all corners of the world. There is a saying in Hong Kong: “Don’t go on holiday as everyone you know will be on holiday, so stay in Hong Kong and enjoy the peace and quiet.”

yay-15943958-digital

According to Shaun, it’s not that people in China don’t read news during the holiday; it’s just not a top priority. Chinese New Year is the one time of year when all workers can return home and, in essence, MUST return home. It is important for them to do so and it is expected that they will return with gifts for the whole family. And in the end, what’s more important: being present with family or reading up on news about listed companies?

Shaun’s advice, and mine, is to hold off on sending any news to China between the 18th and 24th of February.

And I will take this opportunity to remind you that it’s a best practice to always make sure the country to which you’re trying to send news is not on a holiday.  A quick check of timeanddate.com, bankholidays.com, officeholidays.com, or any similar site can save you time, resources and headaches when sending news internationally.

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