On August 12, Business Wire Newport Beach hosted a media breakfast on business trends and online tools enhancing local news publications and their websites. Business Wire Senior Vice President of Marketing Tom Becktold kicked off the discussion with a presentation on the new PR toolbox: how social media and other emerging strategies are affecting how brands communicate with their audiences.
An in-depth look at three of Orange County’s major media outlets followed, presented by a panel of editors, including (left to right):
- Rebecca Allen, Features Editor for the Orange County Register
- Tina Borgatta, Editor at Churm Media
- Michael Lyster, Editor for the Orange County Business Journal
Among the tips and key points brought up by the panel:
- Ms. Allen says that the Register is very much focused on the web first. Its reporters post breaking news and updates on stories as it happens online, then the print team pulls from those stories at the end of the day to craft the story for the newspaper itself. Since it began this strategy, OCRegister.com has doubled its page views year over year.
- Ms. Allen also pointed out that, because of the focus on online, the OC Register has become very multimedia-oriented. Its photo desk is much more open to accepting photos and video from the public than it has been in the past, because while the paper has its team of photographers, they don’t produce enough photos for online use.
- Ms. Borgatta presented some do’s and don’ts for pitching editors. Her don’ts included:
- Don’t cold call an editor and launch directly into a pitch.
- Don’t pitch an editor a story that has no relevance to the publication. Spin the story with an angle that may work with the publication.
- Don’t, whatever you do, call an editor or publication by the wrong name.
- Her do’s included:
- Do start off a phone pitch by asking if the editor is on deadline.
- Do be direct & to-the-point, whether it’s an email or phone pitch.
- Do be a hero to the editor. If an editor needs to fill a hole, become someone they can count on to give them everything they need to supply a last minute story.
- Mr. Lyster says that the OC Business Journal think of themselves like the Wall Street Journal of the Orange County area. They run similarly, with the largest companies based in the area receiving most of the coverage in the front pages.
- Mr. Lyster notes that the OC Business Journal has found that, interestingly, the reason why local executives and CEOs is because they look at the Business Journal sort of like a community newspaper. While they can get their industry news from the national papers, trade publications and market research, they like to keep up with their fellow local company executives that live and work where they are. It almost feels like a high school newspaper, where the students are the CEOs and other executives.
Here are some audio clips from the event:
Rebecca Allen: “The OC Register is very web-focused.”
Michael Lyster: “Local executives look at the Business Journal like a community newspaper.”
Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics. Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.
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