Does Including a Photo Get You More Views? Rutgers CMD Wins SNCR Award for Finding Out

November 13, 2012
by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist/Business Wire – Cleveland

As we’ve stressed again and again, multimedia drives press release views online — our own measurement data shows it, and so does pretty much everyone else’s. This past Friday, though, the Rutgers University Center for Management Development (CMD) won an award from the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) for looking into it in an unconventional way: What happens when you distribute the same release twice, once with a photo and once without?

The photo distributed by Rutgers CMD with their second of two identical press releases one week apart.

With the help of SEO-PR, Rutgers CMD wrote and optimized a press release concerning an upcoming promotion, then distributed it via Business Wire at identical times one week apart, first without a photo, then with one. Everything else – headline, content, formatting, and so forth — was identical. The photo was the only difference.

The result? Despite the fact that Google News didn’t index the second release, it got 20% more views and 63% more clicks in 14 days than the first press release got in 21 days. Taking into account search engine penalties for duplicate content, that’s a pretty impressive result.

Even better, according to Eric Greenberg, Managing Director of Executive Education, Rutgers CMD, “This campaign has already generated seven registrations worth $31,500 in incremental revenue for Rutgers CMD, which is 8.75 times more than the $3,600 spent on writing, optimizing and distributing the press releases over Business Wire with and without a photo. So, conducting the study has paid off financially as well as academically.”

To further bring home the importance of press release optimization, after issuing the press release announcing this award, Rutgers CMD got some very impressive search results:

This is not the first such research that Rutgers CMD and SEO-PR have conducted into press release ROI. Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR recently authored a white paper for Business Wire, Linking Press Release Output to Outcomes, that details three separate sets of research on when best to send a press release and whether an active press release campaign has measurable revenue effects. Download it today to find out more.

Congratulations to Rutgers CMD and SEO-PR on their prestigious award, and we hope to bring you more research from them in the future.


Twitter CEO Speaks to Role in Journalism and Communications at ONA12

October 3, 2012
by Chris Metinko, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/San Francisco

Chris Metinko

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo made clear two points while speaking in San Francisco recently:  he does not consider himself the current leader of free speech, but he does realize the company’s place in journalism and communications, and new tools are on the way to aid those industries.

Costolo made the remarks while speaking to more than 500 journalists and communications professionals at the Online News Association’s annual conference attended by Business Wire. During an onstage interview with Emily Bell, director of Tow Centre for Digital Journalism, Costolo laughed off a question about how it feels to be the head of the free press in the 21st century.

“I don’t view that as my job,” said Costolo, adding he considers Twitter a tech company in the media business. He, however, did acknowledge Twitter’s growing impact on the world of journalism and news dissemination.

“Hopefully Twitter has become a tremendously valuable tool to journalists,” said Costolo, who spoke at the same conference three years ago when Twitter had 80 employees. It now has 1,300 employees.

Twitter’s growing impact among communication professionals could be seen at the conference — where there were more than 34,500 tweets about the conference with hashtag #ONA12, compared to 20,000 tweets for last year’s conference. In a recent study, just under half of all journalists surveyed said they use Twitter for sourcing stories.

Realizing that impact, Costolo said Twitter is working on curation tools he hopes to make available to newsrooms to host live events on the social media platform.

“We have known for a long time that when events happen in the real world, the shared experience is on Twitter and we want to create an ability to curate events,” Costolo said.

He added that Twitter will have the ability by the end of the year to allow users to download past Tweets — something that could help many in the communications field with research and gauging public opinion. Although he cautioned the proposed timeline may not be exact.

“The caveat is that this is the CEO saying this,” Costolo laughed, “not the engineer who’s building this.”

Other tidbits form Costolo:

  • When asked about a Twitter phone, Costolo said he never says never but that is “not the way we think about the company.”
  • Costolo cited New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as the person he would most like to see on Twitter who currently is not.
  • Costolo declined to give disclose Twitter’s revenues when asked — noting the positives of being a private company.

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.


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