How to get Bloomberg’s Attention: PR Tips from the Bloomberg Financial Services Media Breakfast

May 1, 2013
By: Joyce Thian, Zara McAlister and Ciaran Ryan/ BW Toronto

Business Wire Canada partnered with Bloomberg Canada to connect corporate communications professionals within the financial services community with Bloomberg reporters at its Toronto bureau on Friday, Apr. 26.

The view from Bloomberg’s 43rd floor Toronto office is definitely something to write home about. Flanked by city skyscrapers and Lake Ontario glistening in the background, one gets the sense that Bloomberg is doing well. David Scanlan, managing editor for Canada, confirmed this sentiment in his opening remarks at the Bloomberg Financial Services Media Breakfast.

In front of an audience of communications professionals within the financial services industry, Scanlan spoke about Bloomberg Canada’s growth in turbulent times. While many traditional media are downsizing, Bloomberg has been ramping up expansion efforts in major cities across the country — opening a new bureau in Calgary, expanding the newsroom in Montreal, and adding reporters in Toronto and Winnipeg.

“Canada is an interesting story. More and more people around the world are interested in what’s going on in Canada,” said Scanlan.

Canada media breakfast

The conference room before guests and speakers arrived.

With so many eyes and ears in the financial world following Bloomberg’s news, it’s important for your business to be on its radar. Scanlan, along with Toronto bureau chief  Jacqueline Thorpe, and financial services reporters Doug Alexander and Katia Dmitrieva, shared their insights on how PR pros in the financial services industry can ensure their stories resonate with the media.

Scanlan: What makes news?

Bloomberg never suffers from a lack of story ideas.

“We are bombarded every day with hundreds if not thousands of things we could write about,” Scanlan said.

If you want to catch Bloomberg’s eye, keep these questions in mind when pitching a story:

-          Has it got the surprise element? “If you’re a bank opening a new branch at Yonge and Finch, it’s not going to do a lot for us. If you’re opening a branch in a tent in Tripoli, that’s different, that’s surprising. [We’d want to know] what’s going on there.”

-          Is it different? “We’re always looking for ideas from really smart people that other people want to hear from.”

-          Big names?—“We want to know who’s moving on the street, or even who’s fired.”

-          Where’s the money? — “Events, deals, companies that are bigger and have more money at stake are going to be of more interest to us [and our readers around the world].”

 

Thorpe: Top five PR sins

Jacqueline Thorpe, Toronto bureau chief, shared her PR pet peeves:

-          Not knowing what a reporter covers—Know what’s trending and who covers which beat.

-          Flowery press releases—Avoid canned quotations and unnecessary exclamation marks!!! Stick to the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why).

-          Not enough information in press releases—Make sure contact info is accurate and complete.

-          Burying bad news—Always better to be upfront about it.

-          Not being availableBloomberg reporters are needy.” Don’t go on vacation right after issuing a press release.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Alexander and Dmitrieva: How to get (and keep) a Bloomberg reporter’s attention

Doug Alexander and Katia Dmitrieva, both financial services reporters who cover a wide range of sectors, stated their preferences when receiving story ideas.

Alexander prefers an email over a cold call, especially if the pitch ends up being irrelevant. He also stressed the importance of ensuring all important news is included in the first few paragraphs. A heads up on a big story is always appreciatedeven if it’s early in the morning.

For Dmitrieva, it’s all about frequent communication. She’s always open to hashing out story ideas over coffee and developing relationships.  Bloomberg also hosts informal lunches which provide an opportunity to meet with the reporters at the bureau.

And once you’ve made it into the office be sure to check out the view.


Meet the Hispanic Market’s Most Influential Bloggers

April 8, 2013
by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire/Miami

At LatinoWire’s recent webinar “Meet the Hispanic Market’s Most Influential Bloggers,” bloggers from The Wise Latina Club, HispanaGlobal.com, Mamiverse.com, and Hispanicize 2013 shared their formula of success, how they built their blog, projects they are working on, how to effectively reach the Hispanic community and much more.

Below are some highlights from the webinar:

viviana_hurtadoViviana Hurtado, Ph.D – The Wise Latina Club

thewiselatinaclub@gmail.com @vivianahurtado @wiselatinaclub

  • Know your vision, listen to your community and stick to that.
  • There’s a lot of noise and clutter wanting you to be something you’re not, don’t listen.
  • Define who you are and stay in your lane.
  • Think outside the box, I may not be the expert you’re looking for, doesn’t mean we can’t work together, think partnership.

jeannette_kaplunJeannette Kaplun- HispanaGlobal.com jkaplun@hispanaglobal.com @jeannettekaplun

  • Latina women have so many different layers and dimensions.
  • Many question if there’s a market for women, yes!
  • Having a big blogging space and competition makes everyone better.
  • If you ignore your community, there’s nowhere to grow.
  • You need to listen, see the reaction of your audience, and comment.
  • Provide good, helpful content. If readers don’t like what they see/read they won’t come back to your site.
  • Nothing beats interaction, it’s a two-way intersection.
  • Online relationships are like regular relationships, you need to listen!

 

LorraineLaddishLorraine C. Ladish-  Mamiverse.com

lorraine.ladish@mamiverse.com @lorrainecladish @mamiverse

  • Empower and address the mother as a whole – Latina, Mother, bilingual, bicultural, etc.
  • I love the direct connection with the reader.
  • Initiate a conversation, it’s the biggest success you can have.
  • Social media cuts down the barriers, no longer talking to an audience without a face, instead it’s more personal, one-on-one interaction with the reader.
  • Always respect, even the “little people,” you’ll never know how big/successful they’ll be in the future.
  • Be yourself, life is too short.

 

mannyRuizManny Ruiz Hispanicize 2013

manny@hispanicize.com @MannyRuiz @Hispanicize

  • Social media has upped the ante
  • Journalists can now make a living off their own work, all you need is some entrepreneurial skills
  • Hispanicize is the SXSW for Latinos, we’re building entrepreneur opportunities for bloggers.
  • Everyone should learn & understand “content marketing” — it’s here to stay
  • There’s a strong (and growing) community of Spanish language bloggers that are jumping into the fray.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • You’ll break your teeth, make mistakes doing it. It’s ok. If not, you weren’t riding the bike in the first place.
  • Just do it!

If you missed the LatinoWire expert webinar series, a recording is available. For more information on future LatinoWire expert webinars go to www.businesswire.com.

LatinoWire reaches influential Hispanic bloggers, decision-makers and more than 1,200 US-Hispanic newsrooms in both Spanish and English. Click here for more information on LatinoWire and media reach. And don’t forget to visit us at Booth #14 at Hispanicize 2013!


Baseball and Press Releases: Pitching Strategies to Improve Your PR Game

March 28, 2013

by Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, Business Wire/Chicago

Raschanda Hall

Opening day is nearly here, and for me that means more press releases, PR strategies and finding a way to get excited about baseball season, at least until the Rose of basketball season starts to bloom this spring.

I started thinking about press release pitching strategies that connect lovers of one of America’s favorite pastimes and today’s PR practitioners.

Just as in baseball, what many of us could use is a pitching coach.  The goal of any pitching coach is to help the pitcher understand the process, improve mechanics, and provide the tools needed to compete.

If you replace the word “ball” with “pitch,” you’ll see how to improve your PR (and even baseball) game.  Just remember that in the PR game, pitching a no-hitter is no good.  Instead, as a pitcher, you want to give batting bloggers and reporters something they can send soaring.

PR_Pitch_Perfect

Fastball – Get to the point. Share your pitch in 30-45 seconds.  Want them to really knock it out the park? Make that pitch high and inside, just like I like ‘em.  Meaning, give the reporter a well put together pitch that speaks directly to their specific audience and has potential to go far, drawing clicks and re-shares online.

Curveball – Most often a strikeout pitch, this is much slower than the fastball. It takes a long time to get to home plate (the point).  Reporters aren’t hitting this and in PR baseball that’s no good. This is like trying to pitch a story where maybe there is some connection to the publication or readers but it’s not strong. Many players are taught not to swing at a curveball until they’ve got two strikes – a slow news day and a pressing producer.  That said, curveball pitches are great for slow news days .

Knuckleball – Very little or no spin. The story is what it is.  These are often the stories that surprise editors when they go viral.  The reporter has little expectation for it because they just don’t know where the story is going to take them but they know they have to swing anyway.  Think Octomom, or Reuters’s  Oddly Enough.

Change up – This one looks like a fastball and a homer to the reporter and then quickly the pitch breaks. You get the reporter or blogger’s name right. You even show you’re familiar with their work. Then you pitch:  “Hi Ms. Blogger, I really enjoyed your recent piece on the increasing age of automobiles on the road and how consumers can save money on auto repairs.  Since you cover these consumer issues I thought you might like to hear about our family vacation destination ideas this summer. Our resorts provide the cheapest option for a family of four.”  In your mind that sounded like a logical pitch, but to this automotive blogger, your change up looks like an ad and doesn’t even deserve a swing or a referral to the right section.

Slider – Think of the slider pitch as a great sidebar story.  The pitch must be very closely related to a trending story but breaks enough from the original story that it is viewed as supportive and not repetitive.  Think about the sequester:

  • The fastball pitches are direct cuts your city will experience.
  • Slider pitches are support services, suppliers and people impacted by the direct sequester cuts.
  • Alternatively a curveball pitch might be a new trend emerging as a result in changes from the supply services impacted by the sequester cuts.  Still a story but it takes a long time to get back to home plate, in this case, the sequester cut’s impact on the community.

Go ahead,  assume the mound and get to pitching.


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.”


Trends in Today’s Newsrooms: Business Wire Media Luncheon Recap

January 8, 2013
by Cindy Cantu, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Houston
Houston Bureau Chief Richard Stubbe of Bloomberg News and Managing Editor Greg Barr of the Houston Business Journal give tips on pitching stories to the media.

Houston Bureau Chief Richard Stubbe of Bloomberg News and Managing Editor Greg Barr of the Houston Business Journal give tips on pitching stories to the media.

Learning how to attract media coverage was one of the many topics discussed during the Business Wire Media Luncheon: Trends in Today’s Newsrooms, hosted by Business Wire Houston on Dec. 12. Clients had the opportunity to hear perspectives from two of Houston’s top media professionals: Houston Bureau Chief Richard Stubbe of Bloomberg News and Managing Editor Greg Barr of the Houston Business Journal.

There is no secret formula for attracting media coverage, but both panelists agreed there are things businesses should do when pitching stories. First, the communication should be from a top level executive, preferably the CEO, and personalized, not an obvious email blast to numerous media outlets. Second, include as much vital information as possible, so the story can be directed to the appropriate reporter. Finally, if the pitch is regarding a personnel change, always include a high-resolution photo with the actual story. Stories without photos are generally not even considered.

Barr said the public can even upload profiles and photos on their own via the HBJ website, http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/. The profiles and photos go through an approval process, before being posted to the site in the “People On The Move” section.

An obvious email blast is a pet peeve for both Barr and Stubbe. They would much rather receive pitches for an exclusive story, instead of a pitch that is sent to multiple media outlets.

Some news is automatic for the Houston Business Journal. Barr said the publication compiles a comprehensive list of the Top 25 Houston-based public companies each quarter. Other companies are reviewed, but their inclusion in the publication is not automatic. They also report on stock swings and mergers/acquisitions, if they meet certain criteria.

Covering earnings releases is not what it used to be for Bloomberg News, according to Stubbe. He said there is not as much separate reporting on earnings releases anymore because people tend to read the “actual” earnings release instead of Bloomberg’s related article.

In this technology-driven world, the panelists were asked what their publications were doing to keep up with social media. Stubbe said Bloomberg News was still finding its way with social media, but recognized its importance. Barr joked that his perspective on Twitter is to “just follow Ashton Kutcher and go from there.” In reality, he said, his staff utilizes all social media options, including Facebook and Twitter. In fact, HBJ stories are instantly tweeted, he added.

Business Wire Houston would like to thank both Richard Stubbe of Bloomberg News and Greg Barr of the Houston Business Journal for serving as panelists, and the BW clients who attended the event.

Richard Stubbe of Bloomberg News and Greg Barr of the Houston Business Journal answer questions from the audience

Greg Barr of the Houston Business Journal and Richard Stubbe of Bloomberg News

Attendees of Business Wire Houston's luncheon listen as Greg Barr and Richard Stubbe discuss tips on pitching to the media.

Attendees of Business Wire Houston’s luncheon listen as Greg Barr and Richard Stubbe discuss tips on pitching to the media.


Los Angeles Media Breakfast: Content Marketing & PR for Startups

December 13, 2012
by Luis Guillen, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/LA

Starting a new business can be a challenge. Companies are faced with creating interest, establishing brand awareness, and promoting their product to potential customers all from scratch. Marketing is always evolving, and new companies must adapt quickly and efficiently to the new worlds of content marketing and social media.

Business Wire Los Angeles recently invited a panel of industry professionals to speak about content marketing and PR for startups. This well-attended breakfast event generated some very insightful tips from our expert speakers:

Emily Scherberth (moderator) – Founder and CEO, Symphony PR & Marketing Inc.

Dana Block – Account Director, Consumer Technology, Allison+Partners

Dena Cook – Managing Partner, Brew Media Relations

Kevin Winston – Founder & CEO, Digital LA

Kyle Ellicott – Startup & Entrepreneur Columnist, TechZulu/Co-Founder, Techhustlers.com

Start with what’s important. Know who you are, what your company’s message is, and how you differ from the competition. Dena Cook suggested “knowing your objectives, painting a very clear picture to clients, and marching to the same beat” as important steps for companies to help establish credibility. Startups have a great ability to be authentic with the media; remember to give your company a personality.

Do NOT limit yourself. Get out and network —  attending social mixers and meetups is a great way to make yourself relevant. Kevin Winston of Digital LA advised to “find out what the public is talking about . . . certain stories will get picked up depending on ‘what’s hot’ in the media.” Go to events, even if you don’t have a story to pitch, and get involved. Build relationships with journalists and bloggers —  this is an area where many startups fail.

Relationships are important. Journalists are your friends, and have great influence. When pitching the media, do your homework: know the person you are seeking, read their work, and do not blind pitch anyone. Get to know them on a personal level and think long-term. “Establish relationships; it’s important to build a network rather than getting one article written out of it,” said TechZulu columnist and entrepreneur Kyle Ellicott.

Content Marketing is all about objectives. Be mindful of your target audience. “We consume news on-the-go,” said Dena Cook of Brew Media LA, so develop customer-centric content and make that process “organic and as real as possible.” Content marketing should be built around your brand and should always be “relevant, interesting, and easy to understand/make sense,” said Kevin.

The landscape has changed the way we consume information and communicate our message. However, an old rule still applies: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For startups, the best strategy to maximize exposure is for content marketing to supplement your press release campaigns.

Give your company a personality, establish your voice and start a thoughtful conversation.


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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