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

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

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