Philadelphia Business Editors Discuss Changes in the Newsroom, Useful Pitching Tips

December 15, 2010

By: Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist/DC

Business Wire/Philadelphia hosted a “Meet the Editors” event on Tuesday, December 7th. The panel discussion, moderated by Cecile Oreste of Business Wire, featured Craig Ey, Editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Brian Toolan, Business Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. More than 60 public relations and communications professionals attended the event at the Union League of Philadelphia. Attendees contributed to the conversation in a question and answer section and also by live tweeting the event using the #BWEvents hash tag.

Brian Toolan, Business Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Unique Angle

Ey and Toolan started the discussion by defining what makes their publications unique. Ey pointed out that the Business Journal finds story angles that would appeal to small- and medium-sized business owners. Their readership comes from selling their expertise and the long tenure of their reporting staff. Toolan of the Inquirer said the paper prides itself in providing exclusive information with real consequence. He pointed out that there is a lot of money left on the table for any story. It just depends on how curious you are as a reporter.

Role of Social Media

Both editors said there is still much to learn about social media and its role in the newsroom, but agreed that the tools are useful for monitoring trends and confirming information with sources. These resources can serve as an early warning about what is happening in a particular industry and also be the first alert for breaking news.

Looking to the Future

In regards to the future of their respective media outlets, Ey talked about the importance of attracting younger readers and changing the perception of the publication so it’s not “your daddy’s paper.” He discussed the editorial decision to include more stories about restaurants and retail, two topics that seem to appeal to a younger demographic. For the Inquirer, creating a successful business model for online news is imperative to the publication’s growth. Toolan mentioned mobile technologies and apps as playing an integral part in this process.

Craig Ey, Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal

Pitching Advice

In addition, Toolan and Ey provided useful pitching and media relations tips. Toolan stressed the need for releases to be newsworthy. Think about what the story means for the readership of the paper and make sure it includes fresh and interesting information. Ey mentioned the Seven Principles for Business Journal Reporters which public relations professionals can take into consideration when writing their press releases. The tips are paraphrased below:

1)      Answer the questions: So what? Who cares?

2)      Write and edit short.

3)      Think about visuals for every story.

4)      Dig up news.

5)      Identify the money element in every story.

6)      Provide solid news so readers can more effectively run their businesses.

7)      We cover business. Exclusively.

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.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Business Wire New York Hosts Howard University Journalism Students

December 2, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

Howard University Association of Black Journalist (HUABJ) hosted their third annual Multimedia Tour November 11-12, 2010 in New York City. The journalism students visited several news organizations for a chance to tour their offices and speak with professional journalists.

The students were divided into two groups. The broadcast group visited media outlets including ABC, WBLS, WABC-TV, and Radio One Interactive. The print group visited NYU Graduate School of Journalism, HarperCollins Publishers, The New York Times, Amsterdam News, The Wall Street Journal and Business Wire. Both groups visited CBS Interactive and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

HUABJ Print Group

Overall, the students learned so much from the professionals on their visit. “Seeing the tour turn out so well was such a rewarding feeling,” said Mary Godie, President of HUABJ. “It was evident that the students got more out of it than they expected. We changed a few elements up this year so that students were able to get a well rounded view of the industry. And, I know they got that and so much more.”

Business Wire was very excited to be a part of the tour this year. Led by Mike Maguire, Northeast Editorial Supervisor at Business Wire, the students were given a step-by-step overview of Business Wire’s news distribution process. Following the presentation, the group witnessed the day-to-day operations of the editorial newsroom and saw how press releases are formatted and transmitted over the wire.

HUABJ Broadcast Group

“Business Wire has always had an interest in educational efforts that are happening at universities across the country,” said Maguire. “One of the ways Business Wire gets to show off what we do and act as teachers has been hosting students and faculty members at various colleges and universities. The students of Howard provided an audience that was keen to take in the opportunity we presented.”

HUABJ is a student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ). HUABJ was chartered in 1998 with a mission to cultivate, teach and prepare students for careers in journalism.


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