The Role of Consistency in News Releases, and Gym Workouts

February 28, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director, Social +Evolving Media, Business Wire

StetchingEarlier this month, CommPro.biz published a piece by Business Wire Newport’s Kathy Tomasino outlining the seven reasons why sending out a news release is a lot like going to the gym and sharing her top tips for creating a communications fitness plan.

Click here to read this piece. Have a comment or a tip of your own?  We would love to hear your thoughts!  Just leave a message in the comment section below.


Studies Show Reporters Rely on Press Releases — Are You Providing Them With What They Need?

February 21, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social + Evolving Media, Business Wire

In this day and age, there really should be no question on how to garner media coverage. Yet, day after day, organizations distribute news releases that lack the information needed for the reporter to initiate coverage.  In this PR Week article, Jahana Hayes, from Business Wire Atlanta, shares six ways to make sure your press releases hit, and activate, your target audience.

Read the entire piece at PR Week:  http://www.prweek.com/article/1332549/six-straightforward-ways-sure-press-releases-hitting-target

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of February 16th

February 17, 2015

There were a lot of changes in the PR industry last week – below are just a handful of these updates.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.

Atlanta
Public relations, event activation and lifestyle marketing agency The Garner Circle & Co. launches a year-long campaign titled “The Garner Circle Year of 10.” Article

Edelman has named Alicia Thompson general manager of its Atlanta office. Article

Boston
Boston-based 451 Marketing announced Lisa Bell as its new vice president of consumer public relations. Article

Milldam Public Relations announced the formal launch of its Outreach Division. Article

People Making Good PR announced the promotion of two associates: Brittany Southwick and Jasmine Mitchell. Article

Charlotte
Paul Mason is leaving the University of North Carolina Greensboro after 10 controversy-filled months. Article

Miami Heat forward Luol Deng has selected French/West/Vaughan as his marketing and endorsement agency of record. Article

Chicago
ASGK Public Strategies has hired Sarah Hamilton as MD in its Chicago office. Article

Stephanie Chaney Casanova recently made the transition in-house to work for Loews Chicago Hotel as the Director of Public Relations. Article

Troy, Mich.-based Bianchi Public Relations has announced that Kelsey Falk has joined its team as an intern for the winter 2015 semester. Article

Cleveland
Carnegie Mellon University has named Steve Kloehn as VP for marketing and communications. Article

Mary Wade Atteberry has been named associate vice president for communications and marketing at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Article

Cincinnati Financial Corporation has promoted Elizabeth Ertel to assistant vice president, corporate communications. Article

DC
John Stauffer will join APCO Worldwide later this month as co-lead of the firm’s StudioOnline practice and lead digital strategist within the Washington office. Article

Hillsdale College today announced the selection of the Pinkston Group as its media and communications partner. Article

The Smith River Sports Complex (SRSC) in Virginia announced the hire of its new Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Article

ConnellyWorks announced the appointment of Melissa King as Director of Events. Article

PRA Group has named Nancy Porter vice president, corporate communications. Article

Meredith Williams has joined Crosby Marketing Communications as an executive vice president and co-leader of the government practice. Article

Environics Communications has promoted Kelly Mack to a vice president in the firm’s Washington, DC, office. Article

Edelman‘s relationship with the American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to end, the Holmes Report can reveal. Article

Denver
The Integer Group has appointed David Battrick as Group Director of Digitail®, and Balind Sieber as Director of Digital Creative. Article

Turner Public Relations has added four new accounts: The Carneros Inn, a luxury resort located in Napa Valley’s wine country; Hyatt Playa del Carmen; Westgate Park City in Utah; and Gociety, a social network for adventurers. Article

Houston
Pierpont Communications announced that Dave Stump joined the firm as vice president of business development. Article

Los Angeles
Blaze has added HelloTel App to its roster. Article

Miami
THR33FOLD has developed an integrated model that leaves the traditional marketing agency environment of departments working in silos in the past. Article

JoTo PR has added Consumer Energy Solutions and Dazz cleaning spray company, Sunstate Labs, to its client roster. Article

Minneapolis
PadillaCRT has hired Jennifer Iwanicki as VP of creative operations in its Minneapolis headquarters. Article

Jean Hill, formerly a vice president at the Minneapolis PR agency Maccabee, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Article

Nashville
ReviveHealth has hired Megan Ferington Pruce, former director of corporate communications at the Cleveland Clinic. Article

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications announced it has hired Mary Roddy Sawyer as Vice President of Public Relations. Article

New York
Creative and media agency Out There Inc. has brought on Issa PR to handle strategy and overall branding and visibility, as well as media relations for its Z Zegna campaign. Article

Alcoa has hired Nahla Azmy as VP of investor relations. Azmy is succeeding Kelly Pasterick, who was named VP of global financial processes for global primary products at Alcoa. Article

First Niagara Financial Group has promoted Kate White to EVP and MD of human resources and corporate communications. Article

Excelsior Wine Company has retained Conundrum as PR AOR for Little Black Dress Wines. Article

Rubenstein Public Relations has announced two new client wins in the real estate and global manufacturing export industries: MIPIM, a leading property market, and Phipps & Co, a manufacturer of furniture, fixtures and finishes for the commercial, residential and hospitability sectors. Article

Blue Chip Public Relations is celebrating its ten year anniversary of serving financial companies across the country, announced Bill Bongiorno, Founder and President. Article

1-800-PublicRelations announced its performance based PR business model hit an industry milestone, successfully booking over 200 CEOs in 2014 on major TV/ Radio news networks and major publications. Article

Pollock Communications announced two new additions to its roster that expand beyond its traditional arenas, into the back pain and sports nutrition categories. Article

Marketing, reputation, and crisis strategist Davia Temin has been named for a third consecutive year to the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World (TAA-TAW). The annual list honors “professionals who are transforming the way organizations do business.” Article

Alexandra von Plato has been named Group President of North America for Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. Article

Longtime public relations executive and civic leader Steve Aiello has been named to the Wagner College Board of Trustees and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Board of Governors, the latter being a mayoral appointment. Aiello currently is a senior counselor with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in New York. Article

Capstone Hill Search has announced further expansion of the company’s international network, strengthening operations in New York City with the appointment of Jamie McLaughlin as President of its US operations. Article

Jaison Blair has been named senior vice president, investor relations and corporate communications, at Time Inc. In addition, Daniel Kile becomes senior VP, brand communications. Article

Steaz has selected Sparkpr‘s New York office as PR agency of record and Moosylvania as social agency of record. Article

Osteo Bi-Flex is launching a national education campaign to raise awareness of joint health and to encourage consumers of all ages to start paying attention to their knees, ankles and other joints. The company has retained MWW for a campaign that will provide US consumers with steps they can take to help strengthen their joints and to help support their joints throughout their lives. Article

The Jefferson, Washington, DC has named DKC Public Relations as its agency of record. Article

Phoenix
Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center announced the addition of Patrick Connors as director of sales and marketing. The announcement also said Ken McKenzie joined as the resort’s new general manager. Article

San Diego
Clearpoint Agency was selected by Connequity to lead the startup’s public relations and marketing communications program. Article

Kevin Dinino, President of KCD PR, was recently named a 2015 San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO finalist in the Privately-Held Company category. Article

Boostcase has chosen Havas Formula to execute a strategic PR program. Article

San Francisco
Spark has promoted Tim Turpin to the newly-created role of GM. Article

Stephanie Dowling has been named Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii‘s Regional Director of Communications. Article

Dani Dudeck has been promoted from vice president of communications to become Zynga‘s first chief communications officer. Article

Aduro Biotech has appointed Sylvia Wheeler as senior vice president, corporate affairs and investor relations. Article

Seattle
Nasdaq-listed tech firm F5 Networks has selected Waggener Edstrom as its PR agency of record following a competitive review. Article

David Marriott and Joel VanEtta have joined Allison+Partners‘ corporate practice, expanding the agency’s senior talent in crisis and public affairs. Article

W2O Group firm Twist Mktg has brought on Jon Maron as MD, leading its technology practice. Article

Seattle-based full-service communications agency PRR announced a leadership transition that maintains its status as a women-owned firm while bringing employee-ownership into a portion of its structure. Effective January 2015, Founder and CEO Rita Brogan has transitioned ownership of the company such that it is owned and controlled by its employees; Rita will however continue active involvement as Chair of the Board of Directors and servicing several accounts. Article

Boston & NY
Version 2.0 Communications announced that 2014 was a year of record growth for the agency, highlighted by expanded client programs and new client wins, numbers of staff, significant expansion in the Boston office and the opening of an office in New York. Article

Denver & Miami
Moore Communications Group has acquired Denver-based Financial Social Media (FSM). Article

LA, New York and London
Health advocacy and communications agency Kyne is opening offices in Dublin, Ireland and Los Angeles. Article

LA & NY
Fastlane Communications recently announced the acquisition of Winning Message. The firm’s principal, Kevin Levi, is now a partner and managing director at Fastlane, and Winning Message will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and west coast operation of Fastlane. Article

Hong Kong
Walmart has named Maggie Sans to the newly-created role of SVP and chief corporate affairs officer in China. Article

Silicon Valley startup AppsFlyer has named the Hoffman Agency as its regional communications agency in Asia. Article

OgilvyOne Indonesia has been awarded the digital marketing responsibilities for Sariwangi, following a competitive pitch. Article

London
Porter Novelli has named senior executives Dave Black and Paul George as partners at the firm.  Article

Rozzyn Boy is departing Tata Communications after five years to become chief communications officer at Dutch-based telco VimpelCom. Article

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has called in Threepipe to handle digital advertising duties. Article

Nigel Fairbrass has joined G4S as group director of media. Article

iris has been appointed by BMW Group following a six-way pitch to become its lifestyle PR partner in the UK. Article

Grayling has hired investment and corporate specialist David Andrews to lead the agency’s financial services and wealth management business. Article

Molson Coors has appointed Eulogy! to develop and execute PR strategies for three of its key brands Coors Light, Grolsch and Singha. Article

Fink & Fuchs PR has added Hasbro Deutschland as a new account. Article

Vosene Kids has appointed Threepipe following a competitive pitch to help with a new integrated consumer campaign across multi-channel platforms. Article

Following a number of client wins requiring more “through-the-line” creative and moving image content, PrettyGreen is launching PrettyPictures and PrettyGreen Studio. The new creative offering will be headed up by Sam Stocking. Article

Cake, the Havas-owned brand entertainment agency, has won a competitive pitch for the PR account for V Festival sponsored by Virgin Media, in the festival brand’s 20th anniversary year. Article

blu (UK) has appointed Publicasity to handle its UK trade communications. Article

Good Relations has appointed Neil Ginsburg as business development director. Article

WP Engine has appointed Octopus Group to manage its launch into the UK market. Article

David Broome is joining executive search specialist Oskar Yasar Partnership as managing partner. Oskar Yasar Partnership will change its name to Broome Yasar Partnership and has also appointed Polly Fergusson and Al Loehnis as board adviser. Article

EBay has kicked off a wide-ranging review of its business communications support in Europe. Article

Paris
Publicis Groupe is poised to acquire fast-growing South African PR consultancy Epic Communications, giving subsidiary MSLGroup its first operation in Africa. Article

Spanish PR firm Inforpress has opened new offices in Washington DC and Brussels as the latest steps in its ambitious international expansion plan. Article

Toronto
Ketchum promoted Emma Capombassis to the position of director of its Toronto office. Article

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

Applying 8 Modern Day Dating “Rules” to Public Relations

February 14, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director, Social + Evolving Media, Business Wire

https://openclipart.org/detail/192604/heartbleed-patch-needed-by-rejon-192604As Valentine’s Day approaches, we turned our thoughts to how news distribution actually resembles dating. In this piece from today’s PR Daily, Hannah Kelly from Business Wire Paris looks at eight modern dating “rules” and how they apply to news releases.

Click here to read Hannah’s 8 rules of dating and how they apply to PR in 2015:  http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/Applying_8_modern_dating_rules_to_PR_18105.aspx


Three Reasons Why PR Professionals Rely On Newswires

February 9, 2015

By Billy Russell, Business Wire Phoenix

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

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

Why PR Professional Rely on Newswires:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PR Debate: Google vs. Facebook: Which Platform Should You Really Care About?

December 22, 2014

By Hannah Kelly, Business Wire Paris

The changing face of the news coverage and visibility scene

It’s the hottest debate in 2014: SEO for discovery or social sharing for impact?

2014 started off innocently enough.  First Google Hummingbird made major changes regarding news release visibility.  Then midway through the year Facebook launched FB Newswire, to increase the visibility of news.  Suddenly it was clear.  Facebook and Google were directly competing to see which service was more effective at surfacing a story and driving action because of it.
google vs facebook
Fact:  Both Google and Facebook are hungry for your news.

Recently, Parse.ly investigated data from around 8 billion page views of approximately 200 news sites with the results that 38% of referrals were generated by Google and 26% by Facebook.  While this statistic may not help Google overtake Facebook in the race to win the visibility war, it does providing an interesting opportunity for communicators.  If your published news piece can generate visibility on both Google and Facebook, you can generate more than 50% of your inbound traffic with (relatively) little effort.

However, the type of news that is sought after by these sites is slowly shifting. In both cases, Google and Facebook first relied on algorithms to determine which news to surface.  Unfortunately, this caused a plethora of misleading articles by less trustworthy “media outlets” to rise to the top.   These algorithms were adjusted greatly on both platforms this summer when Google and Facebook users revealed that they crave “real news” vs. click bait.

In an effort to continually refine results, these algorithms are continuously updated to reward authenticity and engagement. Google’s most recent changes to  Google Penguin, Penguin 3.0, on October 17, 2014, focused solely on overcoming link schemes that manipulate the ranking of a webpage (and the news story hosted there).

So what does this mean for your news?
As more and more refinement is done to ensure only high quality news is surfaced when searched on Google or on social networks, there are a few things today’s communicators can do to make sure their news is not only seen, but shared.

  1. Be descriptive in your headline

The more descriptive the title of your article, the more likely people are to read it, visit your page, and thereby increase your page ranking. News releases are known for their relatively long ‘uninteresting’ titles – but now the tables have turned. Readers know exactly what to expect from your release, which comes as a great relief after having spent significant time browsing through articles only to discover that they are not quite what was promised with the first click.

  1. Write a concise, accurate article

Now that your title has drawn readers in, the idea is to hold their interest. Long rambling paragraphs will not do this. Keep your information as succinct and on point as possible – engage the audience through a direct approach. To give you an idea, the ideal length for a news release is no longer than an A4 page.

  1. Contact information

This is crucial. If the reader has any further questions, they will want to contact you. The worst possible thing to happen at this stage is to struggle to find any method of contact. Include your Twitter, your Facebook, your Google+ – all and any possible ways of getting in contact. Not only does this ease contact between your company and the reader, but it also allows your news to be shared back with direct links.

News releases, especially those distributed by a commercial newswire such as Business Wire can help your distribution reach, and engage and activate audiences on both Google and Facebook platforms. Every news release jumpstarts a range of actions from coverage to sharing, each that directly impacts visibility within both Google and Facebook.  Business Wire’s wide distribution circuits, unique journalist lists and most of all, our “share” tools allow you to publish and share your articles within seconds. With over 50 years in the industry, we can help you tailor your distribution effectively, thus greatly increasing your traffic growth.


How to Increase YouTube Video Views in 3 Easy Steps

December 10, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire

Earlier this month I attended a Digital Hollywood panel devoted to building audiences and awareness on YouTube.

This is a very common topic here in Los Angeles.  With film making, celebrities and the history of Hollywood permeating every corner of the city, we were the first region to truly embrace YouTube for what the platform could be – a way to entertain, educate, delight and shock audiences with amazing visual content.

So if this is a common topic, something Hollywood content creators and the marketers they work with should know inherently, why is it still on the Digital Hollywood agenda?  Because no matter how great your content is, it means nothing if your content is not seen.

Almost the entire panel discussion, fueled by questions from the audience, focused on how to generate views of the variety of videos being uploaded every single day.  There are hundreds of thousands of beautifully shot, high quality videos on YouTube that no one has ever seen. Why is that?  Because the concept of if you place it here, the audience will come is antiquated and completely misleading, even for producers creating content featuring famous celebrities.  The simple truth still stands, there is no such thing as great content, only seen content.

YouTube Image

So how do YouTube video stars get their visibility?  What makes one video go viral, while another video fails?  Just like every other marketing and communications program, video programs need to be supported with paid, earned, owned and shared marketing programming.

In this session, the three top ways to ensure views of your YouTube videos are:

  1. Create relevant content – This may seem obvious but there are still a huge number of marketers creating aspirational content, or content meant to activate new fans, versus content meant to create actual audiences. In reality, content should be made for every touch point in the customer journey, but if you are on a limited budget or time, focus on creating content for the most active of your prospects and customers.  Create content that these existing brand fans will enjoy and share with their friends and reap not only views of evangelism.
  2. Tag your content for search – When it comes to placing your content on YouTube, the description and keywords you use are just as important as the content itself. Utilize titles and descriptions to entice audiences to view your video.  Include relevant keywords and well as real-time keywords, and while you don’t want to use an incorrect headline, writing a compelling, interesting headline will increase views dramatically.
  3. Pay to promote your video – If you spent money to create content, you have to use money to promote it. Videos should be promoted via earned, paid, owned and through partnerships. Smart brands are increasing impact of their content by increasing potential audiences.
    1. Paid promotion: To promote your YouTube videos there are two successful kinds of paid promotion that you can do.  First, consider paid advertising across active social channels and via Google AdWords to help relevant audiences find you via search and social.  Secondly, issue a press release to alert media outlets, bloggers and more that your video or video channels exist.  Include a short summary of the types of content you include and, if possible, frequency of updates, to generate views
    2. Earned outreach: Don’t forget to alert your PR contacts of your new content marketing program.  Media outlets are always looking for visual content to accompany industry pieces; let them know your channel may contain the content relevant to their readers.
    3. Owned channels: You have to tell people about your video; how else will they know your program exists? Promote your new YouTube content on your website, social channels, email signatures and intranets to increase views and shares of your content.
    4. Initiate partnerships: The single fastest way to increase the views of your YouTube videos is to ask likeminded, more famous YouTube personalities to share it for you. Yes, this may require an exchange of money but it works.

Leading marketers know that video is one of the top tools in today’s marketing arsenal. Not only are desktop and mobile video consumption rates through the roof, the medium is so impactful that within seconds it can build, and deepen the relationships between a brand and its customer. But first you have to distribute it.

What other ways are you finding success in promoting video content?  Please let us know in the comments below.


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