New Study Reveals Trends in Mobile News Consumption

October 1, 2012
by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

A joint study by The Economist Group and the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism, released today, explains how tablet and smartphone ownership is changing how people read news. The study, called “The Future of Mobile News: The Explosion in Mobile Audience and a Close Look at What It Means for News,” is rich in detail on topic after topic, including ownership trends, paywall effectiveness, mobile ad effectiveness, article depth, and more.

One table reveals what times tablet users tend to view news during the day, depending on whether they check news once or multiple times. The implication for corporate communicators: Make sure you’re releasing your news at the right time for your target media to see it, act on it and plug it into their own news hole.

Elsewhere, the study outlines the differences in news consumption among tablet user who use mostly apps, mostly their browsers, or a combination of the two:

Again, based on this information, communicators can decide whether it’s in their interest to target web-based online publications, to ensure that their news shows up in mobile news apps, or even whether they should be developing their own apps.

The complete study is full of data and information that will help your company develop its communications, public relations, marketing and mobile strategies. It’s worth a read by all professional communicators, journalists, and anyone connected to the news business.


MINNEAPOLIS: Newsroom 2012: Best Practices for Engaging the Media

September 24, 2012
by Jane Cracraft, Senior Client Services Representative
Business Wire/Minneapolis
Jane Cracraft

Jane Cracraft

Business Wire Minneapolis’ Meet the Media event in downtown Minneapolis was at full capacity with IR and PR professionals from around the region.

The panel consisted of David Brauer, of MinnPost; Julio Ojeda-Zapato, of the St. Paul Pioneer Press; Todd Stone, of the Star Tribune; Dirk DeYoung, of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; and Michelle Cortez, of Bloomberg. The quintet discussed many topics, and the meeting was very capably moderated by Brad Allen, longtime IR exec, journalist, university adjunct instructor and consultant.

(l-r) Brad Allen, moderator; Julio Ojeda-Zapato, Pioneer Press; Dirk DeYoung, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal; Todd Stone, Star Tribune; David Brauer, MinnPost; Michelle Cortez, Bloomberg

The event focused on how to best pitch your company’s story and reporters’ increasing use of social media such as Twitter for story leads. In fact, Twitter was mentioned far more than any other social media topic.

Below are a few tips captured from the event:

Pitching:

  • Introduce yourself to reporters before making your pitch by writing a personal note.
  • Schedule a meeting with the reporter; it is their job to know their sources.
  • Cultivate and nurture those media relationships.
  • Do not pitch to a reporter without knowing his/her beat.
  • Well-crafted pitches are crucial: the size of a company is less important than the quality of the pitch.
  • The pitch should be concise and strong. Brevity is encouraged.
  • Write in plain English. Avoid overuse of acronyms.
  • Be specific. Explain what is new and why it matters.
  • It is impossible to send a beat reporter a timely copy of a press release you have already issued via any traditional source. They have it; they measure in seconds.
  • Include more multimedia! This is one of the first things they look for.
  • Don’t get discouraged if they don’t pick up your story; try again. They want news. Keep in mind the reduced staff in most newsrooms.
  • For public companies: noteworthy pitches are those that effect the movement of money.

 Twitter:

  • Twitter enforces brevity, which is a good thing.
  • Twitter can be useful for finding sources for stories.
  • Twitter pitches via “direct message” are increasingly popular, and welcome (again, brevity is key, and well-crafted messages are crucial).
  • A wise PR person will form a Twitter relationship with key reporters.
  • Twitter is a perfect place to tease a story, but be careful not to expose baseline reporting.

Earnings:

  • Earnings: try to release other info around the time you release your earnings. It will make your earnings more noteworthy to those watching your company or industry.
  • Earnings: growth is important. Put that at the top.
  • Provide numbers of revenue and employees.
  • While full earnings are often geared toward analyst audiences, your earnings releases will catch journalists’ eyes more readily if the stock price is dramatically affected or other noteworthy changes are announced.

Social media is ever in flux and you might feel like you need to be on your toes all the time. You do! The Twin Cities scene is a highly literate and educated market with many great publications; these factors make for one of the healthiest media markets in the nation. PR and IR folks can form a relationship or trust with a reporter via social media. If you use it wisely it can help you as a PR person.

Always remember, stories with multimedia get more traffic.

For more in-depth discussion of the “big 3” social media sites – Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook – check out this Business Wired post by Chris Metinko, Media Relations Specialist.

To follow our panelists and moderator on Twitter:

David Brauer: @dbrauer

Julio Ojeda-Zapato: @ojezap

Todd Stone: @StribBizEditor

Dirk Deyoung: @ddeyoung

Michelle Fay Cortez: @FayCortez

Brad Allen: @Brad_D_Allen


Putting the Big 3 to Work for You

August 14, 2012
by Chris Metinko, Media Relations Specialist,Business Wire/San Francisco

Ever wonder how to use Pinterest or Facebook to push your campaign? Can you reach out to journalists via Twitter?

These questions and many others were tackled at PR News’ The Big 3 Conference: Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook in San Francisco last week. The conference — which was sponsored by Business Wire and attracted a few hundred media and public relation specialists — featured nearly a dozen panels on the do’s and don’ts in using social media’s biggest names for marketing and outreach.

“Social media is a remarkable tool for self annihilation,” joked Walter Neary, a public relations director for Comcast in Washington state, while sitting on a panel discussing how to use Twitter to gain a competitive edge in media relations.

The panel examined if and how journalists use Twitter in their reporting. A recent study by Oriella showed 55 percent of reporters use social media to find stories from sources and 43 percent verified stories using social media. Nearly 50 percent have professional Twitter profiles.

With so many journalists on Twitter, the social media platform can be an important tool for building a relationship with reporters and even pitching possible story ideas.

Laura Perry, director of communications at UCLA School of Nursing, said in order to do that, it’s important to create a profile that attracts reporters. She added you also must be active and participate on the platform to effectively use it with journalists.

“Listen, reply, retweet,” Perry said was a good mantra.

Perry added Twitter even could be a good way to meet face-to-face with reporters, since many journalists use Tweetups — an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in-person — to build relationships with sources.

Neary said there are a handful of keys to keep in mind while using Twitter in communications work, including: know your community and who you are engaging, have a clear purpose, read anything at least three times before you post and be genuine.

“Reporters expect you to be full of crap because you’re a PR person . . . Be genuine,” said Neary, adding it also is important to take chances.

”If you don’t take risks, you aren’t using (social media) tools properly,” he said.

Follow Neary (@wtneary) and Perry (@UCLANursing) on Twitter, and view Chris’s presentation below:


Social Media Fad or Future? Industry Insiders Offer Advice for Identifying and Embracing Both

June 26, 2012

by Chris Metinko, Media Relations Specialist/ San Francisco

In today’s culture, what is “now” becomes “then” in less time than it takes to tap out 140 characters. That’s why Business Wire’s San Francisco office recently held a media breakfast to discuss new trends, passing fads and what to keep your eye on in the world of social media.

“My niece and nephews aren’t even on Facebook,” said Tim O’Keeffe with the Horn Group. While not predicting doom for the social media giant, O’Keeffe pointed out both Twitter and Tumblr as sites he sees the most potential for in the communications filed.

O’Keeffe commented he sees social media still in its early adolescence — able to connect people to others they already know, but not yet effectively developing relationships between strangers.  However, current hit sites such as Foursquare, and up-and-comers like Path and the futuristic Project Glass from Google with its augmented reality headset, may help push social media into its next developmental stage. “Foursquare’s got this database of information that makes Yelp look like scribbles on a wall,” said Drew Olanoff, a writer and editor at The Next Web.

Of course Twitter dominated much of the discussion, especially with its recently debuted expanded news sites. “It’s changed everything,” Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s senior computing editor, said of Twitter. “When you have a story, it’s not just thinking about the headline — it’s thinking about what you’re going to tweet.”

However, when tweeting or using any social media, the panelists warned some rules should be followed, or as O’Keeffe put it:

“With these tools come great power but also comes great responsibility,” borrowing the famous Spider-Man line.

“Be human, don’t be a robot,” said Simonite, adding these sites not just allow, but demand, users show some kind of personality.

Sam Laird, a writer with Mashable, added companies should use social media to be engaging and interesting, using the Los Angeles Kings’ Twitter feed as an example. While most teams tweet out photos or news, the Kings used their feed to crack jokes at other teams and rile up fans during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup. “It was fun,” Laird said.

Olanoff gave the best and simplest advice — but something not always followed. “Don’t be lame,” Olanoff exclaimed.


Moving to Mobile: Tips for PR Pros on Creating a Winning Mobile App

December 20, 2011
– by Shawnee Cohn, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/NY
MRT

Shawnee Cohn

If you think mobile apps are solely for fun and games, think again.

A recent study conducted by Flurry showed that consumers are spending more time on their mobile applications than on the Internet. The tablet revolution is changing the way in which journalists tell stories, as well as how they prefer to be pitched.

However, PR pros do not have to sit back and wait for their clients to generate media coverage. Smart businesses can ‘go mobile’ by creating their own apps to connect with customers and build their brand.

Here at Business Wire, we launched our very own mobile app so that our news content can be easily accessed from any location.

Leaders in the industry insist that PR professionals must not only learn about mobile app development, but also take advantage of the opportunities it offers to increase brand loyalty.

However, not every application hits a high note, and many have failed in the past. So what is the formula to create a successful mobile app?

Recently the International Association of Business Communicators/NY Chapter hosted a panel covering the ways in which brands can utilize mobile strategy to strengthen their PR, communications and marketing efforts.

The panel featured:

  • David Weiner, Digital Media Manager, PepsiCo
  • Lou Tosto, SVP Digital & Mobile Sales, CNBC.com
  • Sarah Meron, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications, American Express Company
  • Adam Carey, Client Services Director, Imano
  • Nicole Kuritsky, Senior Manager Emerging and Social Media, Rodale

The group of mobile marketing experts had a wealth of beneficial tips to offer regarding best mobile practices. Here are some key take-aways:

The customer is key: The panelists agreed that positive user reviews are highly influential when it comes to the success of your app. Make sure that your design allows for both a seamless and engaging user experience. Also, keep in mind that including polls and surveys within your app can be a valuable tool to help you learn about your audience.

Ask yourself, “Do I need an app?”:  Sarah Meron of American Express notes that brands must consider whether their application creates a new experience for the user, different from that which is available on the original website. Will your iPad app offer value that the customer cannot find on any other platform? David Weiner of PepsiCo commented that brands should first place emphasis on becoming mobile-friendly before beginning the app development process. You might be convinced that your app is the first of its kind, but take a thorough look at the various stores to make sure an app similar to yours does not already exist, suggests Nicole Kuritsky of Rodale.

If you build it, they might not come: Building an app does not necessarily guarantee that customers will automatically rush to download it; thorough marketing and PR efforts are still as critical as ever. Make sure all systems are go before the app is live, and remember to include a link to the app store in whatever marketing materials you release to promote the new development. Adam Carey of Imano also suggests including a casual game within the app to spark the interest of potential customers. But be careful before you try to create the application yourself; development is a complicated undertaking. Partnerships with mobile consulting firms are the “name of the game,” and you “will fail if you try it yourself,” according to Sarah Meron of America Express.

 For more information on the IABC New York Chapter , visit www.nyiabc.com. You can also get the latest mobile/wireless news by registering at www.businesswire.com.


Monika Maeckle: New Media Career Exemplified by Change Morphs to the Next Stage

November 15, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President of New Media

Today my career at Business Wire comes to an end and my first thought is that I will miss you, our clients, colleagues, webinar attendees and readers of the Business Wired blog.   I leave you in the able hands of our talented marketing team, who just picked up a fourth award from the Society of New Communications Research.

Change has been the only constant in my combined 16 years here.   When I joined the company the first time, in New York City in 1987, we considered the fax machine “new media” and the Internet was in its infancy, relegated to use by universities and computer geeks.   That was the year the domain www.apple.com came online, Microsoft gave us Works, and Compuserve (remember them?) introduced the GIF standard for images.  

Back then, Cathy Baron Tamraz managed the New York Region for Business Wire, Gregg Castano, who recruited me, served as New York City sales manager, and Phyllis Dantuono  was my fellow account executive.    This talented triumvirate now serves as Business Wire’s CEO, President and COO.    

We were the East Coast pioneers of Business Wire, planting the flag in Manhattan for founder Lorry Lokey’s budding California wire service empire.  I was sad to leave two years later, but family called me home to Texas in 1989.

Eight years later I reconnected with the New York crew when I read in Texas Monthly Magazine that the wire services were opening in Texas.   I called Cathy, and with the foresight worthy of a Berkshire Hathaway CEO, she dispatched the affable Tom Mulgrew (now Vice President of Agency Relations) to recruit me from the boutique PR agency I was running at the time.  Tom and I hit it off, and soon we opened an office in San Antonio.  Dallas and Houston followed shortly, and the rest is Business Wire history.
 
What a fun ride we’ve shared: opening offices in Texas and abroad, yanking marquis accounts from the grasp of our rivals, learning and launching new tools and technologies too numerous to name.   I’ll never forget staging a luncheon in San Antonio in the late 90s, encouraging clients to “join the webolution” and explaining “Spam, it’s not just a meat product anymore.”  And then there was that major deal we did with Warren Buffett.  Berkshire Hathaway bought the company in 2005 and owns it to this day. 
 
The landscape keeps changing, and yet Business Wire remains constant, always out front.   
 
While it’s tempting to focus on the frustrations of the daily grind in this tough economy, I leave Business Wire proud to have been part of a team that in spite of any challenge, continues to set the pace, lead the way, and stage the industry for what comes next–whatever that is.  
 
For me, that will mean launching a strategic consulting and communications firm in 2012 with my talented former newspaper editor husband, Robert Rivard.  In the meantime, you’ll find me at the Texas Butterfly Ranch–a blog about the life cycle we all share.  Please stay in touch and feel free to subscribe.
 
Until we meet again, I wish each of you the best.
 

Social Media Press Releases, Like Color TVs, Have Been Coopted: They’re ALL Press Releases

November 1, 2011

by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Services Specialist

Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

The term “social media press release” surfaces from time to time to describe a release crafted especially to appeal to the tweeting/blogging/posting crowd that comprises its purported target audience.  On its face, there is nothing wrong with this concept.  We advise crafting Google-friendly, keyword-rich headlines to make sure search engines can find press releases.

But using a separate label and special (sometimes truly ugly) formatting to create a press release specifically for sharing misses the point.  That idea may have had merit when introduced five years ago, but it now seems as dated as hailing color TV or air mail.    Today, EVERY press release should serve as a “social media press release” (search-engine-friendly and easy-to share press release) if the person crafting it does the job properly.

Business Wire recently revamped its news display to encourage and facilitate sharing.  Many of these features  enhance the social media value of releases without making them unreadable by a person with a normal attention span.  The most significant enhancements from a social media perspective are the prominence of sharing icons for popular sites (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and the ability to share photos and videos as discrete assets.

Below we’ve listed basic tips for building effective, web-friendly, news releases that will be found, seen and shared.  Take a look:

  • Create a short but descriptive headline
  • Put the most important information in the first paragraph
  • Don’t just tell, SHOW–include multimedia
  • Know the audience you want to reach
  • Be clear about why that audience should care

I recently reviewed videos submitted by public relations students for Business Wire’s College Video contest on The Future of Public Relations. Even though the students acknowledged the importance of social media, some speculating on future technological changes, an important thread emerged from their presentations:  effective press releases rely less on technology than on the personal connections that the press release content makes with the audience.

At its best, a “social media press release” makes that connection so those reading it feel compelled to pass it along.


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