By: Joyce Thian, Zara McAlister and Ciaran Ryan/ BW Toronto
Business Wire Canada partnered with Bloomberg Canada to connect corporate communications professionals within the financial services community with Bloomberg reporters at its Toronto bureau on Friday, Apr. 26.
The view from Bloomberg’s 43rd floor Toronto office is definitely something to write home about. Flanked by city skyscrapers and Lake Ontario glistening in the background, one gets the sense that Bloomberg is doing well. David Scanlan, managing editor for Canada, confirmed this sentiment in his opening remarks at the Bloomberg Financial Services Media Breakfast.
In front of an audience of communications professionals within the financial services industry, Scanlan spoke about Bloomberg Canada’s growth in turbulent times. While many traditional media are downsizing, Bloomberg has been ramping up expansion efforts in major cities across the country — opening a new bureau in Calgary, expanding the newsroom in Montreal, and adding reporters in Toronto and Winnipeg.
“Canada is an interesting story. More and more people around the world are interested in what’s going on in Canada,” said Scanlan.
The conference room before guests and speakers arrived.
With so many eyes and ears in the financial world following Bloomberg’s news, it’s important for your business to be on its radar. Scanlan, along with Toronto bureau chief Jacqueline Thorpe, and financial services reporters Doug Alexander and Katia Dmitrieva, shared their insights on how PR pros in the financial services industry can ensure their stories resonate with the media.
Scanlan: What makes news?
Bloomberg never suffers from a lack of story ideas.
“We are bombarded every day with hundreds if not thousands of things we could write about,” Scanlan said.
If you want to catch Bloomberg’s eye, keep these questions in mind when pitching a story:
- Has it got the surprise element? — “If you’re a bank opening a new branch at Yonge and Finch, it’s not going to do a lot for us. If you’re opening a branch in a tent in Tripoli, that’s different, that’s surprising. [We’d want to know] what’s going on there.”
- Is it different? — “We’re always looking for ideas from really smart people that other people want to hear from.”
- Big names?—“We want to know who’s moving on the street, or even who’s fired.”
- Where’s the money? — “Events, deals, companies that are bigger and have more money at stake are going to be of more interest to us [and our readers around the world].”
Thorpe: Top five PR sins
Jacqueline Thorpe, Toronto bureau chief, shared her PR pet peeves:
- Not knowing what a reporter covers—Know what’s trending and who covers which beat.
- Flowery press releases—Avoid canned quotations and unnecessary exclamation marks!!! Stick to the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why).
- Not enough information in press releases—Make sure contact info is accurate and complete.
- Burying bad news—Always better to be upfront about it.
- Not being available— “Bloomberg reporters are needy.” Don’t go on vacation right after issuing a press release.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Alexander and Dmitrieva: How to get (and keep) a Bloomberg reporter’s attention
Doug Alexander and Katia Dmitrieva, both financial services reporters who cover a wide range of sectors, stated their preferences when receiving story ideas.
Alexander prefers an email over a cold call, especially if the pitch ends up being irrelevant. He also stressed the importance of ensuring all important news is included in the first few paragraphs. A heads up on a big story is always appreciated—even if it’s early in the morning.
For Dmitrieva, it’s all about frequent communication. She’s always open to hashing out story ideas over coffee and developing relationships. Bloomberg also hosts informal lunches which provide an opportunity to meet with the reporters at the bureau.
And once you’ve made it into the office be sure to check out the view.