Taking Stock of the World Media – A Recap of the Global Media Forum

August 27, 2015


By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist – Frankfurt

In crisis situations around the world, the media has an undeniable impact on perception of events. It also shapes public opinion and can even manage to influence political decision makers. With the help of the internet, media access has multiplied and more and more platforms now vie for our attention. It made sense, then, that the topic of this year’s Global Media Forum, hosted by Deutsche Welle, was “Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age.” About 2,000 journalists and media workers came from more than 100 countries to take part in the discussions and workshops in Germany’s former capital Bonn.

Participant looking at the Plenary Chamber - Photo by Kai Prager

Participant looking at the Plenary Chamber – Photo by Kai Prager

Many presentations noted that the internet, with its vast platforms of social media, blogs, news sites, etc., has radically changed the media landscape by enabling anyone to participate and creating a demand for speed of information. But the demand for speed also puts pressure on traditional media. This was not lost on Andreas Zumach, a journalist with German paper Die Tageszeitung.

“We have a rat race to see who is first with the most spectacular news,” Zumach said. “That makes it difficult for journalists who cover the efforts to de-escalate or even solve the conflict at a diplomatic level to get coverage.”

Asiem El Difraoui, a researcher for the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, stated, “We run after the news … we don’t do permanent coverage of places which are still potentially dangerous and might explode from one minute to the next.” El Difraoui also lamented that a lot of media reduce its foreign coverage and are later surprised by the consequences. “People are much more interested in what is happening in foreign countries than what we give them credit for.”

Dana Asaad and Asiem El Difraoui - Photo by Kai Prager

Dana Asaad and Asiem El Difraoui – Photo by Kai Prager

At this international forum, the situation of foreign countries was discussed on many levels. It was mentioned that, often, media of countries in transition are not as advanced as media in more developed countries, and this often causes problems. The main problems that were visited and revisited were the lack of quality journalism due to poor training and funding; no freedom of the press; usage of media for propaganda and misinformation; and no access to information.

An example for this problem was shared by Dana Asaad, Editor-in-Chief of Awene.com, who said that a lack of well-trained journalists contributes to the continued conflict in Iraq.

“It’s obvious that covering a post-conflict [Iraq] … we need to have qualified people,” Assad said. “Before 2003, we had few media outlets – you could count them on your hand – and it was the media of the Baathist regime. One color, one opinion, one ideology.  After 2003, suddenly, hundreds of media outlets came out. Every single political party and every single official had its own media. … but we didn’t have journalists.” Asaad continued, “Journalism became the job for jobless people. You fill all those media outlets with people who have no journalism background and they know nothing about the ethics of journalism and those people started to cover the post-conflict time.”

There was also a discussion about propaganda in political reporting within the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Ukrainian journalist Yevhen Fedchenko explained that propaganda tools to promote the government’s message are mainly implemented by Russia to change, omit or manipulate facts. In contrast, the Ukrainian government doesn’t have the same means to promote its propaganda though the media. Instead, news outlets started to target different groups and usually don’t keep up journalistic standards.

Many speakers mentioned problems with authoritarian governments that try to stop unwanted reporting. Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was honored with the Freedom of Speech award at the annual prize competition The Bobs (Best of Online Activism).  In his ceremonial speech, Editor-in-Chief of zeit.de, Jochen Wegner, said the ceremony was “among the most bitter, for Raif Badawi cannot be with us today.” Badawi is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia for criticizing senior religious figures online.

Jochen Wegner holds his ceremonial speech - Photo by Kai Prager

Jochen Wegner holds his ceremonial speech – Photo by Kai Prager

After three days of discussions and workshops, it became clear that media professionals need to band together and work together on a worldwide basis. The Global Media Forum served as a jumping off point for this type of comradery and coordination, and hopes to continue foster international journalistic cooperation into the future.

PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of August 24

August 25, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire

Each week, Business Wire brings you the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

PR Industry Updates

Resolute Consulting announced the promotion of Nick Juliano to Vice President from Senior Account Executive. Article

Dodge Communications announced it has been named to the Inc. 5000 annual rankings of the fastest-growing private companies in America for the seventh consecutive year. Article

Keds has appointed Emily Culp as chief marketing officer. Article

marlo marketing announced an array of new restaurant and hospitality-focused clients. Article

Boineau & Company has added Dennis O’Neill, Attorney at Law, Frampton Construction and Timberlane, Inc. as new clients. Article

Sprout Social announces launch of a new social advocacy platform for employees, Bambu by Sprout Social. Article

Public affairs and communications firm Agenda, along with UK-based marketing and communications partner Engine Group, has been awarded a five-year multiple-award framework agreement by The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Article

Warschawski announced that it was named the agency of record for Biologics Consulting Group. Article

Influent50 is helping businesses connect to an influential consumer group-the 50 and over. Article

Karen Reynolds is moving into a VP-level global communications role at enterprise IT company BMC Software. Article

Los Angeles
Ranker announced its expansion across content and ad sales with the launch of its video division, Ranker Video, and the addition of key senior executives. Article

Mirrored Media announced the hiring of Chiara Kramer as the new Director of Entertainment Marketing. Article

Kelton Global announced that Amy Snow has joined the Los Angeles office as Vice President of Qualitative Research. Article

Crossmedia announced that it has hired David Heimlich as Executive Director. Article

3AWORLDWIDE has announced a partnership with a China affiliate which will allow the brand to expand its global services and tap into the Asian market. Article

New York
Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations announced the addition of two clients: The Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont and Tribeca Grand in New York City. Article

Try The World has tapped luxury brand public relations agency Issa PR to launch its Fall and Holiday gourmet boxes. Article

MSLGroup has made Guillaume Herbette CEO. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has named Citizen Relations’ Beth Balsam as US CEO. Article

Olya Moskalenko has joined Rubenstein Public Relations as the new Senior Business Development Writer. Article

Magrino announced that seasoned public relations professional, Emily (Emmy) Lambert, joined the agency as Account Director in the Consumer Division. Article

Porter Novelli announced that Catherine Fink has joined its New York office as executive vice president, health and wellness. Article

NBTY announced the appointment of Sonya Soutus to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications. Article

Tartaglia Communications has been tapped by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to launch the Melvin R. Goodes Prize for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, the first prize to specifically recognize scientists working in Alzheimer’s drug development. Article

Elisabeth Rosario has been named director of communications for Spark Capital. Article

Havas Formula announced the hire of Hispanic public relations veteran, Andy Checo, as director at its HavasFORMULATIN division.  Article

LATAM Airlines Group has chosen Interpublic Group as its new global agency network for markets in the Americas, Europe and Oceania where the company operates.  Article

Rubenstein announced the hiring of William Goss to serve as Senior Advisor to its Real Estate Practice. Article

Lisa Rosenblum joined Brooklyn Public Library as Chief Librarian. Article

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) has announced the appointment of Kelley McDonough as its new Director of Public Relations, based in New York. Article

M Studio announced it was awarded the contract for web development and digital marketing for Simple Shoes. Article

DDCworks has added four industry veterans to its team of branding experts to expand the agency’s capabilities and dedication to building and managing strong campaigns. Article

San Francisco
Matson has hired Keoni Wagner as director, corporate communications. Article

Mercury360 has been selected by WaterFX, a startup that is using solar desalination to generate freshwater for farmers in California’s Central Valley. Article

Eastwick announced that Inc. Magazine has ranked the company No. 4490 on the annual Inc. 5000. Article

The Petrizzo Group announced the hire of Charles McCray III as vice president, public affairs. Article

Chicago & Miami
Uproar PR has been selected as the agency of record for three sports technology and human performance companies, Fusionetics, Mio Global and Milestone Sports. Article

PR.Konektor has appointed Radek Vítek as executive director. Article

Ingela Ulfves has been appointed as VP, investor relations and communications in Eltel Group. Article

Grayling has appointed long-serving executives Craig Ling and Hayley Longdin to lead its Midlands team. Article

CubanEight has been appointed by global learning and teaching marketplace Udemy following a competitive pitch. Article

Mediacraft Associates has formed an affiliation agreement with FleishmanHillard South Africa. Article

The India-based IT services company Infosys is in the final stages of selecting a global PR agency to focus mostly on the US and European markets. Article

Like this post? Please take a minute and share it out on Twitter:  http://ctt.ec/BQkOT

Each week we share information relevant to modern communications strategies and tactics.  Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

Business Wire Gives Back With Contribution to Journalism Scholarship for University of Washington’s LaVendrick Smith

July 21, 2015

Matt Allinson Bio Pic

By Matt Allinson, Media Relations Manager, Int’l Markets

Business Wire is pleased to contribute to a journalism scholarship awarded to University of Washington journalism student LaVendrick Smith during the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 10) awards gala on Saturday, June 13. Mr. Smith, an Everett, WA native and a senior at the University of Washington, was one of four students who were collectively awarded over $10,000 in scholarship funds.

LaVendrick Smith

LaVendrick Smith

Mr. Smith spent last term covering the Washington state legislature as an intern for the News Tribune and The Olympian. During his time on staff, he wrote about a wide array of bills, one of which would have required young drivers to place “New Driver” decals on the back windows of their vehicles. He also wrote about House Bill 1021, one that would require the Washington State Patrol to create and implement a system similar to Amber Alerts (called Silver Alerts) for lost senior citizens. He also works on The Daily at the University of Washington and wrote for the Seattle Times in autumn of 2014.

I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Smith after he received his scholarship and ask him a few things about the journalism profession, his life, and what he would do if he were the first person with verifiable proof that Bigfoot exists.

1) Who or what inspired you to study journalism and pursue it as a career?

I’ve always been interested in writing ever since I was a kid, but in high school, a security guard I knew at my school read my work and really encouraged me to pursue journalism because he said I could be really talented at it.

2) How can you and your generation of journalists help to change the negative impression most people have of the industry?

I think the best way to change negative impressions people have of the industry is to make sure people are doing their jobs the right way. Many people have a mistrust of the media, when the role of the media is to foster and maintain trust. If journalists uphold the values and ethics that are central to journalism, I believe people will have a better understanding of the industry. 

3) Where would you like to be in eight years?

I would love to be working at a major daily newspaper covering a major U.S. city. 

Me & LaVendrick

4) What are you doing this summer?

This summer, I’m spending my vacation in Boston, and resting up for my senior year of college.

5) If you were somehow able to capture the first verified photo/video of a Sasquatch, where would you publish it first?

I’d want it to be in TIME magazine because I always like their covers, but anywhere where I can always have credit of being the first person to ever capture the Sasquatch.

Click here to share this story on Twitter: http://ctt.ec/08G6y

How to Perfect Your Headlines

July 20, 2015

by Agnes Deleuse, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire Paris

How to Perfect Your Headlines

Photo: startupstockphotos.com

Headlines are made to draw in readers.  They are bait to capture their attention.  On newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media, and, of course, press releases, this is what you see first. According to a recent survey by Copyblogger, 80% of readers don’t read beyond the headline. Thus, your headline better be a catchy one if you want your audience to remember you.

Here are a few tips from Business Wire to help you craft the perfect headline.

1/ Provide real information
No jargon.  Your headline should imply an interesting and relevant question.  You can include figures/data.

2/ Opt for short phrasing
It is a necessity.  Today, titles must be short. Think social media. Write headlines like a tweet or a post. Also, remember that if your release is going to be translated into foreign languages, English is one third shorter than French, for instance!

3/ Write your release first and finish by crafting the headline
It will help you focus on the main message you want to highlight.  You want to target the brain of your reader.  Don’t focus on news release discovery at this stage. To do this, integrate the keywords your audiences use to find your company information in the sub-headline or the first paragraph.

4/ Write at least three headlines, adjusting the order of the words and see which one has more impact.
Work like a sculptor. Add words, remove them, change them, move them around.  You can test the headlines on your colleagues.

5/ Think like a journalist!
If you want your news to catch a journalist’s attention, write a headline that is snappy, informative.  To think like a journalist is also a way to approach a subject the way a journalist would.  Journalists like it when they sometimes just have to copy and paste headlines and body texts directly from a press release!

Quality content, including well-written headlines, contributes to the entire process of delivering information to your right audience.

For additional information on how to craft an effective news release, click here:

Click here to share these tips on Twitter:  http://ctt.ec/fRpwd

Each week we share information relevant to modern communications strategies and tactics.  Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

“Every Business Has an Audience” is a Key Takeaway from SXW2O

March 17, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

The venue was large and had already been entertained by the great Al Roker by the time Jim Weiss (CEO, W2O Group) and Cathy Baron Tamraz (CEO, Business Wire) stepped on stage. They had their hands full with a standing room-only audience and only saying something fundamentally mind blowing would turn it around. Fortunately for the crowd, that’s exactly what happened.

Cathy and Jim at SXW2O event

During the session, Cathy was asked how a newswire service could support a startup or organization that journalists weren’t actively looking for information on. “If you have a business, you have an audience,” she told the crowd. “Safe is not going to win the game.”

More news is being created and consumed now than ever in the history of modern man, she continued, adding that there are trade papers, journalists, online publications and consumers looking for relevant company news every day. You don’t have to be a big name brand to get noticed; you just have to have a good product or piece of news. In a world so cluttered with content, it was refreshing to hear someone say what every successful large and small organization knows to be true. You don’t have to be big to get noticed — you just have to appeal to your core audience.

Apple WatchTo reiterate the point that smaller companies can greatly benefit with a newswire service, Cathy cited her own company’s history. When Business Wire first launched over 50 years ago, they were distributing news for companies like Hewlett-Packard, companies that were being run out of garages. This hasn’t changed much. From startup launches to the introduction of the Apple watch, Business Wire continues to distribute market moving news across a wide range of industries.

Jim Weiss chimed in, adding that startups need to get into the practice of issuing releases. It is important to start building and archiving a digital trail for your company during its earliest stages. The digital revolution also created a wide variety of options for the format of your distributed information.

Both Jim and Cathy agreed that multimedia was not just beneficial to a news release, but a requirement in modern news consumption programming. Modern communicators like Hasbro, Intel, Cigna and more are leveraging multimedia assets like News and Picture Capsules that allow users to play a game while learning about the brand and product. IntelBy incorporating interactive multimedia within the news story, audiences spend far more time on the news announcement than they would had it just been a simple text release.  Text-only news releases engage readers for seconds, while interactive-based releases are showing engagement results between 4-10 minutes – rates that are unheard of in the current communications and content marketing space.

The next topic covered was the importance of measurement in the communication space.  Measurability is the single greatest tool in identifying how a release is impacting the market and the company goals alike. Advents, such as NUVI, create an ability to not only see where your news release is being picked up but who is engaging with it and how – reading, sharing or advocating. Being able to distinguish the public reaction of your release gives you the opportunity to take control over your campaign like never before.

nuvi report

The lineup at this year’s SXW2O was fantastic, and the reason why is because the speakers were inspiring. There is a great feeling to knowing that you can make an impact especially when the message is coming from people who make an impact every day, like Jim Weiss and Cathy Baron Tamraz. The question now is who are you trying to activate with your news, and how can Business Wire help you distribute it?

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

Click here to share this news with your friends, colleagues and Twitter followers:  http://ctt.ec/crfcq

Three Reasons Why PR Professionals Rely On Newswires

February 9, 2015

By Billy Russell, Business Wire Phoenix

Corporate communications have never been more important.  In an internet era where a wealth of knowledge is available at anyone’s fingertips, consumers now have an unprecedented ability to see an entire corporate history unfold before them.  Whether a company is publicly traded or private, it is crucial to a company’s current and longterm success that they communicate initiatives, product rollouts and personnel announcements to the public.  A press release is the tried-and-true surefire method of encapsulating an important, newsworthy event with a cohesive narrative. Once it is written, what happens next?

With so many options available, the task of actually releasing the press release can be daunting.  There are many methods for press release distribution including email blasts and direct pitching to established or discovered contacts at media publications, but for the broadest audience reach possible for your company’s content and breaking news, a commercial newswire like Business Wire is the most effective tool at your disposal.

Why PR Professional Rely on Newswires:

1.  Newswires Increase Visibility – The problem with promoting your news via email is that yay-9159998-digitalultimately it limits the potential impact of your news to only those you already know. A newswire, on the other hand, distributes news to thousands of contacts at one time, via the method they choose to receive news – electronically.  These outlets include major news services like the Associated Press, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Reuters, international news points like JiJi Press and Agence France Press, online services like Yahoo! and key financial communities like J.P. Morgan H&Q.

Outside of the newswire’s proprietary list of media and journalists, many news aggregators utilize newswire feeds to provide relevant content for its desired reading audience.  This means company news can now be discovered and acted upon by thousands of investors and consumers—instantly and on demand.

2.  Newswires Provide Legitimacy – A news release distributed electronically by a newswire will be posted on multiple sites and media sources as opposed to just one company website’s news section, or social channel.   Every media outlet receiving a newswire feed understands that this content has already yay-8022260-digitalpassed through strict publishing guidelines to ensure accuracy and legitimacy.  The efficacy of using a newswire to distribute company news announcements is to live on the web as an official piece of breaking news, to not simply be a single-source announcement.

Distributing your news through a newswire allows you to reach out to the media as a whole (newspapers, magazines, TV and radio), thus inaugurating a company’s name as an official, recognized brand that has a placement in news around the country and in the web.

3.  Trusted Name Recognition – There is nothing more trusted than a familiar name.  Some names become synonymous with products—heck, some corporate names become verbs.  A trusted source is one with a name that is familiar, a name that has become familiar due to reputation and a history of legitimacy.

The media relies on newswires for reputable, vetted company news content.  With an established database of contacts and a unique delivery platform, a newswire can easily deliver a company press release to a media outlet. With thousands of news releases being shared every day, newswires ensure yay-15034446-digitalthat journalists and editors are provided with the content that they need in order to do their jobs.  To make their lives even easier, journalists can use keywords to make sure they receive only the news they are most interested in, by subject and region.

Company news releases are no longer considered to be just a media pitch requesting coverage.  Today’s news releases are viewed as the key source of originating data with more and more media outlets linking to the release to provide readers access to the raw data provided within the press release.

There is an entire world of options to consider when it comes to amplifying your company’s news.  Amplifying your content with newswire distributions ensures you have left no stone unturned in your quest to increase coverage, engagement and sales.

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!

With press release editing, catch erors befor they hapen

December 1, 2014

By Luke O’Neill, Editor, Business Wire Boston

We’ve heard it many times here at Business Wire: We catch a typo in a press release, let the client know, then the voice on the other end of the phone stalls, then sighs, “You don’t know how many people have looked at this thing, and that wasn’t caught.”


That exasperation can be and should be avoided – especially before the release hits the wire and Web. Mistakes, alas, are inevitable, but it’s important to guard against them before they happen. After sending out a press release, the focus should be on promoting your news, not fixing it.

The editing process of any document can be cluttered at times with too many cooks in the kitchen, too many rewrites, and tracked changes simply can be confounding. Plus, don’t edit just for the sake of editing. Sometimes the writer has it right.

At newspapers or websites, editors generally read stories three times and three different ways – have you tried these yet?

  1. Breeze through it initially to get a sense of the story – it’s helpful to literally sit on your hands during this process so you’re not tempted to edit.
  2. The heavy lifting: Rewrite, rework and restructure the story as necessary.
  3. Fine-tune: Polish the prose and clean up typos.

The step between 1 and 2 can be tricky – you need to know how the story needs to be reworked, but that usually comes with practice and experience. This blog, however, is more focused on step 3 – finding those minute mistakes before they become major mistakes.

Eradicating Errors

So how do you sidestep slip ups while editing press releases? Most editors anticipate problems before they occur, know where things could go wrong before they do, ask where things could go wrong and think of the consequences of their editing actions. Yet sometimes it just comes down to having an eagle eye.

yay-3433113-digitalAlso, be mindful that the absence of one lone letter or the transposition of a couple letters changes the meaning of a word, and spellcheck won’t necessarily pick it up.

For example, heath vs. health: A heath is one thing, and health is something different. United vs. untied – these two words clearly have very different meanings. Other common press release examples include: manager vs. manger, complimentary vs. complementary, premiere vs. premier, chief vs. chef and through vs. though.

And be sure to check your spellcheck carefully; don’t just breeze through it because the document may be teeming with tech or biotech words. Often, Spellcheck will flag a word it does not recognize, yet the word is spelled correctly. Then later in the document, Spellcheck will flag a similarly spelled word, but it’s off by one letter. If an editor is on Spellcheck “Ignore All” autopilot, then the misspelled word will fly under the radar.

These spelling discrepancies are especially problematic in business press releases with mismatching company and product names.

‘Confident paranoia’

Many press releases simply could use a healthy dose of preventative medicine – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

yay-1578342-digitalIn my local newsroom, we track the time spent on each correction issued by our clients. In my office, we average about 12 client corrections a month. During high-volume times, that correction total can spike. The corrections can be costly to our clients and counterproductive for everyone.

Some press release corrections are more significant and easily avoidable than others. Some common culprits include: incorrect event dates in releases; incorrect media contact information, especially phone numbers; incorrect titles for people; incorrect press release submitted; and not getting the proper approvals from all the companies involved in the release. But perhaps the most frequent offender is a broken or incorrect embedded hyperlink.

At Business Wire Boston, we preach the idea of “confident paranoia.” Be confident in your editing abilities, but, like a good carpenter, measure twice and cut once.

Luke O’Neill, formerly a newspaper reporter and copy editor, is a senior editor at Business Wire Boston. He has nearly 15 years of communications experience and a master’s degree in journalism.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,062 other followers

%d bloggers like this: