Business Wire at CMW2014: It’s All About the Visuals

September 4, 2014

by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist

It’s after Labor Day, which can only mean one thing. Well, two things: No more wearing white shoes, and it’s time for another Content Marketing World!

Business Wire is proud to be a sponsor and exhibitor for the second year in a row (and we’ve attended all five CMWs so far). We’ll be there at Booth 46 & 47 to show you the latest tools for featuring and distributing your content: The News Capsule and Picture Capsule.

Capsules are self-contained, embeddable packages of content with your press release, photos, videos, links and other supporting media that travel across paid, earned, shared and owned media. They help you to present your content in the most effective way: visually and interactively. And it really is all about visuals and interactivity. Why do we say that? Well, check it:

  • According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are classified as “visual learners.” Audiences absorb visual elements in one-one thousandth of a second, far faster than they do text; and visual learners find pictures, illustrations and other such content key to absorbing new information.
  • 73% of journalists who responded to our recent Media Survey stated that photographs are their most preferred asset to accompany a press release. Why not make sure they get those photos right along with the rest of your content?

bizwiremultimedia

 

  • Every piece of content in a Capsule is interactive and measurable, giving you an opportunity to see what pieces of your content plan are the most successful.

What type of content do you see the most in your Facebook timeline? Do you see walls of text? Or do you see pictures, videos, meme images and other types of visual content? In social media, and particularly on mobile, visuals rule.

Think about your own successful campaigns – press releases, emails, ads, social promotions, etc. What draws the eyes in heat maps? What gets the clicks? Chances are it’s the compelling visual. I don’t know about you, but the email campaigns I subscribe to almost always catch me with a snazzy photo. And our own research shows that press releases with accompanying visuals get far more clicks – anywhere from 5% to 20% more.

So that’s what we’ll be emphasizing at Content Marketing World: How to increase impact and ROI of your news and branded content with interactive visuals, how to produce them, how to share them, and how to measure their success. Make sure you stop by our booth to see what we can do for you and your content. And to sweeten the pot, we’ll be giving away one of these to one lucky person:

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A GoPro Hero3 White Edition, for you to create your own compelling visuals for business, in your personal life, on the go or wherever! But you have to stop by our booth to enter to win, so we’ll see you there! Meanwhile, let us help you plan your Cleveland visit with this guide to restaurants, landmarks and other sights to see!

Want to learn more about Capsules? Drop us a line below and we’ll be in touch!

 

 


The Hive – The Buzz and Business of Blogging in Europe

July 31, 2014

By Kai Prager – Senior International Media Relations Specialist

The Hive – The Buzz and Business of Blogging in Europe

Picture provided by Elisabetta Rizzato, Italian Bark (http://www.er-interiordesign.com/)

Two stops from Copenhagen Main Station I stepped off the local train. I looked around and had the feeling I was in a different city:  No historic buildings, no boats … just a few apartment buildings and a modern structure in the background. I took to the street with my little map and tried to decide which direction to go.  I saw two women leaving the station as well and asked them for directions. They pointed toward the modern structure. They were also on their way to the conference, and five minutes later we entered The Hive together, like three eager bees.

The Hive styles itself as “The European Blog Conference.” Visitors came to Denmark from all over Europe, from Iceland to Italy and from Hungary to the Netherlands, to attend. Some of the participants even crossed the Atlantic to take part in the conference, taking the scope as far as the U.S.

Attending the keynote I noticed a main theme that appeared in one form or another throughout the event: Authenticity.

Katie Treggiden, Confessions of a Geek Designer

Katie Treggiden, Confessions of a Geek Designer

Katie Treggiden, who runs the blog Confessions of a Geek Designer, gave an engaging speech about finding –and writing in — one’s own voice and theme. She said this is essential to attracting a core audience who visit the blog regularly. Broadly styled writings, on the other hand, don’t aggravate anyone.

The next speaker, who showcases authenticity with every post, is the charming Anne Faber.  She discussed how Anne’s Kitchen  turned from a blog to both a book and a TV show. The secret to her success is her love of food and cooking which she convincingly applied to her blog and later adopted for publishing efforts and a career as a television presenter.

The Hive hosted a wide range of keynotes and workshops showcasing helpful tools for bloggers, from social media and SEO to storytelling and photography. There were helpful tips for those who want to turn their blog into a business, such as including ads, tying in a shop or offering other services. But it was also stated that all efforts to gain revenue should fit the overall concept of the blog; otherwise, the authenticity of the blog would be damaged.

After two days at the conference, and talking to bloggers from all over Europe and beyond, I left with the realization that blogging transcends borders and connects people all over the world. Blogging provides the possibility to look closely into a special subject that can attract readers everywhere. It permits the use of a wide array of media like text, film, audio and images. But most important, a blog should be authentic and true to its theme and style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What We’ve Learned: A Round-Up of Tips, Tricks and Tools from Some of the Top Public Relations and Marketing Conferences

November 20, 2013
by Meghann Johnson, Sales Manager, Business Wire Chicago

Curious about SEO in the new age of Google Penguin and Hummingbird? Interested in the very latest content marketing best practices?

We were too, which is why Business Wire recently attended a wave of industry conferences including Search Engine Strategies, PubCon, AdTech and the Internet Summit, all to uncover the latest and greatest tools, tips and techniques for public relations and marketing professionals to meet their business goals.

And even though we learned a lot, there was one discussion on the top of everyone’s mind – how social media engagement impacts SEO. The number one point reiterated at every conference is that while an individual piece of content may no longer generate increased SEO, social media interactions can impact the ease in which content is found. The better the content, the more engagement it receives, the easier it is to be found. The lower the quality of the content, the fewer interactions it receives, the harder it is to be found. It’s that simple.

Below is a cheat sheet we created to help you navigate Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  We also pulled together supporting articles that provide additional insights and tactics you can use.

Facebook

Your target audience should no longer be thought of as “consumers”. Instead, think of them as “participants” in your brand conversation. Courtesy of Daina Middleton http://tinyurl.com/lmtr4m7

Developing brand personas are increasingly popular for marketers who want to better understand their target audience. We love these simple steps from marketing expert Heidi Cohen http://tinyurl.com/nxw6je6

If you’re doing Facebook advertising, focus on the newsfeed ads vs. those on the right-hand rail. These tend to get more click-thrus and engagement. Note: They are more expensive as well, but the pay-off may be worth it for your brand.

With Facebook’s recent algorithum changes users will be introduced to content based on their activities. For example, users who view more photos will be presented with more photos in their newsfeeds. Smart marketers should test different format types to determine which resonate best for their audience.

When adding links to press releases it’s important to practice SEO co-citation, or linking to relevant sites other than your own. This helps your news gain authority as a meaningful resource for more information.

Testing your website? According to Jakob Nelson, just five users can uncover 85% of usability issues http://tinyurl.com/mhr8emm

Twitter

Think visually! @Twitter introduces pictures and videos to the newsfeed http://tinyurl.com/nuzfgyt #contentmarketing #prtips

Journalist can’t cover your story? Send them a pre-scripted Tweet instead! #prtips

Follow weekly #trends on #Twitter to see how your company can participate and engage in the conversation

#Retargeting is important for today’s search-driven society, but ensure you have the right goals in mind http://tinyurl.com/kq76z4j

Marketing on @Twitter? Be sure to check out new lead generation cards to drive users to YOU http://tinyurl.com/qafwzjc

Companies using Twitter will continue to be indexed by search engines, a great plus for gaining more #visibility and #SEO

Good #stat: 50% of retweets occur in first 18 minutes of being published so make sure content is attention-grabbing @MarinSoftware

Google +

Companies who use Google+ will get indexed faster by Google than other social media sites such as Twitter. http://tinyurl.com/p7fhq6g

Adding multimedia to Google+ is a great way to boost visibility and search optimization for content.

YouTube now requires all commenters to have a public Google+ account, weeding out some posters on the popular site and boosting Google+ membership. http://tinyurl.com/kstylq7

Google+ is an inexpensive way to host conversations among audiences and can be recorded for later use.

Even with Google’s recent algorithum changes, press releases can still drive meaningful traffic to a company’s website, blog or social media sites and boost viewership across these channels.

Check out this cool infographic from @Brafton media on how to combat the Google Penguin http://tinyurl.com/qxzpyuw

What do you think of this list?  Was it useful to you? As always, you can contact us directly to learn more about any of these topics, and stay tuned to the BusinessWired blog for other interesting updates.


The German Public Relations Association and FAZ Institute announce PR winners

November 14, 2013
by Seval Dogan, Marketing Coordinator, Business Wire Germany
The FAZ Institute, the German Public Relations Association (DPRG) honored outstanding achievements in PR and communications management.

The FAZ Institute, the German Public Relations Association (DPRG) honored outstanding achievements in PR and communications management.

Business Wire Germany was a proud sponsor at the International German PR Awards ceremony held October 25th in Wiesbaden, the capital of Germany’s Hessen region. The ceremony is an exclusive industry event for PR and communications specialists from German -speaking countries. Four hundred top managers and PR professionals from companies and organizations attended this year’s event. In collaboration with the FAZ Institute, the German Public Relations Association (DPRG) honored outstanding achievements in PR and communications management. This ceremony plays a major role serving as the most important indicator of innovative concepts, campaigns and solutions in the area of strategic communications.

This year, several new trends in the communications industry were identified. Many of the submitted concepts used social media to create customer commitment and loyalty, ultimately leading to better returns  on investments. Social media applications were strategically used to showcase the values of company products and services. Volker Sach, Managing Director of the FAZ Institute, puts it as such: “The jury was impressed by the high number of excellent campaigns that used classic PR tools successfully connected to social media applications.”

Young professionals also put their PR skills, knowledge and innovative ideas to the test, competing for both the prestigious DPRG Junior Award and the Dr. Albert Oeckl Award

The prestigious DPRG Junior Award and the Dr. Albert Oeckl Award

Young professionals also put their PR skills, knowledge and innovative ideas to the test, competing for both the prestigious DPRG Junior Award and the Dr. Albert Oeckl Award. The winners were Franziska Brachvogel and Kristin Siegel, who are currently studying communication management at Leipzig University in Germany. Brachvogel and Siegel successfully combined classic PR tools with social media applications. The primary aim of their concept was to raise awareness and consumer commitment for more environmentally friendly reusable energy consumption. The winners accomplished an innovative communications concept in which social media tools were strategically used to create more transparency through active dialogues with consumers. Brachvogel explains the vision behind the concept: “Communication creates transparency – transparency creates trust.”

It was wonderful to see so many happy winners.  We at Business Wire are thrilled to be a member and sponsor of the German Public Relations Association, a group that strives to create a bigger, brighter future for the communications industry.


Join Tara Atwood and Other IROs at The IR Experience on Oct. 1st

September 12, 2013
guest post by Tara Atwood, Manager, Investor Relations at Time Warner Cable
Tara Atwood, Manager, Investor Relations for Time Warner Cable

Tara Atwood, Manager, Investor Relations for Time Warner Cable

As a fellow IRO, I thought I’d share a few reasons why you should consider attending a very interesting and exclusive new event for investor relations officers.

On Tuesday, October 1st an intimate group of IROs will gather at Blue Water Grill in NYC for what is being called The IR Experience. I just signed on to participate and I want to make sure it’s on your radar as well. In particular, what resonated with me was:

  1. The content. The agenda intrigued me because it included important topics such as career advancement, how to keep tabs on your stock, how to deal with a crisis/activist investor situation, and IR services. The latter is often a subject that is often pushed to the side, but one that takes up so much of an IROs time. Given I’ve spent countless hours evaluating numerous vendors I wanted to help to share some of that knowledge with others, which I will do during a session called “The IR Services Conundrum”.
  2. The format. The emphasis of the day is really focused on sharing our experience as an IRO with each other, and I was pleased to hear that every session is not going to be presented in a panel format. There will also be ample networking opportunities which is appealing to me.
  3. Time invested = time saved. Given the career we’ve chosen, not a day goes by that we have a great deal of time to spare, but I decided to get involved because I felt that taking a day out of my schedule to share my experience and learn more about the latest issues would save me time in the long run. For those coming in from out-of-town, NYC allows you the opportunity to hold strategic meetings with potential investors while you’re in town.
  4. The food. For those who aren’t familiar with Blue Water Grill, it’s a venue that is will allow us to enjoy ourselves while learning, networking and sharing our experiences with each other. The food is notches above what we’re typically used to getting when attending a conference and the menu can be viewed here. There will also be a live jazz band playing during the networking reception to round out the day.

I hope you decide to join me, Adam Townsend from CBS, Hank Diamond from Take-Two Interactive Software, Phil Talamo from UBS, J.T. Farley from ITG, and your other peers on October 1st.

They’re offering a full-registration for only $100 until September 25th if you enter code SAVE100. You can learn more at: www.irexperience.com/register.


Hispanic Heritage Month 2013 – Celebrating the 500 Year History of Latinos in the US

September 6, 2013

by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor and LatinoWire Media Representative

Last month I attended a screening of Latino Americansa 3 part, 6 hour documentary series made for television for Hispanic Heritage Month, along with a signing of the companion book Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation at the Excellence in Journalism 2013 conference in Anaheim, California. Ray Suarez, PBS Newshour Senior Correspondent and author of the Latino Americans companion book;  and actor Benjamin Bratt, who narrates the documentary series, were on hand to discuss the project.

Ray Suarez and Pilar Portela

Latino Americans author Ray Suarez and Business Wire’s Pilar Portela

When asked why he became involved with the project, Ray Suarez shared:

I think the general audience will come away from reading the book, or listening to the audio book, and watching the TV series, with a much better grasp of American history, not just Latino history. I think Latino readers and viewers will understand not only their own family’s history better, but those of the other countries and cultures that have contributed to this `Latino moment’.

Latino Americans  chronicles the rich and diverse 500 year history of Latinos in the United States. It covers everything from expansionism to the Wild West to World War II to the Great Depression to the Civil Rights movement. But immigration is at the heart of the series that has affected and continues to affect the Latino American experience. Featured in the series are entertainer Rita Moreno; labor leader and 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta; Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chávez; Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan; and Univision Network Anchor María Elena Salinas, among others.

Neyda Martinez, PBS/WETA’s National Engagement Consultant for Latino Americans said, “This project has afforded me the pleasure to have conversations with national, regional and local leaders to develop partnerships on behalf of the series. What’s most exciting to me about this series is the impact it can have on young people for years to come.

“It’s very bold of PBS to roll out the series with the statement, ‘Latino American History is American History,’ and I love it!” continued Martinez:

“We’re not a boom, we’re not a fad, we’re not a trend. We’ve always been here, as University of Arizona Professor Roberto Rodriguez will explain in his blog piece. We’re a diverse people connected through history, culture and language redefining and reclaiming our place in a complicated contemporary world. In talking with educators and leaders around the country there’s renewed confidence and hope. We are here. We are today. We are tomorrow. It’s a very exciting time for our community. This series, in many ways, fits in to the cultural zeitgeist of the day.”

Benjamin Bratt & Pilar Portela

Actor Benjamin Bratt and Pilar Portela

The special documentary will air during Hispanic Heritage Month 2013 (September 15-October 15) on Tuesdays: September 17, September 24, and Oct. 1 at 8:00 PM ET on PBS. It will also broadcast nationally on Vme, the Spanish-language channel on public television, over six consecutive Fridays beginning on September 20.

The companion book, Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation is published by Penguin/Celebra and is now available in English and Spanish and as an eBook.

LatinoWire reaches influential Hispanic bloggers, decision-makers and more than 1,200 US-Hispanic newsrooms in both Spanish and English. Click here for more information on LatinoWire and media reach.


Greater Fort Lauderdale PRSA Sunshine Conference 2013 Making Waves: PR in a Sea of Change

August 19, 2013
by Julia Sotelo, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Miami
and Janice Essick, Regional Manager, Business Wire/Miami

Business Wire was recently a top sponsor of this informative annual event held Friday, August 2nd at Fort Lauderdale Beach’s beautiful W hotel; and the opening speaker, Ron Magill, Communications Director of ZooMiami, did not disappoint. He gave an incredible and moving presentation regarding his experiences over his 30 year career with the Zoo. The highlights from his presentation are numerous, but here is an abridged list of what he thinks has made District_Logohim so successful in PR:

  • Believe in what you’re doing.
  • It’s all about relationships you have.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Appeal to your audience; don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • When negative things happen, be proactive as soon as possible – do not wait.
  • Partnerships.

Choosing which breakout session to attend was not easy, but selecting “Visual Storytelling and the New Reality of Content Marketing,” presented by speaker Mike Bako, Marketing Manager and Broadcast Journalist of DS Simon, was very interesting and some takeaways are shared below:

  • 95% of TV stations are using outside video.
  • Media points are using social media networks more and more to find leads on content to cover:
    • 85% of TV stations
    • 76% of radio stations
    • 74% of magazines
  • Creating branded, expert-specific videos is an extremely good idea in today’s market.
  • YouTube is an extremely important tool for media; now it’s not just for sharing funny cat videos or someone falling off a skateboard.
  • Examples of using the right spokesperson for your brand, even when it’s an unlikely connection:
    • Deion Branch (professional football player) for Lactaid
    • Newscaster and his son for Legoland USA
    • Mommy blogger for Nintendo
  • Video use on Instagram and Vine for companies to create Brand Recognition:
    • Lowe’s is a brand who has been able to successfully use Vine.
    • Brands are trying to leverage the new apps targeting teens because in a few years they will have the buying power.
  • Video can also be used for internal communications  as well.

Lainey Garcia, Manager of External Communications for McDonald’s Corporation, spoke on “How McDonald’s Approaches Social Media in a Changing PR Climate.” She opened the session with a great story about a tweet sent out by “Millennial Mom” regarding her very unhappy 8-year old son who received the girl’s toy in his happy meal instead of the boy’s toy. The McDonald’s Twitter Team immediately saw this tweet and contacted the mom, rectifying the error by sending the correct toy. This particular mom was a very well-known mommy blogger; had this not been seen and dealt with swiftly, Lainey suggests the consequences of not reacting quickly could have included the viral effect from the Millennial Mom’s social network.  Here are some other helpful tips from this session:

  • Food is the single most talked about item on social media.
  • Using another brand to capture positive social media exposure that will be shared with thousands to millions of followers – illustrated by the Mindy Kaling birthday situation:
    •  Mindy tweeted a picture to McDonald’s of a birthday gift she received from Wendy’s.
    •  The McDonald’s Twitter team saw the tweet, quickly researched what Mindy liked and had a package of gourmet cupcakes sent to her.
    • The Twitter team was able to initiate and execute all of this within 7 hours of seeing the tweet.
    • Mindy followed up with a tweet saying: “Best day-after-birthday ever. Nice move McDonalds.  WE’RE lovin’ it.”

The keynote speaker, Mickey Nall, Chairman and CEO of PRSA, gave some great insights on working with millennials and gave us an overview of the changes and progression within the PR industry:

  • Working with Millennials – 4 Big Opportunities
  1. Focus on Reputation
    1. We are brand ambassadors; that is why it is important to work for a company that you admire and has a good CSR effort.
    2. Reputation matters – we own the reputation (not the brand).
  2. Create your own Content
    1. Content is really just another word for writing.
    2. Call it a media release, NOT a press release.
  3. Become a Story Teller
    1. The ‘Showing’ and ‘Telling’ in creating effective narratives.
    2. Get to the heart of the story.
    3. Make the abstract concrete so the audience gets it.
    4. Graphics are more effective to deliver a message.
  4. Employees Become Advocates
    1. Best Buy is a brand that strongly encourages its employees to tweet during their work day.

Laura Stephens, Public Relations Specialist, and Joshua Glanzer, Director of Public Relations for Lynn University, discussed during the final general session their hosting of a Presidential Debate.   Some highlights include the following:

  • Two part strategy for hosting a Presidential Debate
  • PR campaign (1 year)
    • Never assume or say it’s just two candidates.
    • Lynn made t-shirts that had the slogan “We’ve never heard of you either,” poking fun at the fact that most people hadn’t heard of the very small private university.
  • Managing the event (4-5 days)
    • Valuable experience for the university’s international students (Lynn is ranked as #4 for international students) because it provided a front row seat to American democracy at work.
    • Google provided an online street view when they were coordinating where stages were going to be built for big name TV stations like CNN.
    • Over 4,000 journalists attended the event.
    • Google “Hangouts” were held and Google promoted them for the University.
    • A social media lounge was created and the 15 student story teller volunteers went there and shared their stories via their personally preferred platforms.
    • Twitter and Google came to hang out in the lounge as well.
  • Total Cost $4.9 million (actual capital outlay was $2.7 million) = $63 million in ad equivalency.
  • Over 33,000 news stories were written:
    • Facebook impressions jumped from 86,579 to over 934,000.
    • Lynn became a trending topic, which isn’t something that can ever be paid for.
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Set realistic goals.
    • Focus and simplify.
    • Always tell your story.

Opening the second day at the conference was Virgil Scudder, President of Virgil Scudder & Associates, a 35+ year PR expert:  Lessons from the Trenches

Virgil Scudder Book Signing PRSA FL 2013_1

Key points to remember:

  • “Communication is not what you say or know, it’s what the other side takes away.”
  • 4 C’s = clear, concise, credible, confident.
  • Never use a big word when a small one will do.
  • Create positive interview capabilities.
  • Draft a checklist for what might be needed to handle an immediate crisis.
  • Have and share ideas.
  • Be nice, humble and a good listener.
  • Share credit and accept blame.
  • Outwork your competitor.

Listening to the last speakers of the conference was insightful and entertaining, while delivering two unique perspectives on reaching a Latin American audience with extremely different budgets:

Bea Garcia, Director of Media Relations, Deutsche Post /DHL

DHL handles all international transport except domestic here in the U.S.?  Their corporate communications strategy between a 3-person team consists of the following:

  • Sharing Globally; Adapted Regionally; Executed Locally
  • Partnering with SMEs (small/medium enterprises) to reach Latin American market, she grants one-on-one interviews with their CEO and shares studies of success stories with SMEs that use DHL in those markets.

Miguel Angel Oliva, VP for Public Relations & Corporate Affairs/HBO Latin America

Miguel talks about his unlimited budget and independence of marketing department to report directly to President and talks about his goal of achieving “critically acclaimed” using his PR / corporate communications strategy.  Large press tours using Latin American venues and sharing a slide show of the 2011 – 43 press tours.  77 tours in 2012, 83 expected in 2013 assist in achieving their corporate communications annual initiatives.

It was another informative PRSA Sunshine District conference that we are proud to support!


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