Turning Your News into Powerful Digital Content

June 28, 2013

Business Wire and NextWorks  sponsored a June 26 panel at the National Press Club in Washington that was all about turning your news into engaging and powerful digital content. Danny Selnick, Vice President for Public Policy and LatinoWire news distribution services for Business Wire, moderated the morning panel of digital content experts:

  • David Henry, Vice President of Content Marketing for NextWorks (@realdavidhenry)
  • Christian Clymer, Deputy Vice President for Public Affairs, PhRMA (@CCatPhRMA)
  • Kieran Fagan, Group Director, WCG (@kieranfagan)

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David spoke first  to the packed room, emphasizing that so much of what the public wants from an online experience has a video component , and that it must be powerful, engaging and short — not more than 90 seconds. He went on to suggest that the opportunity for organizations and companies is to expand the written news release into a visually compelling communications and marketing tool — and distribute it across all platforms, targeting media and bloggers — reaching out to millions of consumers. David went over the elements of telling a great story via video including:

  • Describe the issue or product
  • Demonstrating the product
  • Educate the viewer
  • Offer testimonials
  • Offer up organizational experts (and company/organization CEOs)
  • Offer FAQs

Christian went on to play captivating video that showed the human face of PhRMA and what its members offer the world — research, progress and hope. Effective advocacy video should include what he calls “snack-ables” offering quick, but important bites of content. He also talked about how PhRMA brought production in-house using two Apple computers and an editor — organizations no longer have to spend lots of money on production. Another important take-away that Christian mentioned is to reach the right 1,000 people, not the wrong one million people. Knowing who and how to reach youraudience is critical.

Kieran went on to say that getting visibility for whatever your doing is one thing, but getting people to “act” on the message is what is really important. Keep in mind the 1/9/90 rule — 1% of the online audience creates content, 9% will comment, rate and share content, while 90% watches. So again, it’s important to reach influencers. Keep the end goal in mind.

To read all the tweets coming from the event: click here and select “All Tweets.” To get a copy of the presentations from this panel, please contact Danny Selnick.


Business Wire Phoenix and Keith Yaskin Show How to Tell Your Story with Video

March 7, 2013
by Billy Russell, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Phoenix

At Business Wire’s February 27 workshop, “How to Dynamically Tell Your Company’s Story With Video,” Keith Yaskin, who moderated the event, had an opportunity to provide his own insight into the creative process of crafting a video to tell a company’s story.

Three teams were each assigned to produce a video for a specific company Keith had outlined, and were asked how they would tell their story and what visuals would be highlighted. Two teams were given the task of creating a video for a mining company in order to boost its image to gain public support for a land swap.  One team was given a small, local dentist’s office who specialized in kids’ dentistry.  Both industries may have a difficult time portraying a positive image for different reasons:  Mining companies can receive public backlash for environmental reasons, and a dentist’s office is a classic phobia for many people.  So, how to tackle these issues?

According to Keith, there is absolutely no ONE right way to tell a story.  There may be ten, twenty, a hundred different ways to tell a story, all of which can be equally effective.  The two teams provided with the task of the mining company had different ideas, ranging from who to interview, to where to shoot the interview.  Should it be outside on a sunny day?  Who would be interviewed?  The town’s mayor?  An environmentalist professional?  Everyone had their own ideas, none of them wrong, but all greatly different in achieving the goals.

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Event photos by Billy Russell, Business Wire

Keith then shared a video he had personally produced for a mining company in the same situation. His was shot almost entirely within the mine, about 70% of it being with the workers and interviewing them, and 30% within the town.  He explained to the workshop attendees that he wanted to highlight the hard work that the employees handle within the mine in order to boost the company’s public image.  When it comes to interviews, he told us, he much preferred working with non-actors in order to get a more naturalistic demeanor from them.  With actors, he said, sometimes they come off TOO good, too polished and confident.  He told the groups that he preferred the reactions and statements of everyday people as their conversations come across more warmly.

The second team was asked to create a video for a pediatric dentist’s office to portray the professional positively and warmly; themes were discussed on what would be covered and who would be interviewed.  Some ideas were to interview the child coming to visit and asking how they liked coming to the dentist’s office, making sure to get great, big smiles on camera to highlight his/her happiness with the visit and the professional work on their teeth.  Other members of the team thought it would be a good idea to spend some time talking about the equipment used, to show how state-of-the-art their techniques for dentistry are, to ease potential clients’ minds about what to expect.

After the discussion, Keith shared another video he had produced to demonstrate how he handled the same task.  He allowed the dentist to speak freely about how he comforts his clients coming in for checkups and building rapport with them.  Keith noted one of his techniques to filming is to, after an interview is conducted, have the dentist continue to wear his microphone and to shoot video of him going about his business so that he can get some off-the-cuff moments and the children visiting his office that looks and feel entirely real and unrehearsed.

The workshop closed with a Q&A session where our attendees had a chance to clarify any questions that they had about the creative process and how to work within reasonable budgetary restrictions.


How to Make Your Online Video More Visible

June 22, 2012

  by Michel Rubini, International Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/London

The temptation to package your message in a video is difficult to resist. Video is brilliant at making complex concepts easily understandable. Video can engage an audience on an emotional and informative level in a way that text simply can not.  Not to mention that when it comes to press releases, we see that multimedia content, including video, can drive press release views.

Assuming first that you’re sharing quality, engaging content, you still must remember that a video made for offline consumption does not always translate perfectly for online distribution.

Keep it short – Online audiences are not as attentive as offline audiences. Distractions come in many ways when browsing the web. Online video should ideally be under three minutes long. The shorter the better.

Make Text a Friend Not a Foe – Google needs the text to find your video but the traditional uses of text on screen can create poor online user experiences. So what’s the solution?  Christian Heilmann, developer evangelist from Mozilla Popcorn, shared a possible answer at a Newsrewired event.

Chris Heilman Mozilla

Christian Heilman

Heilmann explained that video is a black hole on the web. Google is unable to go through a video like it goes through a text. A good headline and a lengthy description is all we have to make it seen.

So how can we make our video more searchable and more findable? Heilmann’s suggestion is to always separate your content from your presentation. Any text should never be in the images. Any text in a video should be overlaying it. It makes the text easily edited, translated, enhanced or deleted when required. Titles and subtitles and are loved by Google and therefore, as Heilmann puts it, “separation increases search-ability and find-ability . . . search engines have something to bite into.”

The big question now is: how do we do it? Heilmann is a big fan of HTML5 video as an answer to these problems. HTML5 video makes it more accessible on the web by allowing the maker to easily separate text and images. Text is over imposed and can easily be edited and found by search engines. Like music made of many different tracks laid on top of each other, HTML5 video text is placed in a running track. Different kind of texts can be added to different tracks. Broadly speaking, there are 3 different tracks:

  •  Subtitles: translations of the dialogue in the video for when audio is available but not understood. Subtitles are shown over the video.
  • Captions: transcription of the dialogue, sound effects, musical cues and other audio information for when the viewer is deaf/hard of hearing, or the video is muted. Captions are also shown over the video.
  • Chapters: they are used to create navigation within the video. Typically they’re in the form of a list of chapters that the viewer can click on to go to a specific chapter.

A good example of a video using the above feature is shown here:

The overlaying is unscripted in the coding itself. Suddenly, the invisibility cloak is lifted and the video is findable, searchable and flexible . . . all things you will most certainly want when sharing your videos.


Calling All College Students: Enter Our 50th Anniversary Video Contest & Win a Trip to Meet Warren Buffett in New York

April 12, 2011

Business Wire is going back to school! In our 50 years in the industry, we’ve seen first-hand how the communications world has changed & played a pretty big role in many of those changes along the way. Looking to the future as part of our 50th Anniversary, we want the next generation of communicators to share their vision of where public relations and communications is headed.

We’re kicking off our 50th Anniversary College Video Contest to send one lucky student to New York City to meet Warren Buffett, chairman & CEO of Business Wire’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, along with Business Wire chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz at Business Wire’s NYSE Opening Bell luncheon on September 30. Full-time U.S. and Canadian students attending two- or four-year colleges are invited to submit a video answering the question, “What is the future of public relations and communications?

We’ll select our top five videos and post them to our Facebook page, where fans are encouraged to “like” & comment on their favorites. Check out all the contest details at Facebook.com/BusinessWire. Good luck!

Check out this video for a quick rundown of what this contest is all about:


Newport Area Communicators and Media Talk Industry Trends, Pitching Tips

November 19, 2010

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire LA

Last week, Business Wire Newport Beach held a media breakfast for more than 70 Orange County area communicators and PR professionals to discuss trends in the media industry and tips for reaching out to Newport area media.

>>Download a full audio recording of this event here.

The panel of Orange County/Inland Empire media members included (left to right, pictured with Business Wire Newport Regional Sales Manager Tasha Huang, far right):

Here are some of the insights provided by the panelists:

Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press:

  • On trends in the news industry: Social media, interactive and mobile remain on the rise. The AP is active on all three of these fronts. They’ve trained their reporters to get video and also supply footage to broadcast media. Multimedia is very important to them, and while they often have their own photographers in the field, photos with press releases are especially important if they are images the reporters cannot easily get themselves.
  • Mobile has revolutionized the news industry. The AP has been extremely aggressive about adapting to mobile. AP Mobile is a very popular news app for BlackBerry and iPhone.
  • The AP is on Facebook and Twitter and has also been experimenting with blogging. Many of their beat reporters have their own Twitter accounts and that is one way to find them.
  • When pitching to the AP in Southern California, your best bet is usually to send it to the Los Angeles bureau, as the Orange County bureau is very small. Their reporters share information all the time with each other, so if it’s relevant to a specific region, it will be passed along to them.

Lisa Liddane, Coast Magazine & OrangeCounty.com:

  • Reporting is starting to be very personality-driven. The lines in objective reporting are blurring as trends like blogging become more popular.
  • The best way to reach Coast Magazine is email. Be very clear in your subject line. It’s very helpful to you to find a local angle and include it in your pitch.
  • Know who you are pitching to and what their publication schedule is. For example, a print magazine versus daily newspaper or broadcast news.
  • Print publications like Coast Magazine need high res photos at 300 DPI. If you don’t have a high res picture, sometimes they can still use a lower resolution one for online.

Jerry Sullivan, Orange County Business Journal:

  • Do the research to find the right reporter to target. For the OCBJ (and many publications), you can find reporters by the beat they cover on the publication website.
  • Look for trends or a local angel to incorporate your company or news into. For example, the OCBJ is interested in stories about media companies buying smaller companies, or stories involving local executives.
  • Press releases can lead to media coverage in roundabout ways. They might just call attention to your company and cause a reporter to look into them when they otherwise wouldn’t have thought to.
  • When including photos with your release, identify the people in the photo left to right whenever possible.

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.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Adding Video to Maximize Your Reach and Exposure

July 6, 2010

- by Claudia Perez-Bonilla, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Florida

On June 22nd, Business Wire Florida media luncheon attendees were able to partake in a lively discussion with video experts and marketing, PR and corporate communications professionals on the benefits of adding video to press releases to gain visibility and exposure.

Florida Media Luncheon Panelists

L-R: Rick Christie, Doug Perry, Pilar Portela, Rachel Toole

Hosted by JM Family Enterprises Inc., and moderated by Business Wire Media Relations Supervisor Pilar Portela, the panelists were:

  • Rick Christie, Breaking News Editor, The Palm Beach Post
  • Doug Perry, Executive Producer for Digital Content, WPBF-TV
  • Rachel Toole, Sales & Marketing Manager, MEDIAmobz

With the topic more timely than ever — video press releases having a 300% message retention rate and 500% more views than text-only releases — our panelists discussed video trends, tips on how to get started using video and how to make the best use of your FLIP camera.

Trends show an upswing in the use of video not only for traditional press releases, but also to promote:

  • Upcoming events
  • Testimonials
  • New Product Launches
  • Company Profiles

Rick Christie of The Palm Beach Post noted the “3 must-haves” for a successful video campaign.  The clip must be:

  1. Interesting
  2. Relevant
  3. Important

He also advises to go to a media point’s Facebook/YouTube page or follow them on Twitter to get an idea of the type of video they prefer and are most likely to use.

When asked for tips on creating video, all the panelists agreed:

  • Target an audience/know your demographics.
  • The video must have a message/tell a story.
  • Keep it brief (2 minutes is optimal).
  • Keep it real.
  • Don’t make it purely product based advertising.

MEDIAmobz Sales & Marketing Manager Rachel Toole added further to the discussion by noting that using video is:

  • Cost Effective:  the footage/material can be repurposed.
  • Improves SEO:  video is more prevalent in search engine results (i.e.  Google).
  • Good for increasing your ROI.
  • Visually engaging.

Doug Perry of WPBF-TV shared how their newsroom is a “Next Generation” newsroom. As part of a Hearst Television Inc. initiative, news reporters were outfitted with Blackberrys that can shoot video, and laptops that can live stream.  Doug advised that when including video for media usage:

  1. Content is critical.
  2. Give users a reason to click on the URL.  Don’t simply state “click here.”
  3. When shooting video, zoom with your feet.  Get close to the action.
Janice Essick and Mark Sell

Florida Regional Manager Janice Essick with FLIP camera raffle winner Mark Sell

During the media luncheon, an Ultra FLIP Video camera was raffled off. One lucky audience member, Mark Sell of the Miami agency Wragg & Casas, won the camera. Mark is already using his FLIP for client interviews.  In regard to tips for using the popular FLIP, our experts recommend:

  • When filming, be as close to the subject as possible.
  • Do not use high contrast.
  • Remember to also post on your company’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.

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.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Reminder: Business Wire Florida Event on Video Tomorrow

June 21, 2010

South Florida-area PR & IR pros, don’t forget about the free Business Wire Florida event tomorrow, “Adding Video to Maximize Your Reach, Exposure & Pick-Up.” Speakers will include Rachel Toole, Sales & Marketing Consultant for MEDIAMobz, Rick Christie, Breaking News Editor for the Palm Beach Post and Doug Perry, Executive Producer for Digital Content for WPBF-TV. The panel will discuss the power of video & the benefits of including a visual element to your press releases.

View a video invitation for this event here:

Tuesday, June 22 at 11:30 a.m. ET
JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
111 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Please RSVP to Claudia Perez-Bonilla at 954-474-8833 or email claudia.perez@businesswire.com

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.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


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