Two Great Tips for Pitching Health and Life Science Reporters

May 13, 2011
 
by Liz Koch, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Boston

Directly from those who cover the biotech, pharma and medical device industries: tips for getting your life sciences announcement covered by mainstream media and niche industry publications alike.

“Media often prefer to write about broader trend stories than individual pieces on just one company or product,” says Todd Wallack, Business Reporter for The Boston Globe who formerly covered life science firms.

That means putting the news in context. For instance, maybe your company is part of a wave of oncology firms winning venture capital to develop cancer fighting agents.   “If you can name the other companies, that will help make the case that’s it’s a broader story than one company firing off a press release,  says Wallack.

Brad Perriello, co-founder and executive editor of the Massachusetts Medical Devices Journal (MassDevice.com), suggests always including a link to key information. “I want to be able to find the release online. Always include in your pitch a URL for the press release on a newswire or company website posting. Just including the URL ups your chances by 50 percent.”

To summarize:

  1. Give your press release some context and don’t be afraid to mention your peers. Relate your announcement to industry trends and hot topics.
  2. Your news is going to be accessible on every social media platform, so make your release available right away by always including a URL for your release in your pitch email.

Use these tips and you’ll maximize your biotechnology or pharmaceutical announcement’s potential to get the “healthiest” results!


Media Pitching Tips from Top Business Magazines

March 28, 2011
by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/NY
NIkelle Feimster

Nikelle Feimster

The Publicity Club of New York (PCNY) recently held a business media briefing at 3 West Club in New York City. The event, moderated by Peter Himler, Founder and Principal of Flatiron Communications LL, included a panel of guests from top business magazines. The speakers were: Michael Santoli, Senior Editor & “Streetwise” Columnist, Barron’s; Jeff Chu, Articles Editor, Fast Company; Steve Bertoni, Reporter, Forbes; Nadine Heintz, Senior Editor, Inc. Magazine; Russell Pearlman, Senior Markets Editor, SmartMoney Magazine.

Here are a few techniques offered by the panelists on how PR professionals can increase their chances of getting media coverage:

 Make your pitch challenging. According to Steve Bertoni, Forbes is always known as the “drama critics of capitalism”. He said that for the magazine, stories need to have challenge or conflict so be sure there is drama or a lesson in your pitch.

Take time to build relationships. Russell Pearlman of SmartMoney Magazine advised PR pros to invest in long term relationships with journalists. He is willing to contact companies for information, but only after he has developed a relationship with them first. It’s also helpful to provide him with a client list that explains what each client can talk about.

Make sure your pitch fits the publication. According to Nadine Heintz of Inc. Magazine, you should know and read the magazine. “Show that you understand it and how your story would be a good fit,” she said.  When pitching Fast Company, Jeff Chu said to check out the magazine issue covering the world’s most fifty innovative companies to get a good sense of the companies they cover.

 Small companies, small industry you can still get big coverage. Inc. Magazine only covers privately held companies. Heintz will focus on how people start their own business and what makes them successful. Also, Barron’s writers are not bound by a beat assignment so “everything is pretty much fair game,” said Michael Santoli.

The panelists provided additional tips for pitching, like:

  • Don’t continue to call without leaving a voice message.
  • Spell the writer’s name correctly.
  • Stay away from jargon.
  • Put the news in the headline and subhead of the email.

PCNY has monthly “Meet the Media” luncheons that include a panel of guests from leading print, broadcast and online news organizations. For more information on upcoming events, visit http://www.publicityclub.org.


Business Wire’s Karen Reynolds on Tradeshow Tips

October 15, 2010

Tradeshows are still one of the most important channels for both B2B and B2C companies to show their products and services to interested buyers. With so many major shows coming up in the next several months, what strategies can help you maximize your tradeshow marketing investment?

Karen Reynolds, Regional Manager, Business Wire/Boston offers some tradeshow guidelines in a blog post at the Publicity Club of New England site. Click over and spend a few minutes of your Friday getting some great advice.


DC-Area Tech Journalists Offer Pitching Tips

October 1, 2010

by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/DC

Business Wire/DC hosted a “Meet the Technology Media” Event at Marriott Tysons Corner in Vienna, Virginia on Wednesday, September 29th.  The panel discussion, moderated by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, featured five technology journalists from some of the area’s top media outlets:

About 120 public relations and communications professionals were in attendance to learn how to increase your organization’s chances of securing media coverage. Attendees joined in the conversation during a question and answer section and also by live tweeting the event using the #BWEvents hash tag.

Here are some of the key points from the panel discussion:

  1. Headlines are important. Nick Wakeman said to think about your press release headline as a headline in a newspaper. Just as media outlets compete for readers at the newsstand, public relations professionals must compete for the attention of journalists in their inbox. The headline should tell reporters why they should care. For The Hill, you should have a clear link to politics or policy issues, said Gautham Nagesh.
  2. Include your organization in the e-mail subject. Paul Sherman noted that e-mail subjects are key in a mobile environment. Rob Pegoraro added that including a client and product name in the e-mail subject makes it easier for him to find the message later on.
  3. Know who you’re pitching. Every journalist has his or her own preferences when it comes to being pitched. Paul Sherman noted that he prefers texts over voicemails. Nick Wakeman likes when you follow up your e-mail with a phone call. There is no secret formula to media relations. You just need to do your homework.
  4. Consider your audience. Bill Flook pointed out that the Washington Business Journal reaches two different audiences through its online and print editions. Think about how your story fits in and remember that exclusivity matters for print while immediacy is more important for the web.
  5. Go beyond the pitch. According to Gautham Nagesh, Twitter can be an effective way to generate interest. If his followers are interested in your message, he will be more inclined to pay attention. Rob Pegoraro noted that commenting on articles online is a great way to provide information that was not included in the story. Bill Flook suggests setting up informational interviews with your CEO. Often, meetings like these can result in story ideas.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.


September is Hispanic Heritage Month

September 2, 2010

by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Florida

With Hispanic Heritage Month beginning yesterday, keep in mind that the Hispanic consumer base in the U.S. is so big (50 million people) that all marketers, not just Hispanic brands, need to be targeting this group. Also, Latinos are now the nation’s second-largest consumer market after white non-Hispanics. Check out Pew Hispanic Center’s new case studies: “The Latino Digital Divide: The Native Born versus the Foreign Born” and “How Young Latinos Communicate with Friends in the Digital Age“.

The Pew Hispanic reports found that when it comes to socializing and communicating with friends, young Latinos (ages 16 to 25) make extensive use of mobile technology. Hispanic Youths vs. Hispanic Adults: Hispanics ages 16 to 25 are more likely than Hispanics ages 26 and older to use mobile technologies to communicate with their friends. While half (50%) of young Latinos use texting to communicate, just 21% of older Latinos do the same.

Check out the latest companies using LatinoWire, including Yahoo!, UnitedHealth Group, Best Buy, KFC, Sprint, McCormick, Prudential, Comcast, and Mayo Clinic, just to name a few. These releases run in English and Spanish with translation included! This is a great time for your company to share stories about culture, inspiration, success and more.

Keeping Hispanic Heritage Month in mind, we also encourage you to sign up any knowledgeable experts from your company or organization in our ExpertSource database. Individuals who can share insight into the Hispanic experience, be it business, events, issues or culture, will help make diverse voices available to media members all year round.



Dallas News Radio Staff Talk Best Practices, FM Simulcast at Morning Event

August 19, 2010

by Andy Kehoe, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Dallas

Rick Hadley

Rick Hadley, News Director, WBAP

The Texas Public Relations Association sponsored a “Meet the Media” event on Aug. 17 at the studios of WBAP News/Talk 820AM & 96.7FM in Arlington, Texas. The featured speakers were Rick Hadley, news director, and Tyler Cox, operations manager. WBAP broadcasts a local morning news show, followed by a local talk show (The Mark Davis Show) and syndicated talk shows in the afternoon. In March, WBAP became the first news/talk station in North Texas to have an FM simulcast (on 96.7 FM). Here are some comments from the morning’s discussion:

  • When pitching a story idea, it’s important that the story will somehow relate directly to the station’s listeners, Hadley said. If it’s a national story, there needs to be a way to localize it for the listeners.
  • It helps to do some research on the station and its programs. If you are pitching interview subjects, don’t offer to send the author of a new “love advice” book to be a guest on the station’s political talk show.
  • If you have a story idea that is not time-sensitive, pitch it on a Thursday. This way, the story can hold until the weekend newscast when there’s more time for it to air.
  • When it comes to business news, they’re not as interested in things like earnings and product announcements as they are in stories that will directly affect listeners. “If American Airlines is building a new park in a depressed part of town, of if they make an announcement about having more legroom on flights, that is something we would probably cover,” Hadley said.
  • WBAP hardly ever runs PSAs. Instead, they prefer to incorporate that kind of content into their other weekly programs.
  • The station’s new FM simulcast was launched to attract a younger, more female demographic. “Most people only listen to FM radio. If you ask the average 20- or 30-year-old today, a lot of them won’t even know what AM radio is,” said Cox.

Get Better Tradeshow Coverage with EventTrak by Business Wire

July 21, 2010

by Leon Harbar, Vice President, Global Tradeshows & Events, Business Wire Los Angeles

It may seem obvious, but many companies often go into an important tradeshow sending hundreds of generic emails to the registered media list and hoping for the best: A meeting with any journalist or blogger. Unfortunately, the result is a series of awkward meetings that result in very little targeted coverage.

A more efficient process would be to actually know before the show which influential attending journalists and/or bloggers are actually covering your target market, then putting special emphasis on setting up meetings with those people before your competitors do.

EventTrak by Business Wire is the solution to enable you to set up smarter meetings before your important tech tradeshow.          EventTrak logo

For each specific show, EventTrak provides your public relations team with a “pre-show” report up to 2 months prior to show start detailing media/blogger coverage of the prior year’s show. The report includes publication name, author, date published and a direct link to the article. Users may search within this data, download and export contacts and review “hot themes” for the upcoming show. Approximately two weeks after the show ends, the user will receive a post-show report in the same format with updated coverage data.

For an overview on EventTrak, click here.

For a listing of tradeshows where EventTrak is available, click here.

Business Wire is the official wire for hundreds of events worldwide and when that’s the case, our Online Press Center is integrated within the media area of that event’s website. In addition, we continue to provide free distribution of 100-word profiles to exhibitors/sponsors/presenters of certain events.

If you have any questions on distributing news for a specific event, adding your event to TradeshowNews.com or just need advice, please email tradeshow@businesswire.com.

Follow TradeshowNews.com on Twitter @TradeshowNews or become a fan of us on Facebook!


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