Peter Shankman Does it with Pizza: How to Build a Professional Relationship

June 3, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

At the recent HUB Convene event, we had the opportunity to hear from Peter Shankman, a communications pro with a lot on his mind, especially about airlines and a certain car rental company. During his presentation, Peter discussed the importance of customer service on a company’s sales and marketing funnel, and the lack of customer service received from most of the companies we interact with on a daily basis. After asking an audience member why they praised a recent flight, and learning that it was because they were safely transported from point A to point B, Peter broke down society’s current standards for customer service: Getting what we pay for passes as the pinnacle of service today. For the consumer, this is terrible, but for organizations this presents a fantastic opportunity. If people’s expectations of customer service are so low, it shouldn’t take much to wow someone, making it very easy for smart organizations to create a positive and lasting impression.

shaking hands

Paying a friend a compliment or going out to lunch can strengthen ties and facilitate a year’s worth of inside jokes. Building a professional relationship is no different. It is the small, almost effortless, actions that can be the difference between meeting people’s expectations and completely redefining them. In today’s world of low customer expectations, it doesn’t take much to impress someone, so impress as often as possible.

Peter Shankman didn’t just preach relationship building; he described how he puts his plan into action. For Peter, going above and beyond in relationship building starts with pizza. After signing on a new client, he likes to drop by their offices unannounced with a surprise pizza lunch. This allows Peter and his clients to communicate and learn more about each other’s expectations and goals, ultimately resulting in better executed programming. What makes it special is that for Peter, it is not a required act, but rather done as a choice of goodwill.

Peter Shankman does it with pizzaThis is something we at Business Wire are keenly aware of – the impact building relationships has on the success of one’s PR program.

Media relations doesn’t have to be about throwing a pizza party but can be just as easy. One of the easiest ways to build awareness, and potentially coverage, of your company is to build relationships with key journalists and bloggers, before news is available to share, and after. If a journalist likes communicating with you, that can help you build a respectful, reciprocal relationship. With a personalized email or a tweet, you may end up surprising the very person you need to help amplify your message.

The digital age has made everything impersonal. We believe that we are building stronger, more personal ties with a person because we have access to their lives, their day-to-day activities and insight into their thought process. But in reality, access to information is not the same as building relationships.

Professional relationships can’t survive on the back burner. Here are some other steps that you can follow to make a new acquaintance in the media industry:

  • Be Neighborly – Allow reporters, bloggers, and other media access to learn more about your company or business. Inviting them to your facilities and providing access to both c-suite and ground level employees allows them to understand your company and your company’s vision. Let the people covering your story learn more about your organization’s story, beyond just the latest announcement.
  • Show Interest – A relationship is a two-way street so you should make sure to not only reach out when you need coverage, but also follow reporters on Twitter and other social media without the intention of pitching. They receive hundreds of pitches daily in their email box and don’t need the same clutter in their social media feed. @reply to comment on topics of interest, answer questions, engage in conversation and retweet articles when relevant to your followers.
  • Know Their Schedule – One of the best ways to stay on the media’s good side is to know the publication schedule of the person you are contacting. Knowing when a particular writer goes to print or has a deadline allows you to reach out at an appropriate and convenient time, as opposed to the night before their work is due.
  • Preferred Treatment – If you invite a journalist to an event, or even to your offices, reduce the friction associated with that visit. Providing transportation such as car service, a meal, a room to work out of while on site and more can make a lasting impression. Making someone feel special, without showboating, can go a long way.

Check out the following articles to learn more about building media relationships in 2015.


PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of May 26

May 27, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

Here are the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

Atlanta
Georgia Power has named Valerie Hendrickson to lead the company’s corporate communication organization. Article

Media Frenzy Global has been appointed as digital agency partner for Pyramid Solutions. Article

Boston
Racepoint Global has added seven healthcare accounts: Curaspan, a leading provider of care transition solutions; Evariant, a leading provider of a CRM platform based on a centralized healthcare data hub, analytics, and communications engine; Gamma Medica, developer of the LumaGEM molecular breast imaging system; GenoSpace, which provides a platform for precision medicine; Healing for People, an energy medicine clinic; Stanford Children’s Health, a leader in care for children and pregnant women; and Spinal Modulation, a provider of neuromodulation pain therapy for people with chronic pain. Article

PAN Communications has been named agency of record for hybris software. Article

In response to the growing need for more trained data analysts, Paine Publishing has published a new measurement training package: “Measurement Sherpa Essentials – The Essential Guide To Becoming a Measurement Sherpa.” Article

Duffy & Shanley has named Jesse Snyder as Senior Art Director in the agency’s Creative Group. Article

Dallas
RAVE Restaurant Group has hired Jami Zimmerman as its new Director of Communications. Article

DC
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) announced it has hired April Ward as Director of Communications and Public Affairs. Article

Stratacomm LLC announced the hiring of Jacqueline Bengel as a Vice President in the company’s Washington, D.C. office. Article

APCO Worldwide has released the findings of its first State of the Chemical Industry Study, utilizing the firm’s proprietary Return on Reputation (ROR) Indicator model to assess the key factors that make up the reputation of the chemical industry across the United States and in six European markets. Article

Los Angeles
AECOM has appointed Heather Rim as senior vice president and chief communications officer. Article

Ballantines Public Relations has been selected by Marriott International Lifestyle Brands as its official international public-relations agency of record. Article

MDC Partners announced the formation of Cultura United Agency, a new cross-disciplinary marketing firm uniting specialized full-service advertising and public relations expertise with deep insights across Hispanic, African American and Asian audiences. Article

Miami
Golin has launched Golin Mexico in partnership with Zimat Consultores, a leading communication consulting firm in Mexico. Article

Minneapolis
Tunheim has added Adam Axvig as a consultant on its public affairs team. Article

Nashville
FedEx has moved its PR duties to Burson-Marsteller displacing Ketchum after 20 years of leading the company’s global communications. Article

New York
Kelli Raftery has been promoted to senior vice president, communications, at CBS Corporation. Article

Makovsky has appointed Tom Jones and Alexandra Peterson, both senior vice presidents, to lead the agency’s health practice. Article

Version 2.0 Communications has added Elissa Ehrlich as vice president. Article

Luxury brand strategy and public relations agency Issa will handle pro bono work for NGO Start. Article

Gil Bashe has joined Finn Partners as managing partner, health. Article

J Public Relations announced the addition of new domestic and international clients in their hospitality division. Article

The Abernathy MacGregor Group announced that Jeremy Jacobs has joined its New York office as a Managing Director.   Article

Jesse Caesar has joined Open Mind Strategy in the new position of director of research and strategy. Article

Kyne has appointed Maureen Byrne as executive vice president, general manager New York. Article

San Francisco
MSR Communications announced that it has been recognized with a Business Excellence award and named the Best Technology PR Firm in California by Acquisition International (AI) Magazine. Article

Arieff Communications has added several new consumer clients to its agency roster. New clients include Kelly Moore Paints and It’s It Ice-cream. Article

Seattle
WTS International has selected Rita Brogan of Seattle to receive its highest award, Woman of the Year. Article

BO & NY
Waggener Edstrom Communications announced Maria Favorito and Martina Schwarzkopf have joined the expanding Healthcare sector team. Article

Nashville, Seattle & Paris
Public Relations Global Network has added two new agency affiliates from Nashville, Tenn., and Istanbul, Turkey, bringing its global reach to 45 firms worldwide. Article

Frankfurt
InfiniteLatitude has added new partners in India and Malaysia. Article

Hong Kong
MSLGroup has added several new accounts in China, including Ping An Financial Technology, which selected the firm to build and enhance brand awareness for the online platform in the internet finance industry; New Balance, to enhance the brand’s popularity in both lifestyle and performance categories; Cola-Cao, to capture consumer preference; Keppel Land China, for an integrated corporate communications program covering traditional and social media channels; Allergan, to provide communications and engagement for Natrelle, a leading brand in breast augmentation and restoration, and for Botox; and Nu Skin, for social listening and digital reputation counseling. Article

Brother International Singapore has re-appointed The Hoffman Agency as its agency-of-record for the fourth year running. Article

Cohn & Wolfe has appointed Diana Pong as managing director of its Hong Kong office, where she will lead day-to-day business, focusing on business growth, client oversight and team development. Article

Affiniti has been appointed as the branding consultant for Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, as it makes its transformation from a Malaysian Armed Forces credit cooperative bank into a cooperative one. Article

Golin Singapore has promoted Shouvik Prasanna Mukherjee to executive creative director and lead of the firm’s creator community. Shouvik has been with Golin since 2011 and has played a key role in building out the firm’s creative capabilities – especially around design, content creation and branding. Article

London
Following a competitive multi-agency pitch, salt has been selected to handle UK communications for Andrex. Article

Havas Sports & Entertainment and sister agency Cake will come together in the UK as Havas Sports & Entertainment Cake. Article

Hanover Communications has appointed Thomas Cawston as a senior account director in its healthcare practice. Article

CubanEight has been appointed by global software vendor Rally , following a competitive pitch. Article

UK retailer John Lewis has called in Pagefield for corporate PR support following a competitive agency pitch earlier this year. Article

Paris
Cesare Valli is departing H+K Strategies after 27 years with the firm. Article

Sydney
Creation has been named public relations agency of record across Asia Pacific for Splunk. Article

Kanika Kalra​ has been named head of public relations at Practo Technologies. Article

Tokyo
Ogilvy & Mather Japan G.K. announced the strategic appointment Erik Jenkins as Social Media Director. Article

Toronto
Visa’s Jennifer Doidge is now VP of corporate communications a BlackBerry as former head of comms Heidi Davidson stepped down. Article

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Nintendo Just Showed Us: The News Release is Having a Moment

May 22, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Half a million views in a single day, and counting, is no easy feat. A news release from Nintendo this week accomplished just that, and every communications pro should take note of the basic reasons that led to such grand visibility.

Before the digital revolution, a hero was born by the name of Mario, and this hero had a nemesis named Bowser. Bowser started off as a Koopa King who breathed fire, but much has changed. On May 20th, 9am Eastern Time, Nintendo of America announced via a Business Wire distributed news release that Doug Bowser was named as the new Vice President of sales in America. Clearly the two Bowsers are not one and the same, but the irony was not lost on Golin, the PR agency handling Nintendo’s communication management. They identified and utilized the humorous angle that presented itself and converted it to visibility gold. Over 500,000 views, including over half a million views alone of just Doug Bowser’s photograph, is making this an industry defining news release.

Nintendo Bowser Infographic

Especially significant is that 60% of the traffic is stemming from social media. People are actively sharing this content, driving awareness through the roof. Doug Bowser is now a star and Nintendo can be seen almost everywhere online. The press release is having a moment right now, but why?

Journalists, media professionals, news consumers, they are all eager for interesting and relevant content. Golin found a way to satisfy their target market’s needs by understanding the basic elements of a release. What could have been a regular announcement about a new hire was instead turned into a story. The story was about the irony of a company hiring a man who shares his name with a notorious character the company is known for. The headline didn’t read Doug Bowser as New VP of Sales.

Doug Bowser, VP Sales, Nintendo of America

Doug Bowser, VP of Sales, Nintendo of America

The decision to omit Doug was a conscious one aimed at waking the reader up by tapping into their sense of humor. The announcement was professionally written but maintained a lightness, playing on the intended readers’ nostalgia and lingering interest. The release included multimedia, both Nintendo’s logo as well as a crisp headshot of Doug Bowser. Readers could see what a real life Bowser looks like, and they did, over half a million times.

Nintendo set a precedent with this release but it doesn’t mean other companies need to start developing video game characters then hiring employees with the same names. The lesson learned here is that every release has a story and the process of writing an announcement needs to start with identifying a story that can grab the reader’s attention. That story is your company’s story and if it connects with readers, it will be shared and reshared all over the internet.

If Bowser can be VP of sales at Nintendo, maybe Coca Cola can find a Draper to run creative.

The Nintendo release had significant coverage on mainstream media. Some examples include:

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PR Updates From Around the World

May 19, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

Below please find the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

PR Industry Updates

Atlanta
Arketi Group was selected by Cohesive Solutions for messaging, brand enhancement and website development work. Article

Marketing Inspirations (MI) has won three awards for multi-service marketing campaigns from the internationally-renowned Hermes Creative Awards 2015. Article

Chicago
Zapwater Communications announced the addition of two new clients to the agency’s travel portfolio. The new clients are AC Hotels Chicago and Visit Luxembourg. Article

DC
Public affairs firm CLS Strategies has promoted Ray De Lorenzi to senior vice president and DJ Carella to managing director. In addition, Allison Bryan joins as managing associate to serve the firm’s public affairs portfolio. Article

Rio Verde Community has selected Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group to direct a public relations program for the acclaimed active-adult residential enclave northeast of Scottsdale, Ariz. Article

Warschawski today announced the addition of Abigail Wadsworth to the agency’s growing team. Article

Houston
Ward today announced the launch of sister-company OnwardU, which helps management create high-performing teams through professional development, meeting facilitation and consulting. Article

Los Angeles
Robert Lawson has been named executive vice president and chief communications officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Article

Evite has named KComm its public relations agency of record. Article

Bernstein Crisis Management has launched AvoidTheApology.com, a service designed to help companies avoid reputation-damaging and financially harmful crises. Article

Miami
The Centers of Integrative Medicine & Healing has retained JoTo PR to help bring integrative medicine to the forefront of healthcare. Article

Edelman has made first acquisition in Latin America in five years by purchasing Position Comunicaciones in Colombia. Article

New York
GroupM has named David Grabert as global director of corporate communications. Article

Anu Kher has joined Rubenstein Public Relations as associate vice president, managing media relations strategies for clients in the corporate and financial services division. Article

Orange Palate has added Sarah Simmons to its client roster. Article

Turner PR is pleased to announce the addition of Pure Barre to the agency’s active lifestyle and fitness portfolio. Article

Kypris has retained Conundrum as its public relations agency of record. Article

ROK Mobile has chosen M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment as Agency of Record. Article

Weber Shandwick is expanding its presence in Latin America with the opening of an office in Mexico City, Mexico. Amanda Berenstein has been appointed managing director to lead the new office. Article

Carnival Cruise Line has handed North American PR duties to M Booth. Article

Nathalie Moar is joining Combs Enterprises as senior vice president and head of communications. Article

The Horn Group has retired the Oriella PR Network and has replaced it with an initiative that centralizes its global network. Article

Brandstyle Communications announced representation of Quad Jobs, Magnises and Bene Rialto. Article

Finn Partners received the 2015 SABRE for Midsize Agency of the Year from The Holmes Report. Article

H+K Strategies announced that Molly O’Neill will be joining the firm to lead its U.S. marcomms practice. Article

Rubenstein Public Relations has announced that Anu Kher has joined the agency as Associate Vice President. Article

Bender/Helper Impact has appointed Michelle (Mimi) Sawatka-Fernandez as Director of Business Development and Marketing. Article

Philadelphia
Adaptimmune has appointed William Roberts as vice president, investor relations. Article

Flackable has expanded its team by adding Temple University standout Alexa Miller as an account coordinator. Article

San Diego
Elevator is pleased to announce they will be conducting the website redesign for the City of San Diego‘s official website. Article

San Francisco
John Earnhardt is leaving Cisco after 16 years in the company’s communications unit to become VP of corporate communications at Visa. Article

Jonathan Carroll has been appointed senior vice president and will lead Weber Shandwick‘s digital and creative teams in San Francisco. And Douglas Myers has joined as vice president in the firm’s corporate practice from Landis Communications. Article

Rachel Whetstone is taking an SVP of public policy and communications post at Uber. Article

Weber Shandwick has made lead hires across its creative and corporate offerings in San Francisco, building out the office under the new leadership of Luca Penati.  Article

Burson-Marsteller’s West Coast leader Bill Orr has exited the company and joined Double Forte PR as EVP and chief strategy officer. Article

Horn Group has announced HORN.Global, an international communications service designed to help clients dramatically increase the volume, quality and replay of earned media coverage, social and original content, as well as their digital presence around the world. Debra Raine  will manage HORN.Global in addition to her leadership of the firm’s San Francisco operations. Article

Blurb announced that Robin Carr and Susan Rimerman have joined the marketing team. Article

Seattle
Global digital/direct marketing agency HackerAgency announced that Jason Grollman has joined the organization as Vice President of Operations. Article

Silicon Valley
PayPal has hired Visa’s Paul Cohen as VP of global corporate communications as the company prepares to split off from eBay later this year. Article

Hong Kong
Costa Coffee has appointed AKA Asia as its creative agency in Singapore. Article

Cohn & Wolfe has appointed Jonathan Tan to associate managing director of its Malaysia office. Article

Rice Communications has been appointed by Outbrain to provide communications support in South East Asia. Article

Frankfurt
Steffen Kurzawa is joining Novartis as head of global communications for Sandoz. Article

London
Edelman has appointed Matt Groves as managing director, digital, in its UK operations. Article

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry has been selected by Canon UK to provide PR support for its pro imaging business. Article

Publicasity has been selected by Old Mother Hubbard to launch its premium natural dog treats into the UK and help support the brand’s exclusive listing with Pets At Home nationwide in stores and online. Article

Virgo Health has appointed Katherine Mantell as its new global head of medical education. Article

Xero has appointed Darren Upson to lead its UK marketing activity. Article

brightside has appointed Cicero Group to provide retained corporate PR support. The account will be led by Cicero executive director Mike Robb. Article

The Ocean Beach Ibiza beach club has appointed Fever as its new retained UK PR agency. Article

Following its recent acquisition of the digital design and development consultancy Splendid Unlimited, marketing communications holding company Creston has formed a partnership agreement with The Digital ConsultancyArticle

Simon Kleine has departed Western Union after more than three years overseeing its communications in Europe. Article

H+K has teamed up with Hyper Island to launch a new training initative, as part of the development of London into the PR network’s first ‘center of creative strategy.’  Article

Paris
Pelin Kocaalp, previously deputy general manager of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Turkey, has been promoted to general manager. Article

H+K Strategies Kenya has appointed Solomon Mahinda as managing director. Article

Edelman is poised to land international PR duties for Dubai Tourism. Article

Sydney
Hill+Knowlton Strategies has won recent pitches to leading life science company Sigma Aldrich, aesthetics and dermatology pioneer Merz, and the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Radiologists. The firm has also added two new pro bono clients: Take Heart Australia and Parkinson’s NSW. Article

Ashwani Singla has launched a new corporate reputation consultancy in India, after exiting his role as Penn Schoen Berland’s Asia CEO earler this year. Article

Taj Group of Hotels has handed global PR duties to Edelman and Zeno. Article

Toronto
The Quebec Oil & Gas Association has named David Lefebvre as its public affairs and communications director. Article

Kwittken has appointed Betsy Cooper as managing director of Kwittken Toronto. Article

energi PR has been chosen as the newest partner in GlobalHealthPR, an independent agency partnership dedicated to health and medical communications. Article

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of May 11

May 14, 2015

PR Industry UpdatesHere are the latest changes and updates in the PR industry.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.  Have your own update to include?  Let us know!

Chicago
Turner Public Relations has opened an office in Chicago, located in the city’s River North neighborhood. Melanie Dennig, director at the firm, is leading the location. It also hired Jeff Maldonado as VP of digital communications. Article

Cleveland
WordWrite Communications has been named agency of record for MPW Industrial Services. Article

Calgon Carbon has hired Daniel Crookshank as director of investor relations, effective on May 11. Article

Dallas
MWW has been hired as public relations agency of record by RAVE Restaurant Group, parent company of Pie Five Pizza Co. and Pizza Inn. Article

DC
The Software Alliance has appointed Jen Beltz as VP of global communications. Article

The Optical Society has brought on Tracy Schario as chief external relations officer. Article

Warschawski announced that it has been hired by Biologics Consulting Group to create a new brand strategy to help position the company for future growth, and redesign the company’s corporate identity. Article

Los Angeles
Azione announced that Ashley Dillahunty longtime entertainment journalist and former West Coast Bauer Chief of Bauer Media Group, has joined its team as the Vice President of Entertainment Marketing in Los Angeles. Article

FiComm Partners announced the addition of two senior professionals, Dana Mahoney and Christopher Latham, to its team. Article

Miami
Burson-Marsteller has hired Jorge Ortega as executive vice president and managing director of the agency’s Miami office. Article

Fetching Communications has added new clients including Bark Busters Home Dog Training, the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center, Reach-in Technologies and its iPet Companion product. Article

Minneapolis
Gage announced it has hired Russ Nolan as the director of business development, as well as Michelle Hoffman as senior public relations specialist. Article

New York
Turner Public Relations recently announced the opening of an office in Chicago, IL, as well as the addition of a wealth of new talent to its ranks. Article

The Halo Group has hired Mandy Cudahy as senior social media strategist. Article

Tartaglia Communications has been hired by the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) to design and execute a communications program around new prizes geared toward encouraging open social science research. Article

Robert Dowling is exiting FleishmanHillard, almost three years after joining the firm to oversee its New York office and Eastern region operations. Article

Porter Novelli has become the latest PR firm to unveil a cybersecurity offering, teaming up with tech company Rook Security to launch PNProtect. Article

Mark Malinowski has been named senior vice president and director of partner innovation for M Booth. Article

Interpublic Group is merging Mullen and Lowe and Partners to form Mullen Lowe Group. Alex Leikikh, previously CEO of Mullen, was named chief executive of the combined firm, while Lowe and Company CEO Michael Wall will leave the company after a brief transition period, the holding company said in a statement. Jose Miguel Sokoloff will continue as chairman of the Global Creative Council. Article

WEILL has been appointed public relations counsel to the newly created Ted Turner Expeditions. Article

HL Group has named Robert Harwood-Matthews as its first CEO. Article

The PR Council has begun a partnership with the Emma L. Bowen Foundation with the goal of placing college students of color at leading US PR firms. Article

McGraw-Hill Education announced that Catherine J. Mathis has joined the company as chief communications officer. Article

World Moto has brought on KCSA Strategic Communications to oversee its investor relations program. Article

Fortress Strategic Communications launched on Wednesday. Evan Bloom is serving as CEO. Article

Disney and ESPN Media Networks announced the promotion of James Rollins to Vice President of Digital Video Distribution. Article

Women’s Marketing announced the acquisition of Flying Point Digital. Article

M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment has been retained by Harlem RBI for a second straight year to manage public relations, events and talent relations for its annual celebrity golf charity event, which will be held on October 5th, at the Liberty National Golf Club. Article

Brandstyle Communications announced representation of Quad Jobs and Magnises. Article

Sacramento
Ogilvy Public Relations has hired Vicky Waters as vice president and leader of the firm’s West Coast Latino offering, based in the firm’s Sacramento public affairs group. Article

San Francisco
Racepoint Global has added three new clients in its San Francisco office: Altera Corp, which manufactures programmable semiconductors; Healing for People, an energy medicine clinic; and Rambus. Article

Oracle has tapped a Burson Marsteller-led team to handle global PR for its products and services division as the company looks to potentially consolidate PR under WPP worldwide. Article

New York & Frankfurt
Boutique PR firm collaborative PR Boutiques International has added two members: Vienna, Austria-based Results & Relations and Andrew Joseph PR, headquartered in New York City. Article

Hong Kong
We Are Social has opened a new office in Shanghai. The agency has appointed Pete Lin, formerly general manager and chief marketing strategist at Gravity Group Asia, to lead its Shanghai operations as managing director, while ad agency veteran Ying Chang will lead its creative offering. Article

Edelman’s specialist research arm Edelman Berland has hired Catriona Muspratt-Williams as head of Singapore and Andrew Chapman as head of Australia. Article

Ruder Finn Asia has hired Irene Yong to head the healthcare practice for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore. Article

Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong has officially launched its newest campaign, “Anyhour Happy Hour”, for Kronenbourg 1664. Article

Frankfurt
Credit Suisse Group has named Christoph Meier as global head of media relations. Article

London
Novantas has appointed Cicero Group to support its launch in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Article

Honcho PR has been appointed by Touchjet to introduce a range of ‘touch technology’ consumer devices  – all with proprietary software – onto the UK market. Article

Mixmag has appointed W as a strategic partner to build the profile of its online media network. Article

Consumer products company Fiskars Group has appointed Maija Taimi as head of corporate communications and corporate responsibility. Article

Engineering services and product information company Semcon has named Per Nilsson as corporate communications and marketing director. Article

PMK.BNC announced the expansion of its London office with long-time agency executive, Kevin Gessay, being appointed Managing Director. Article

Paris
Grayling has hired Nicola Gregson as the new MD of its Dubai office. Article

Eva Snijders has been named general manager for Ogilvy Public Relations Madrid and Núria Padrósinto has been named general manager in Barcelona. Article

Diane Watson has joined Cosmetics Europe as public affairs and government relations director. Article

Sydney
Corporate and financial communication firms Citadel and Magnus have signed a merger agreement. Article

Goldman Sachs has called in Weber Shandwick as its PR agency of record in India after a competitive review. Article

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What Today’s PR Pros Can Learn from A 100-Year Old Press Release

May 14, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

On October 28, 1906, tragedy occurred – an eastbound train speeding through Atlantic City derailed over a drawbridge causing 53 passengers to drown in the creek below. Popular corporate practice at the time called for Pennsylvania Railroad, owners of the ill-fated train, to cover up the incident. This is exactly what might have happened had it not been for 220px-Ivy_Lee from WikipediaIvy Lee, an early public relations practitioner hired by the company to build a better public image. He saw the event as an opportunity to establish a better relationship with journalists; a relationship based on trust and communication. Under his advisement, Pennsylvania Railroad invited members of the press to the scene of the accident and released a statement detailing the known facts. The New York Times was so impressed by the candor of the issued statement that they chose to print it, word-for-word. The modern day press release: issued statements aimed at disclosing company news to interested parties, was born.

What made the news release so popular? Journalists welcomed the new cooperation from companies and organizations in bringing facts to the public. It has been almost 110 years since Pennsylvania Railroad reached out to the media and still company communication is a welcome presence for journalists. In a recent media survey, 90% of the over 300 industry professionals participating used a company-issued news release in the previous week.

Last time a reporter used a press release

While the name Ivy Lee is known to few PR pros, his legacy continues to influence best communication practices even in the digital age. Lee understood that a news release was only as valuable to the issuing company as it was to the recipients, journalists and other news makers. Nothing states this notion more than one of the guidelines listed in his Declaration of Principles, an announcement that established the modern role of public relations.

“This is not an advertising agency. If you think any of our matter ought properly to go to your business office, do not use it.” – Ivy Lee, Declaration of Principles

How can Lee’s guidelines aid in composing a news release for the digital era?

  • Be Trusted and Timely – Ivy Lee understood that trust is the cornerstone of successfully managing company yay-15034446-digital (1)communications and building a bigger, better brand. With online conversations occurring 24/7 it is important to act swiftly when responding to a crisis or even a potential crisis in order to best manage public sentiment and maintain a high reputation.
  • Focus on the Facts – News content is reliant on facts and there is no quicker way to receive coverage than providing the very facts journalists and media professionals need to craft their coverage pieces
  • Be Interesting – In the digital and mobile age, the headline is the only knock on the door that can garner articles and other coverage for a news release. Don’t be coy and make sure to present enough information to let the reader know what lies inside is legitimate newsworthy content.        Added Multimedia Got More Coverage
  • Be Impactful with Multimedia – Multimedia is king with around 8 billion images being uploaded daily. News releases now come with images, videos, and even gamified multimedia. Company communications must be packaged in ways that audiences demand.

The news release was a product of necessity and continues to serve as a valuable tool for both communications as well as media professionals. The best method to maximize the outcome of company communications is to follow the guidelines that have dictated public relations for over a century. To learn more about the impact of a well written news release read these articles:

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The State of News Media in 2015: Say Hello to the Mobile Generation

May 7, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Millennials have been riding the wave of digital revolution for close to a decade, leaving behind a wake of influence over every industry. Well, for news media, the crest just broke and as we all bob up and down in an ocean of technology, we need to brace for the oncoming information tidal wave known as the mobile generation.

The Pew Research Center has released a series of data detailing the current state of news media for 2015 and the numbers are as era defining as when the final issues of LIFE magazine saw their way to the printers. Of the top 50 digital news websites, 39 saw more traffic to their sites and associated applications come from a mobile source than from a desktop computer.

Pew Research Digital News Viewss

Trying to understand this trend is pointless. It doesn’t matter if people are choosing to use mobile devices because of their convenience while on the go or out of actual preference. What does matter is the growing dominance of mobile technology and communication professionals must adapt, just as they did nearly a decade ago when Millennials first opened the doors on modern news consumption.

In January of 2015, Yahoo-ABC News saw 93,160 unique visitors to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices while only 59,099 visited from a desktop computer. Other news outlets that saw similar disparity include CNN Network, NBC News Digital, Huffington Post, USA Today sites, BuzzFeed, and The New York Times Brand. For the communications industry, this pattern dictates that both editorial news, and company issued news, must be compatible with mobile platforms in order to reach the desired audience.

Besides shedding light on how people consume their news, the Pew analysis also revealed a startling trend. Although individuals more often consume their news using a mobile device, they spend less time doing so per visit. For 40 of the 50 top news sites, visitors using desktop computers spent the same if not more time per visit. For 25 of those sites, the time spent per visit from desktop users was at least 10% higher when compared to those using a mobile device.

It is clear to news outlets that it is becoming harder to keep an individual’s attention on a single piece of news. This is a challenge communication professionals have been facing for years.  And the answer is the same for both types of content creation; in each case, article or news release, the addition of multimedia is statistically shown to be more effective in MasterCard Pricelesskeeping a viewer engaged and scientifically shown to convey a message in a much shorter amount of time than a text-only message, 60,000 times faster to be exact. Consider multimedia as a passport, allowing editorial coverage and news releases to travel safely and efficiently into mobile territory. Interactive multimedia, the gamification of the news release, has shown an average engagement of 6:12 minutes. Compare that to the average engagement with text-only news releases of only 20 and 30 seconds.

The facts are in and the best practice would be to analyze them and, as with every wave, go with the flow. The mobile generation wants their news when they want it, and when they get it, they don’t want it for long. That’s not to say that the public has lost interest; on the contrary, news consumption is at an all-time high. It’s just a different type of news consumption, one that engages more senses, and communication pros need to take notice and make changes to the process today. Remember, you can fight that wave and lose, drowning in a constant evolution of technology serving up a constant stream of content, or you can ride it out and bask in the sunshine above.

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