Business Wire’s Monika Maeckle in Communicate Magazine

February 27, 2009

Communicate, a UK publication for corporate communications professionals, has a new article on listening to the social media world and managing your reputation.  The article includes comments from our own Monika Maeckle, VP, Media Services and Product Strategy, and the voice of Business Wire’s Twitter feed.  Lots of great info there for communicators new to social media who are looking for tips — go read!


“PR vs. SEO” vs. “PR + SEO” vs. “PR is SEO”

February 26, 2009

There’s an interesting blog conversation going on right now, which grew out of a recent Twitter discussion on the value of PR vs. SEO.  UK PR pro Stuart Bruce kicked things off by trying to define just what PR is for, and how SEO alone can’t accomplish PR’s goals.  The Holistic Search blog responds with discussion of getting PR and SEO teams to work towards a common goal.  Marshall Manson at Edelman Digital then talks about how, ultimately, good PR is good SEO.

Click through and read them all  for valuable discussion and great comments.  I’d like to particularly point out one of Manson’s comments:

My own view is that SEO, literally defined as an effort to improve performance in organic searches for a defined set of key words is far too often nothing more than an organized attempt to trick search engines. Too many SEO firms are selling solutions that involve solutions like paid “link building” and other dubious tactics . . . On the other hand, good online PR is about helping clients connect with audiences on the basis of a shared interest. A key aspect is ensuring that the content of the conversation is real, meaningful, and interesting. Transparency is also vital.

For Business Wire’s part, Manson is right on here.  While we offer a suite of SEO tools, including our Press Release Builder and its keyword analysis and placement functions, all of our tools and advice are in the service of the well-written, properly distributed press release.  All the keywords in the world can’t substitute for good content — if they could, press releases would just consist of a list of keywords and a company name!  (Not that “black hat” SEO/SEM firms haven’t tried things like this.)  Your SEO efforts on press releases need to be part of an engaging story about your company and its news.

And your press releases should be part of an ongoing strategy which includes publishing your news on your own website, properly targeting your news, and building relationships with journalists, bloggers and consumers.  All of these things will help, as one commenter puts it, to make sure your name and your brand are in the right place at the right time when people are looking for them.


Like An Elevator Speech, Only Shorter

February 25, 2009

As PR pros and journalists continue to adopt Twitter, Dan Martin, a UK journalist, is conducting an interesting experiment — taking PR pitches only by Twitter.  For 48 hours, Martin requests no phone calls, no emails, and no multiple tweets; just a single message of up to 140 characters for your whole pitch–in other words, a “twitch.”

Martin, who has some 688 followers on Twitter, had received 15 pitches as of yesterday. He says that’s pretty typical volume, but rids him of phone calls and a clogged inbox.  Martin has promised to publish the tweets and let readers know which generated coverage.  No doubt journalists are definitely using Twitter, and it’s wise to use proper etiquette when reaching out to them.

What do you think: Will you twitch a journalist — that is, pitch him or her in 140 characters or less?  And, if so, what does this do for the evolving practice of public relations? Let us know what you think.


Upcoming Business Wire Events – Feb 23 Edition

February 23, 2009

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Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Navigating Social Media’s Wild, Wild West: A Practical Guide for Communicators & Marketers

Hosted by Business Wire San Antonio/Austin & the American Marketing Association/Austin Chapter

Social media is the Pony Express of this millennium. So how should you be moving your message successfully across a wild and ever-changing frontier of communities? Join social media marketing gunslingers Dave Evans, Giovanni Gallucci and Erica O’Grady as they provide practical strategies for creating and implementing social media campaigns, update you on the latest trends and give concrete, straightforward tips to help you build, maintain and measure a low-maintenance campaign.

Tuesday, Feb 24 at 6pm CST
AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX
To register: Click here

Business Reporting: Meet the National Media Covering the Future of Technology

Hosted by Business Wire Silicon Valley

A panel of distinguished national media correspondents will share and discuss how they report on technology stories that emerge in Silicon Valley, as well as forward thinking trends. Additionally, they will address best practices in PR and Media Relations. The panel will consist of: Ashlee Vance, Technology Reporter for The New York Times; Stephen R. Trousdale, Business Editor at the San Jose Mercury News; Mike Masnick, CEO of Floor64/TechDirt; and Tom Giles, Editor, Technology & Science for BusinessWeek.com.

Wednesday, March 4 at 9am PST
The TechMart Networking Center
5201 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054
To register:  Please RSVP by Friday, February 27th to Gioia.Ziegler@businesswire.com

From News Cycle to Spin Cycle: What I Learned Working Both Sides of the Pitch

Hosted by Business Wire Seattle

We often hear that the best public relations professionals are former reporters, so who better to provide insight than those who have left journalism to work on the PR side of the pitch? Our panel will share the lessons they’ve learned and some of the best and worst pitches they’ve received–or sent. Join Business Wire for lunch and a panel discussion with former journalists turned PR pros, Marty McOmber, Communications Director, Casey Family Programs; Chris Elliott, Group Manager, Weber Shandwick; and David Postman, Senior Media Relations Manager, Vulcan.

Wednesday, March 4 at 9am PST

Union Square Boardroom
One Union Square Building, First Level (behind the escalators)
600 University Street, Seattle, WA 98101
To register:  Please RSVP by Monday, March 2 to Lauren Linscheid at Lauren.Linscheid@businesswire.com or call 206-405-4000

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.


“Three Screen Trifecta” Calls for Smart Multimedia Press Releases

February 20, 2009

Ed Dandridge, Chief Communications Officer at Nielsen, talks about the “three-screen trifecta” today, and the ramifications for press releases and marketing and communications pros:

What does that actually mean? Instead of press releases it means “smart releases” that integrate video, data and thought leadership commentary for distribution across multiple platforms — TV, radio, print, blogs, social networking, client newsletters and internal email.

We’re glad Nielsen noticed — we’ve thought so ever since we created the multimedia-rich Smart News Release back in 1998!  And since the super-consumer Baby Boomers are actively engaging in social content now, it’s more important than ever to go beyond the traditional text press release.


President Obama To Address The Nation – Get Your Policy & Issues News Out

February 18, 2009

President Obama will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress and the nation next Tuesday, Feb. 24. It’s certain that he’ll be talking about a range of critically important issues facing the country, including the economy, education, infrastructure, energy and sustainability issues, healthcare, and foreign affairs.

Make sure you’re part of the dialogue that will be reported on and talked about among decision-makers, bloggers, influentials and the public by issuing your press release and registering your expert commentators with Business Wire. Here’s how:

Public Policy Wire

Public Policy Wire is designed for newsmakers needing to reach reporters/editors covering breaking issues of the day. Whatever the issue, your news will always reach the right desks and the right reporters – using the most advanced technology in the newswire industry. And our feed is a trusted source in the news systems of Congress, the White House and even federal agencies. Finally, because we reach thousands of databases, online services and search engines employing “natural” SEO, your news will be easily found and read by the public, influentials and important bloggers. We’ll even send your news out with your organization’s logo attached and using the same text style features as your original document, using XHTML formatting. No more plain ASCII text. And you can use our new Press Release Builder to further optimize your news release for your important keywords.

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Developed in consultation with leading news organizations, ExpertSource allows you to match company spokespeople and key executives with journalists covering top news stories. Register your organization’s experts with their contact information and areas of expertise, view and respond to active media queries, and submit Abstracts and/or Advisory ideas on industry issues, surveys and trends.

Contact us today to make sure your policy-related news is reaching the right audiences.

View Public Policy and Issues News on Twitter.

– Danny Selnick, Vice President, Public Policy Services


Finding Jobs in a Recession: Who and How?

February 17, 2009

Before or after attending our free webinar, “From the News Cycle to the Spin Cycle,” you may want to check out Jeremiah Owyang’s ongoing job survey project at Web Strategy. Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, has been addressing a series of job-search-related topics with results from a small sample of respondents who have found new jobs during the recession. There are a lot of interesting results, including that most of his respondents were able to find jobs within three months, and found full-time positions. If you’re looking for work or thinking of changing jobs, Owyang’s project is a good starting point for advice.

If you are looking for work or a career transition, make sure to leverage your existing social and professional networks.  You can search for PR jobs on Twitter, use your connections at LinkedIn, or try your local PRSA or IABC chapter.

Of course, Business Wire is currently looking to bring some new people on board – check out the Jobs section at BusinessWire.com for information on positions we’re filling right now.


“Right Sizing” and Media Layoffs Make for Timely Webinar: From the News Cycle to the Spin Cycle

February 13, 2009

The dreary news just keeps on coming.

News cycle to spin cycle?

“Right sizing” at PR firms,  reporters laid off at most print dailies…could it possibly be true that Seattle may soon become the first U.S. city without a daily print newspaper? My afternoon walk to Starbucks brought me face-to-face with a reporter friend who confided “I’m applying for a PR job.”   She’s not the only one.

Surely we’re facing tough times in the media business.   Our webinar next week, “From the  News Cycle to the Spin Cycle,” will tackle the topic head on.   What happens when reporters move into public relations?

The panel of former journalists–Bill Day of Valero Energy Corp., Lai Ling Jew of Fenton Communications, Lynn Kettleson of Kettleson Group and David Postman of Vulcan–represent a broad cross section of hard working media folks from all three coasts.   They’ve lived to tell tales of crossing the media aisle and finding a satisfying professional life beyond journalism.   Lai Ling Jew, the only woman at NBC embedded with the military during the initial phase of the Iraq war, concentrates her energies these days on promoting the good deeds of nonprofit organizations.   “I feel more like a journalist than ever,” she said in a pre-webinar conference call.

Don’t miss this FREE, timely webinar, which we provide to our clients and colleagues as a public service in understanding.  Registration is free

From the News Cycle to the Spin Cycle:  What I learned on the way to becoming a Public Relations Professional

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 AM Pacific/Noon Central/1 PM Eastern

Click here to register.


Media Comment on the Value of the Newswires

February 11, 2009

In a blog post called “Who needs press releases, anyway?”, Robert MacMillan at Reuters has taken notice of companies who aren’t including their full financial reports and other material information in press releases – and in some cases, not issuing press releases at all.

We’ve commented on this issue recently as well. Take a look at MacMillan’s thoughts for a media perspective on the practice.


Dominic: “We’re Just Not That Into You”

February 6, 2009

While we are not in the habit of engaging in discourse with the blogging equivalent of someone standing in the middle of Park Avenue screaming at the top of his lungs that the world will end unless we sinners repent, it is amusing to us that Mr. Dominic Jones seems to become more and more unhinged as we, as is our right, continually highlight and crystallize the many valid benefits of disclosure via our simultaneous news distribution platform.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we would be happy to engage in a serious, reality based dialogue with anyone who wishes to discuss the case for website disclosure.  We’ve done so numerous times, in a highly appropriate and professional manner, with the likes of the SEC, the New York Stock Exchange and Sun Microsystems. Though we may not always agree, we all still respect each other.

However, let us be clear that we will not, from this point forward, get ourselves involved in any conversations, online or otherwise, with any self-styled disclosure evangelists who appear unable to have a reasoned, mature, philosophical discussion about a topic on which we disagree, having instead to resort to childish tantrums of name-calling (surprised we haven’t seen “liar, liar pants on fire” from him yet) and even resorting to characterizing highly respected members of the financial media who do not share his opinions as “pimps”.  We choose not to muck around in that mud.

So let us conclude by saying we believe in the value, validity and integrity of our business, and would gladly continue to go into great detail about that with anyone who wishes to hold a reasoned, adult conversation on the topic.  And if, in the end, we cannot convince you of our convictions, we promise not to call you a liar.

Gregg A. Castano, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Business Wire


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