PRNews #DigitalPR Speakers Share Simple Social Media Strategies That Work

March 11, 2013
by Chris Metinko, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/ San Francisco
Chris Metinko

Chris Metinko

While the advent of social media may seem to have just added another element to the hectic world of public relations, it also can be an invaluable tool in helping build relationships with journalists and prepare for a crisis.

“Journalists use Twitter as research,” said Josh Karpf, director of digital media for PepsiCo at PR News’ Digital PR Next Practices Summit, held last week in San Francisco and sponsored by Business Wire. “Reporters are following you. They are scouring for stories.”

digital_summit-sf20131

Karpf said because journalists already are on social channels, it is a perfect place to connect with them and build relationships. It also is mandatory to closely follow what is being said about your brand on social media and defend your company’s reputation. He said every company should have a social media management tool — like HootSuite or TweetDeck — to follow those conversations.

“You must track your brand,” Karpf said. “If you’re not, you’re already behind.”

David Sommers, director of public affairs for Los Angeles County, agreed. He said organizations must embrace social media as a way to get their message across. Sommers said he understands this well, since it was only four years ago no L.A. County employee was allowed social media access at work.

“We have, historically, not been good at communications,” Sommers laughed.

Sommers said for an effective social media crisis strategy, an organization must:

  • Have a social media management tool in place.
  • Have a pre-made media list of reporters who cover them.
  • Make hashtags for possible crises in advance.
  • Have a plan if the organization’s website goes down.

Sommers added that it’s also important, when using social media, to look for spots where you can jump into a conversation.

“And be relevant,” Karpf added.

While building a social media strategy may be more doable for some brands than for others — PepsiCo has a whole team that follows its brand’s mentions on Twitter — Jake Gasaway, co-founder of Stitch Labs, said it is imperative to be smart with a company’s limited resources when using social channels.

Gasaway said it is important to identify what works best for your company — which turned out to be LinkedIn for Stitch Labs — and go from there. He added social channels also allow a chance to build a real rapport with reporters and use a human touch.

“Don’t forget to say ‘Thank You.’” Gasaway reminded the crowd.


A Timely Tribute to The Titans of The Public Relations Industry

February 4, 2013
by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media/Business Wire
Neil Hershberg

Neil Hershberg, SVP – Global Media

They are part of what television journalist Tom Brokaw famously called “The Greatest Generation,” whose foresight and fortitude helped create an industry whose importance and influence continues to experience unbridled growth.

These pioneers of the public relations industry — Daniel J. Edelman, Lorry Lokey, and David Steinberg — shared much in common: deep journalistic roots that strongly influenced how they approached their professional careers; personal values that didn’t fluctuate with financial success; and bold visionary outlooks that helped transform modern communications.

Edelman’s recent passing provided pundits and practitioners alike the opportunity to reflect on his enormous contributions to an industry that he helped define. His legacy, Edelman, is today the world’s largest independent public relations agency, with 4,600 employees in 63 countries, and revenues of $660 million annually. Its scope and impact continue to expand exponentially, building upon the solid foundation that Edelman cast in 1952.

Daniel J. Edelman

Daniel J. Edelman

Edelman, along with such other industry trailblazers as Harold Burson, Al Golin, and David Finn, collectively laid the conceptual cornerstones for contemporary corporate communications, which today encompasses everything from marketing communications, to government relations, to investor outreach.

Many of the tributes written by Edelman’s colleagues and competitors paid particular homage to his strong sense of ethics, creativity, ambition, humility, and independence.

These timeless traits also characterized two other industry legends, both of whom I’ve had the privilege of working with: Lorry Lokey, the founder of Business Wire, and David Steinberg, the long-time president of PR Newswire.

While Edelman focused on refining and expanding the principles of public relations, Lokey and Steinberg are best known for building the platforms that provided the framework of today’s expansive global communications networks, or “newswires,” as they are commonly referred.

Like Edelman, Lokey and Steinberg also were accomplished journalists, with Steinberg winning the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Journalism in 1958 as a young reporter with The New York Herald Tribune. But they will primarily be remembered for creating the information pathways that integrally linked companies, the news media, and the financial markets. They helped set the stage for what eventually evolved into the SEC’s Regulation Fair Disclosure, which today ensures that all market participants have equal, simultaneous, and unrestricted access to market-moving information that may influence their investment decisions.

Business Wire’s CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz, who worked for Lokey for 26 years, often says that her former boss — and mentor — taught her many valuable lessons about the important role that newswires play in facilitating the news cycle, and the absolute importance of embracing new technologies to ensure effective communications.

“We function as the conduit between the company, the media, and the investment community,” said Tamraz. “It is therefore vital that we get our clients’ news out when they want and where they want it, and that our networks remain on the ‘bleeding edge’ technologically, reaching all market participants at the same time.”

“Lorry taught me to take this role very seriously, 24/7, 365 days a year,” Tamraz added. “We handle routine earnings and product launches, as well as obituaries, crises and just about any type of news that can and will move the markets.”

If the PR profession were to ever create a pantheon of industry icons, then Edelman, Lokey and Steinberg – along with fellow industry stalwarts Burson, Golin and Finn – should be enshrined as charter members.

Fueled primarily by passion and principle, these legends helped set the standards for an industry that has come to impact virtually every aspect, sector and geographic region of the world we live in.

While the public relations industry will always be in a state of perpetual evolution, it is important that we all take an occasional step back and recognize the enterprising men and women who had the courage and ability to turn their dreams into reality, and in the process helped create an industry of truly infinite possibilities.


BW Media Spotlight: The Security Ledger Launches in 2013

January 29, 2013
by Molly Pappas, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Boston
Molly Pappas

Molly Pappas

Paul Roberts, editor and founder of the recently launched security news Web site, The Security Ledger, is part of an emerging trend in journalism:  reporters shying away from traditional media to branch out on their own.  He left his job as an editor at Threatpost.com, Kaspersky Lab’s security news Web site, to launch and work on his own blog last August.

Roberts doesn’t consider himself a pioneer in the field, however.

“I’m not a trailblazer. I looked at Brian Krebs’s site, KrebsOnSecurity.com, and knew I couldn’t do exactly what he did.  But I thought, ‘I am a good reporter and can make this work.’”

He doesn’t believe every journalist can branch out on their own like this, though there are few obstacles to keep them from doing so. To be successful, you need a delicate combination of things – real expertise in a specific subject area where there is an audience for it and for-profit organizations interested in talking about and promoting the content.

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts, editor/founder of The Security Ledger

So, with two sponsors already in place, security firms Qualsy Inc. and Veracode, Roberts and The Security Ledger are now ready for “world domination.”

“Just kidding,” he laughed. “But seriously, [my] goals are really around growing the audience and the exposure of Security Ledger.” With one million page views and 200,000 unique visitors in the first full quarter of operation alone, it seems like Roberts is well on his way.

“I think page views are great, but at the end of the day Security Ledger will rise or fall based on how well we do engaging with and building a community around a very tech-savvy and knowledgeable readership,” he said.

Compared with the capital-intensive publishing industry from 20 years ago, online publishing is a frictionless market and the tools of publishing and distribution have been democratized, through the Internet, blogging and social media, Roberts explained.  With the constant evolution of technology, expensive publishing equipment and paper and ink distribution are no longer necessary tools for having your voice heard.  And because blogging is a nearly-free publishing tool, he clarified, you don’t need “the talent card” to blog. “It’s both amazing and terrifying,” Roberts said.  He, however, is not worried.  This is why credibility in your chosen field is key.

“I think what people want is good, reliable information that is well-reported. In other words, ‘Do your job as a reporter!’” he said.  Reporters are responsible for reaching out to people, getting firsthand information, and then helping to organize and understand it for their readers. “Get the news out there and make it accurate,” Roberts said.  Nowadays, because there seems to be a race among the media to be the first to break a story, readers are beginning to see a drop in accuracy of the news – the initial Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting reports and the early false announcement of Joe Paterno’s death last year both come to mind.  “Many of the gate-keeper or filter functions of the media have atrophied,” Roberts stated.

Readers, Roberts said, are also starting to see an increase in stories, filtered off from news distribution lists and social media, ending up on the front page of major newspapers, like The New York Times. “Most likely, they didn’t break that story. They’re just shooting into the same channels that others are. As a security reporter, who’s written and covered this topic for a while, you see stories eventually bubbling up to the mainstream media, months or more after bloggers have written about it,” he added.

So what does Roberts do to make sure he is bringing accurate, credible and newsworthy information to his readers? “I get up early and go online – social media, various Web sites I follow – to see what’s happened while I was sleeping,” he said. “Depending on what’s going on, it can dictate if I drop everything to write this big story. I follow security researchers, public policy people, the private sector, academia, and so on. I have contacts that will let me know the stuff they’re working on, if it’s not public, but will be soon.” Roberts also cites a big reliance on traditional source development. “I just always have my spidey-sense on.”

If you want to work towards becoming one of Roberts’s go-to source contacts, here’s a few different ways to reach him: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.


The Silicon Florist Shares Some Secrets of Growing Good Relationships with Bloggers

January 24, 2013
by Matt Allinson, International Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire
Matt Allinson

Matt Allinson

Legend has it that Rick Turoczy sat up in bed at 2 a.m. one morning in 2007 and decided to start a blog. The blog, called Silicon Florist, would be the place to go for interesting technology startup news from Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding area, known as the “Silicon Forest.” Suffice to say, that moment of insomnia has been a dream come true. Since that fateful morning, Turoczy’s advised the City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission, chatted with The Oregonian, appeared on local television and radio, made a brief appearance on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, written for leading tech blog ReadWriteWeb, garnered multiple bylines in The New York Times, wound up speaking at a number of conferences, been selected for the Portland Business Journal‘s “40 under 40,” and named to the board of the Software Association of Oregon (SAO).

Rick Turoczy

Rick Turoczy

Before starting Silicon Florist, Turoczy had spent the majority of his career in the marketing/communications industry. His transition to writing has therefore given him great perspective —  he knows very well both the art of the pitch and the art of being pitched. During a recent Business Wire Media event in Portland, OR, Turoczy shared numerous pearls of wisdom regarding the latter. Below are some that are relevant to those of you in the PR world looking to connect with today’s bloggers. On Bloggers Being Held to the Same Standards as Journalists “I’m not a terribly objective journalist . . . I’m not even a journalist. It’s my personal blog, a lot of people happen to read it and I’m thankful for that but when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing objective in that blog. It’s about my opinions on what was occurring. And I tend to like to use this pulpit for cheerleading. It’s not that I don’t see the blemishes of companies, it’s just that I know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, I know what it’s like to be in a start-up and constantly having to defend why you left a well-paying job to go pursue something crazy . . . you’re defending yourself to your family, you’re defending yourself to your friends . . . you get beat up a lot. You don’t need to get beat up by the media. That’s not my job. My job is to say, ‘I like this aspect of what you’re doing, let’s tell more people that you’re doing that.’ And maybe, just maybe, by getting that out there, let’s find some more people who are equally interested or want to work for your company.” On Working with the Media/Bloggers “One thing I’ve been coaching everyone on is don’t ever come to any of these folks (media & bloggers) with some kind of pitch as if you don’t have any competition. If you come to me saying you don’t have any competition, I’m immediately going to go look and find your competition and figure out why you don’t want to mention them. If you say you do have competition, I’m going to take that as you being more open and honest and I’m probably going to come to you for quotes or I’m going to look to you as my source. I’ll trust you as a source time and time again. When people say they have no competition that tells me two things: 1) They’re hiding something or 2) There’s no market there. There’s no such thing as a market of one company. Competition is a good thing. It proves there are other people besides you who are just as crazy to chase whatever that thing is. And from a journalist’s perspective, it immediately helps me get my head around the situation thematically. Journalists and bloggers can smell desperation better than most people so don’t approach them just when you need something, because it will not be well received. It’s important to spend the time building relationships with us so that when you do need something, we’ll know who you are.” On the Role of Communications and How He Likes to be Pitched “For a long time we were taught that our role in communications was, for the lack of a better term, how to lie. Lie about what the company wants out there. Now it’s more about how do you tell a compelling story about your company. I’m really looking for a concise pitch that tells me thematically why your company matters right now.”


Press Freedom in Europe and North America, Part 3

January 18, 2013
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist – Frankfurt
Kai Prager

Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, BW Frankfurt

After looking at the situation of press freedom in Europe in Part 1 and North America in Part 2 , we spoke with Jean-Paul Marthoz of the Committee to Protect Journalists again to find out more about some specific issues journalists are facing :

Business Wire – Taking a look at the member states of the European Union, it is noticeable that press freedom plays a bigger role in some countries than in others. Why are there so many differences?   What do some countries do right and others do wrong?

Jean-Paul Marthoz – There are historical reasons behind this two-tier Europe. Press freedom is a reflection of society and of its institutions as a whole. Blasphemy laws for instance are still in the books in some European countries reflecting the varying status of religion and the various degrees of secularization on the continent. 

There will always be differences among member states regarding the nature and forms of journalism but the fundamentals of freedom of expression, rule of law, media pluralism, etc. should be shared and respected by all member states in order to really create a common and equal “freedom space” across the EU for all EU citizens.

The key point therefore is to review the role that the EU should play in order to assure that each member state respects the European Charter of Human Rights and the other Treaties and conventions ruling the Union, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, which unequivocally defends freedom of expression and press freedom.

BW – The work of the press is usually restricted by governments, but also by companies. Which are the main problems and are there tendencies to a better or worse situation?

JPM – Private companies may exert their influence through the placing of advertising or media ownership, especially in a time characterized by declining circulation or audiences and increased multimedia competition. Although it is often difficult to document cases of direct corporate interference on the media’s reporting or editorial decisions the increased concentration of ownership and the purchase of major media companies by corporations close to the political Establishment are worrisome trends across Europe since they risk limiting the plurality of views and of fostering self-censorship in the coverage of major issues of public interest, especially in the crucial fields of financial and economic issues.

On the legal front some companies have also vigorously used libel laws or injunctions in order to discourage the reporting of their activities. 

For an interesting take on this see our recent blog on the Spanish media and controls there:

The long shadow of Spanish politics over public media

BW – The journalist has the control function in a democratic state and therefore plays an important part. What does it mean when this role is cut down?

JPM – In many EU countries the media still have the capacity and the space to act as watchdogs, as illustrated by the British media’s exposé of the members of Parliament’s abusive expenses of public money as well as the hacking scandal vigorously reported on by the Guardian (UK) as well as by the French media’s dogged investigations of alleged political influence-peddling under President Sarkozy.

Journalism is in crisis indeed due to economic, technological and societal factors but also as a result of the rise of citizen journalists that question its role and legitimacy. There is a growing awareness however that European society needs, to paraphrase Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, “an uninhibited, robust, and wide-open free press for a new century”, especially in the context of the deep economic and ontological crisis that Europe is going through.

BW – What kind of influence has the sinking media circulation and the move to digital media (Internet, mobile devices, social media, etc.) on press freedom?

JPM – The financial crisis facing legacy media has been weakening their power to effectively provide critical coverage of public and private institutions. In some countries like France, Germany or in Scandinavia the public service channels have been able to provide a counter-weight to these trends but their reach has been fragmented and diminished by a profusion of other media voices. The alternative provided by online media and bloggers is still in its infancy but many media analysts and journalists are confident that new models will emerge that will confirm the role of journalism, even if newly defined, as a key pillar of democratic societies. 


Press Freedom in Europe and North America, Part 2

January 16, 2013
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Frankfurt
Kai Prager

Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, BW Frankfurt

After looking at the situation of press freedom in Europe in Part 1 of our interview with the Committee to Protect Journalists, we will now focus on North America. CPJ’s Advocacy and Communications Director Gypsy Guillén Kaiser gives us an overview:

In North America, as the Occupy movement has spread beyond Wall Street, U.S. journalists have been detained and some have been attacked by U.S. law enforcement officers during turbulent encounters between police and protesters.  Another more visible issue has been the investigation into Wikileaks, which CPJ warned in 2010 could have dire consequences for press freedom. In a letter to President Obama we stated that the US Constitution protects the right to publish information of important interest to the public. That right has been upheld through decades of American jurisprudence and has served the people well. Our concern is and remains, that a Wikileaks prosecution would reverse these long-standing positions and threaten grave damage to the First Amendment’s protections of free speech and the press.

In Mexico, our biggest concern right now is stopping the ceaseless violence against journalists. After promising a CPJ delegation in 2008 and again in 2010 that Mexico would address rising anti-press crimes in the country, finally in 2012, President Felipe Calderón’s administration approved legislation making attacks on the press a federal offense. As newly elected president Enrique Peña Nieto prepares to take office in December, CPJ is continuing its work for justice in the killings of Mexican journalists and a stop to silencing by murder.

Gypsy Guillén Kaiser

Gypsy Guillén Kaiser

In Honduras we are concerned that the press continues to suffer from the violent fallout of the 2009 coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Due to political and drug-related violence as well as widespread impunity, Honduras, a nation of 7.5 million people, is one of the most dangerous countries in the region for journalists, CPJ research shows. It is also important to contextualize this violence and note that Honduras is one of the world’s most violent countries. A 2011 United Nations report found that it has the world’s highest per capita homicide rate, with 82.1 murders per every 100,000 inhabitants.

At least 14 journalists have been killed since President Porfirio Lobo took office in January 2010. The systematic failure of Honduran authorities to investigate these crimes has frustrated any attempt to solve the murders, CPJ said in a letter sent to President Lobo in December 2011. A 2010 CPJ special report, “Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures,” found that the government has been slow and negligent in pursuing journalists’ killers. As a result, many journalists fear the murders have been conducted with the tacit approval, or even outright complicity, of police, armed forces, or other authorities.

The climate is so intimidating that reporters told CPJ that they don’t dare probe deeply into crucial issues like drug trafficking or government corruption. Many print reporters have removed their bylines from their stories.

Besides damaging the country’s democracy, the June 2009 military-backed coup that ousted leftist former President Zelaya fractured the national press corps into opposing camps. Journalists in favor of the coup or who work for media outlets that supported Zelaya’s ouster are known in Spanish as “golpistas” or “coup-backers,” while those who opposed it have been pigeon-holed as “resistencia,” or part of the political resistance. Local journalists state that when “resistance” journalists are attacked or killed, the news receives scant attention or comment from pro-coup media—which includes most of the country’s major television, radio, and print outlets.

After this overview on press freedom in Europe and North America, we will talk some specific issues in Part 3.


Press Freedom in Europe and North America, Part 1

January 14, 2013
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist – Frankfurt
Kai Prager

Kai Prager, Media Relations Specialist, BW Frankfurt

When we hear the words “press freedom,” we think about remote countries where journalists are killed or imprisoned and newspapers & magazines are closed for not reporting in favor of the ruling party. Though we read about reporters being threatened in Europe and North America as well, we usually forget about it very quickly, casting these aside as minor incidents. But what are these minor incidents?  And how minor are they?

To find out more about what is happening in Europe and North America, regions that usually are not associated with restrictions of the press, I contacted the Committee to Protect Journalists – an organization that operates worldwide to promote press freedom and takes action when journalists are threatened or restricted in their work.

The Belgian journalist and CPJ Senior Advisor Jean-Paul Marthoz  gave me an overview on the situation in Europe:

Western Europe is undoubtedly one of the safest zones for the press in the world. Some journalists, however, have faced threats and attacks related to their coverage of criminal organizations (leading Italian journalist Roberto Saviano who wrote on Naples’ mafia is under constant police protection), of religion (the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were fire-bombed after the publication of an special issue on Sharia) and of extremist political groups (the Greek neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn has directly threatened journalists).

Journalists, especially photographers, have also been roughed up by the police when covering social protests in Spain and Greece.

Jean-Paul Marthoz

Jean-Paul Marthoz

In countries like France, Italy and Spain, public service media have been submitted to various forms of control and influence by governments, especially through the power of the ruling parties to appoint presidents, directors and editors in chief of public radio and TV channels.  In some countries the protection of sources remains weak, libel laws are used as punitive weapons against inquisitive media.

In the “New Europe” (former members of the Communist bloc) several countries have frontally attacked fundamental principles of press freedom. Hungary in particular adopted a new media law and a new constitution that have undermined press freedom and pluralism, in particular by concentrating excessive power in the hands of the government. In Romania and Bulgaria the media have been confronted by political pressures and the interference of criminal groups.

 These national “bad examples” threaten the EU as a whole since they undermine the principles of human rights and democracy on which the European project has been built.

Media policies in specific countries often depend on the electoral politics. President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Berlusconi’s defeats have undoubtedly cleared the air in France and Italy but press freedom should be considered an “untouchable principle” irrespective of who is in government.

On the positive side these “cracks” in the pillars of press freedom have mobilized journalists at the European level and have forced the European Union to seriously consider its role in the protection of fundamental freedoms in each and all of its member states. While the powerful European Commission is slowly waking up to its responsibilities as the guardian of the EU’s Treaties the European Parliament is increasingly seeing its role as that of a guarantor of press freedom within the EU.

(Part 2 of this 3-part series will appear on Wednesday, Part 3 on Friday.)

Austin Media Professionals on Social Media, Pitching and More

November 29, 2012
by Erica Shuckies, Account Executive, Business Wire/Austin

During a particularly busy news week for Austin media, the Business Wire Austin office hosted a “Meet the Media” luncheon, featuring Colin Pope, editor of the Austin Business Journal; Corrie MacLaggan, national correspondent for Reuters; and Bonnie Gonzalez, morning live reporter for Your News Now Austin. Paying mind to the notion that “news happens”, the luncheon was smack dab in the middle of preparation for the inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix race and memorial services for legendary University of Texas football coach, Darrell K Royal. Needless to say, we were glad to have the panel available to chat with us.

The conversation focused around the increasingly evolving worlds of public relations and news; specifically, how the media’s day-to-day operations are affected by these changes. Topics included the growth of social media (among both reporters and PR professionals), the importance of multimedia in PR, and the differing preferences among media outlets.

Colin Pope mentioned something that is a good reminder for us all before pitching any media: “remember your audience”. Every pitch should be catered to the individual to whom you are speaking, and each person could have a different preferred method of contact. Follow and interact with them on social media, read past stories they’ve covered, and look through their bios. You will often discover that one reporter prefers email communications, while another loves to chat on social media. As an example of this, Bonnie Gonzalez noted that she uses Facebook for story discovery and research, while Corrie MacLaggan sticks to Twitter. If you skip over this important step, your news will most likely get lost among the many hundreds of story ideas these people see each day.

Moderator Raschanda Hall, from the Business Wire Chicago office, posed an interesting question for the panel: how ethical is the use of social media by reporters for breaking news? Colin Pope answered it best by noting that the job of a reporter is to pass news to the public. As long as they use good judgment and follow any organizational guidelines, how they decide to disseminate that news is up to them.

Here are a few more key takeaways from the event:

  • Keep your press releases short and to the point. Too often, the lead in a release will be buried under ‘fluffy’ information leading up to the important details.
  • Target your pitches and press releases to the right individuals. Do your homework and don’t waste their time. Keep in mind that the media has increasing sets of responsibilities, yet the same amounts of time to accomplish all of the extra tasks.
  • Visuals are a BIG deal. Not only do visuals make the story more likely to get read, but they also give the journalist another aspect of the story to use, enhancing the final product and making their job easier.
  • If you are going to add multimedia to a press release/pitch, make sure it is a professional, high-quality file. Color files are always a plus.
  • Let the media know that you (or a spokesperson) are available as a subject expert in your industry. When journalists are writing a piece about a particular industry, they often like to have outside sources comment on the story. Just like that, you gain easy exposure for yourself and your company!

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“Meet The Hispanic Media Features Panel” Webinar Recording Now Available

October 10, 2012

If you missed LatinoWire’s Expert webinar,“Meet The Hispanic Media Features Panel,” with reporters from Efe News Service, Fox News Latino, NBC Latino, and Vista News Magazine, fear not! A recording of the webinar is now available for your listening pleasure.

Speakers:

Moderators:

Despite the issues we had with the audio (and we apologize), it was probably one of the most well-attended LatinoWire Expert Series Webinars to date — with lots of good tips, take-aways and contact information.  Below you’ll find a summary of what was said by each of our speakers, and should you wish to listen again to the full Webinar, kindly click on this link.

Claudia Solis - Servicio Hispano at Efe News Services

csolis@efeamerica.com

  • Servicio Hispano is focused exclusively on US Latinos for the past 8 years and is the main news supplier of many Spanish media outlets in the US, such as Univision, impreMedia, MSN Latino, Yahoo!, CNN en Español, Fox Latino, and about 90 other clients.
  • Our network has 20 correspondents, who are distributed throughout the main Latino markets in the US in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
  • We cover the Hispanic community in the US from entertainment to immigration, including sports, features, education, politics, community, etc.
  • We are looking for new voices, emerging topics, and exploring angles in coordination with the photo and video departments.
  • For product/service type stories we prefer that they have a human angle to them. Find an angle that tells a story and that is about people.
  • We are a Spanish-language news agency and prefer to receive news stories in Spanish but can work with English-language stories too.
  • Prefer to be pitched via email.

Carolyn Salazar — Fox News Latino

Carolyn.Salazar@Foxnewslatino.com

  • Targets second and third generation Latinos.
  • It has hardhitting, in-depth, investigative and light story lines from around the country and Latin America.
  • Launched two years ago, the website puts face on Latino issues through profiles or niche stories.
  • FNL covers news, politics, lifestyle, entertainment and health stories.
  • Daily operation so always looking for stories and story ideas. We cover substantive social issues and lighter stories that a human dimension to important Latino issues.
  • Since we have a national reach, we prefer issue-type stories and trends, rather than local events and products.
  • We like pitches tied to big events or holidays.
  • Prefer pitches by email, do not like phone calls.  We do appreciate when pitches know and understand our audience – second/third generation Latinos who still care about their culture, but are more comfortable speaking and reading in English.
  • We do profile individuals and companies, but the person and company should either be well-known or be doing something no one else is doing and that few people know about.
  • I appreciate pitches that show some preliminary reporting suggesting what the theme or the angle of the piece might be.

Nina Terrero — NBC Latino
Nina.Terrero@nbcuni.com

  • NBC Latino is unique from other Latino audience outlets because every single subject area we cover (politics, news, lifestyle, entertainment, technology and more) is written from the perspective of moving it beyond the usual conversation towards something more inspired, empowered and energized.
  • We report beyond the expected headlines and try to reflect our audience; where they come from and where they are headed. We know our audience is smart and accomplished, and we know they aspire for even more.
  • As someone who produces lifestyle content, I appreciate working with publicists who can write an articulate, compelling pitch (whether it’s a product launch, news-you-can-use, industry developments, etc.) accompanied with (when applicable) pictures, video and access to expert sources.
  • Email works best, but a follow-up call is often appreciated and I am accessible via Twitter as well at @thenininsky.
  • My stories appear throughout NBC Latino on various verticals and have run on NBC Universal outlets like the Today Show, Nightly News with Brian Williams, Education Nation and MSNBC.
  • Towards that end, I appreciate working with someone who can look beyond the expected to create a story that’s compelling and reflective of a dynamic population here in the United States.

Marissa Rodriguez — Vista Magazine

marissa.rodriguez@vistamagazine.com

  • Vista is a 27-year-old magazine that caters to Latinas, helping them “live the good life made simple.” We are a resource guide for living an organized, streamlined and fulfilled life.
  • In both print and on our website www.VistaMagazine.com, we focus on simple solutions for everyday challenges in the areas most important to our reader’s lives.
  • In print we publish six themed issues per year: Health (January/February), Work & Life (March/April), Parenting (May/June), Back to School & Style (July/August), Education & Hispanic Heritage (September/October) and Holiday (November/December). However, each issue offers an array of content across the spectrum of topics we cover. Our tone is inspirational and aspirational, but always accessible.
  • The best pitches for us are those about people or things that can show us how to make our lives easier. Ideally, they should also be very in-culture, featuring Hispanic spokespeople or sources, showing how they relate to Latinos, or be otherwise very relevant to our audience.
  • We are a dual-language magazine and website, so pitches in both languages are accepted.
  • Pitches with images are preferred.
  • For print, our ideal time frame is 60 days prior to circulation. Pitches for web can be accepted with a much shorter lead-time. E-mail pitches are preferred.

Getting Your Pitch Camera-Ready: Tips for PR Pros from National Broadcast Media

October 9, 2012
- by Shawnee Cohn, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York
MRT

Shawnee Cohn

In the public relations field, there’s no placement like a national broadcast TV placement. Getting your client on a top television program offers invaluable publicity. However, with this much sought-after media coverage comes much stiffer competition to get your pitch noticed by reporters and producers.

Recently the New York chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) held a media panel of experts from top, national broadcast television programs.

Moderated by Suzanne Lyons of Ketchum Public Relations, the panel included:

Following are some highlights that the experts offered for communications professionals:

Build a relationship: While some reporters and producers strictly prefer e-mail communication, others might be willing to meet with you at their office or to grab a coffee. Face-to-face time can go a long way in terms of building a rapport with the media, said Raff. At the Rachael Ray Show, most of the talent bookings originate from PR pros that Crudup has known for over 10 years.  Weber agreed, noting that she prefers to only speak over the phone with publicists who she has an established connection with. If you do not already have a standing relationship with a certain member of the media, the best way to begin developing one is by offering quality pitches.

Lend a helping hand: Reporters and producers know best when it comes to what their viewers want. With that said, giving them a “head start” when it comes to a storyline is always appreciated, noted Raff. If your pitch is in some way helping her do her job better and faster, Weber will be more likely to give it more than a passing glance. All of the panelists were in agreement that video and images are essential to give your pitch a leg up. In the world of TV, offering a visual element to your story cannot be overlooked. A useful tactic is to think of who/what you would like to see on TV prior to sending your pitch, according to Weber. If you do not find your own pitch interesting, than the media probably will not, either.  Jarvis suggests finding some element of “tension” to your story, by discussing the “players and competitors” or other intriguing aspects. Keep in mind that for human interest stories, the individual at the center must be able to speak about their experiences live and in an articulate, compelling way.

Be upfront: If your client is a paid spokesperson or is scheduled to appear on several other television programs, honesty is the best policy. “Communication is key,” according to Raff. Producers might be flexible and even let your paid spokesperson mention their product several times, as long you are open about their intentions right off the bat. Television shows always want an exclusive and prefer to know ahead of time if they would be following a competitor by covering your story. “Withholding information is not good and puts your reputation at risk,” warned Weber. If a client appears on a program and only gives manufactured answers seemingly crafted by a PR person, the relationship between the publicist and that particular show could be permanently damaged, noted Jarvis.

For more information on the PRSA New York Chapter , visit www.prsany.org. You can also get the latest entertainment news by registering at www.businesswire.com


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