PR Updates From Around the World: June 30

June 30, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Business Wire Nashville

As we come to the end of June, we wanted to share one more PR industry changes and updates blog.  To learn more about each news item, simply click the hyperlink.

Atlanta
ExamMed has selected Trevelino/Keller as its principal integrated PR and marketing agency. Article

Arketi Group has created a new website for Zotec Partners. Article

Austin
AEP Texas has named Andy Heines as director of corporate communications. Article

Boston
Shift Communications has expanded its healthcare practice with the addition of new clients: Decision Resources Group, a provider of high-value data, analytics and insights products and services for the healthcare industry; Medullan, a digital healthcare innovation lab; and Sermo, a leading social network for doctors. Article

PAN Communications has been selected by Drizly. Article

marlo marketing took the top honors at the June 2015 Bellringers’ Awards for the agency’s Community & Consumer Affairs campaign to launch and market The Lawn on D,  Boston’s first-of-its-kind outdoor interactive landscape located on D Street at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).  Article

DC
Maura Sullivan has been named assistant to the Secretary of Defense for public affairs. Article

The Incite Agency and Fenway Strategies have joined forces. Article

Sage Communications has teamed with Glory Days Grill to co-sponsor the Track and Field competition at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax, VA. Article

Sage Communications announced five new sports and entertainment contract wins through its Brotman|Winter|Fried division. Article

212 Communications LLC announced that Bill Atkinson has joined the firm as partner. Article

Stratacomm LLC announced the hiring of Kristin Ford-Glencross as an account director in the company’s Washington, D.C. office. Article

Detroit
Dan Ponder, CEO of Detroit-based Franco Public Relations Group, was recognized as Michigan State University Broad College of Business Executive MBA Program’s Alumni of the Decade. Article

Los Angeles
JMPR Public Relations announced that it has been named agency of record for Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories (BHMA). Article

The Long Beach Grand Cru has selected Bob Gold & Associates as its official PR agency. Article

Movement Public Relations announced the signing of its newest client, Proof of Concept. Articl

Miami
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications announces the appointment of Robert W. Grupp as director of its Master of Arts in Mass Communication (MAMC) program specialization in Global Strategic Communication.  Article

Nashville
Nissan North America has promoted Brian Brockman to director, internal communications. Article

New York
Heineken USA has promoted Tara Rush to senior vice president of corporate relations. Article

CA Technologies has appointed Jeff DeMarrais as senior vice president and chief communications officer. Article

De’Longhi Group America has named Current as public relations agency of record following a competitive review. Article

The Pollack PR Marketing Group (PPMG) announced that it has been selected by The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) to lead its integrated marketing and public relations efforts. Article

Magrino has added new international architecture and design client, Rottet Studio. Article

Hotwire is reshuffling its US management as global CEO Brendon Craigie moves stateside to steer the tech agency’s growth in this market. Article

WPP Group is partnering with Snapchat and the Daily Mail on a new content marketing company, Truffle Pig, to be headed by Alex Jutkowitz. Article

J Public Relations expanded its relationship with The Ritz-Carlton brand with the addition of three more properties to its roster, resulting in a total of 14 properties. Article

Krupp Kommunications took home three awards at the 13th Annual American Business Awards (Stevie Awards) at the organization’s ceremony in Chicago on June 22 winning in three different categories. Article

Gramercy Institute announced its roster of winners for its 13th Annual Gramercy Financial Marketing Strategy Awards. Article

DeVries Global announced that Loretta Markevics has joined the agency as Executive Vice President, Global Creative Intelligence. Article

The Content Council announced that four new board members were elected to its board of directors. Article

San Francisco
Allison+Partners has launched All Told, a new division that combines the agency’s research, content, creative, digital and measurement expertise into a centralized offering. Article

Financial comms boutique the Blueshirt Group is moving into healthcare as this sector undergoes an IPO boom. Article

Silicon Valley
Weber Shandwick has upped Bradford Williams to head of global technology. Article

Atlanta, Boston & Chicago
Myelin Communications announced the acquisition of HY Connect, an advertising agency in Chicago, and Dodge Communications, a public relations and integrated communications firm in Atlanta. Rich Levy, CEO of Myelin, will become chairman of both companies. Article

Hong Kong
ICR announced that veteran business journalist Edmond Lococo has joined its Beijing office as senior vice president. Article

RFI Studios, the digital arm of Ruder Finn, has won a competitive pitch for the Audi R8 LMS Cup digital business in China. Article

Terri-Helen Gaynor has resigned as Asia-Pacific CEO at Burson-Marsteller. Article

Frankfurt
AMI Communications has been selected as agency of record by the leading satellite operator SES Astra. Article

London
Hill+Knowlton Strategies has launched the H+K HER (Helping Executives Rise), a program to support female employees. Article

Hello! Fashion Monthly has hired W to handle its PR on a retained basis.. Article

Shine Communications has won the Open’er Festival brief and will lead the UK PR strategy and delivery to raise awareness of the leading European festival through lifestyle press, digital influencers and social media. Article

MediaWorks has appointed Charlotte McLauchlan as group head of communications. Article

Octopus Group has been appointed by Scredible to drive a PR, social and content program. Article

Comeandhireme.com offers candidates and recruitment personnel at both healthcare agencies and pharmaceutical companies a way to connect and match a qualified employee with the right job. Article

ClickTripz.com has called in Turtle PR to maximise its exposure within the online travel industry. Article

Havas Health has acquired Just: Health Communications. Article

TJX has brought in Ogilvy PR to handle European PR duties after parting ways with FleishmanHillard. Article

Sydney
The $4.5 billion Godrej Group has awarded its public relations mandate to Adfactors PR. Article

Toronto
Hill+Knowlton Strategies has created H+K SJR in Canada, drawing on the communication and storytelling expertise of H+K and the audience development, content and digital publishing experience of Group SJR. Article

Hong Kong & Sydney
Burson-Marsteller announced that Margaret Key has been named CEO, Asia-Pacific. Prema Sagar, Principal and Founder of Genesis Burson-Marsteller, takes on the additional title of Vice Chair, Asia-Pacific. Key is based in Hong Kong, and Sagar is based in New Delhi. Article

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PR Tip: How to Work with Global News Agencies: Agence France-Presse

June 29, 2015

Last week, Business Wire presented audiences with an inside view of the global news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) and tips on how to pitch your business news to their global editorial team. AFP is one of the largest newswires in the world, behind Associated Press and Reuters, with regional offices and bureaus covering breaking and business news generated in over 150 countries.

Our panelists included David Williams, deputy editor-in-chief; Amina Ben Cheikh, marketing manager of web and mobile; and Francois Bohn, international sales coordinator. The event was moderated by Raschanda Hall.

The webinar provided listeners with a better understanding of AFP’s international reach and offered best practices in securing news coverage from AFP journalists and staff around the world.

Click here to listen to this discussion: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/7831143293398660097

During the hour-long event speakers shared key figures that depict just how many lives are reached as a result of AFP’s news coverage, including:

  • 5 24-hour regional headquarters in Washington, Montevideo, Paris, Nicosia, and Hong Kong.
  • 200 news bureaus around the world
  • 150 countries covered
  • 1,500 journalists filing news 24/7
  • 2,300 staff covering world news
  • 800 subsequent media subscribers utilize Business Wire’s news feed
  • Partnerships, such as those with CBS
  • AFP mobile app which provides instant access to breaking news, and news releases alike (in fact, news releases happen to be one of the most accessed sections of their English language news app)

In addition to the news agency’s global reach with coverage ranging from sports to business, AFP also has 1.4 million Twitter followers including nearly 400k English speaking followers.

It’s clear that Agence France-Presse has its ears to the ground all around the globe, but how does that translate into news coverage? What is the impact of AFP reporting on the world in a single day? In a single day, AFP is responsible for writing and distributing more than 8,000 pieces of news content.

AFP in a day

What was especially fascinating was the importance of Business Wire to AFP’s corporate news coverage. As Williams noted, every AFP economic news editor is required to monitor Business Wire for breaking company news throughout their day.  Why?

  • Speed: AFP relies on Business Wire’s business news feed because it is fast and efficient, and often times quicker than receiving news via a company’s website. Business Wire feeds are especially important for earnings releases.
  • Accuracy: When it comes to crafting coverage, the most important element of the news coverage for AFP is accuracy.
  • Trusted source: As David Williams noted, company news releases received from approved commercial newswires such as Business Wire provide a level of trust in the shared content.

How BW file appears in AFP

When asked how PR professionals can increase the potential of news release coverage by AFP?

  1. Write compelling news releases
  2. Include a useful, humanized quote
  3. Add compelling multimedia
  4. Distribute news releases over a trusted newswire like Business Wire
  5. Reach out to AFP’s local news bureau (Click here to find the one closest to you: http://www.afp.com/en/agency/afp-in-world/)

AFP news bureaus

The journey of a release starts as news coverage of just a single sentence, later evolving into a several hundred word piece before being developed into a full feature. Afterwards an AFP post, possibly in multiple languages, may follow to offer readers background information. Oftentimes more than one reporter will be covering a story, including translation for distribution in multiple regions.

Why is AFP an important resource for today’s local, regional, national and international communication pros?

When a company makes an announcement, it wants that information to reach the largest interested audience possible. That is the cornerstone of converting a news release into news. With roots dating back to 1835, AFP is a world leader in bringing breaking stories to the public. If you have newsworthy content crossing the wire, make sure to contact the corresponding regional headquarters and bring their attention to the release. Because they have so many journalists regularly checking BW’s feeds, there’s a good chance they’re already on top of it.


How Has Digital Changed Communication

June 25, 2015

The internet changed almost everything. Most facets of life are now either shaped or directly dictated by the internet, especially the way we communicate. How has the internet changed communication? Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO of Business Wire, answers that question with one word: multimedia.

“My prediction is that multimedia will be a part of every single news release,” Cathy said to Tim Bahr, CEO of Nextworks, during a conversation on the future of business news communications. The conversation, taking place during this past SXSW, touched upon the Smart News Release (SNR), a news release enhancement first launched by Business Wire in 1995. The ability for a commercial newswire to embed graphics into a news release and transmit it to news media outlets via the SNR was the first marriage of multimedia with text. It wasn’t just a news release with an image or video, it was an entirely new and unique asset for media recipients. What are the benefits of this marriage?

A recent study by Microsoft finds that human attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds. That means by the time you’re reading this sentence, you’re probably ready for some visual stimulation. Today’s constant stream of multimedia might be a cause for society’s diminishing focus, but it can also serve as the cure. A picture has long been touted as being worth a thousand words, making video exponentially more valuable. By including a video with a news release, you are intriguing the audience on multiple senses. According to Northern Michigan University’s Academic & Career Advisement Center, approximately 30% of people are auditory learners. By incorporating video with audio into your news release, you are reaching a larger audience than by just including images alone.

The importance of video to public relations is not a surprise. Tamraz elaborated on her comments about multimedia explaining that, “people think visually.” Videos provide the public with news in an easy to consume and engaging format.

It’s been twenty years since the launch of the Smart News Release. How have communications assets evolved in the age of Web 2.0?

PR pros are always looking for ways to amplify a news release – a tool that raises visibility of a company, and encourages engagement of the news within key audiences. And, as Tamraz says in the video, assets such as News Capsules provide that very boost to any news release. A News Capsule is a tool that allows a brand to tell a story using interactive multimedia. It’s the gamification of the news release and it boasts an average reader engagement time of 6:12 minutes. That number really jumps out at you when you compare it with the 20 to 30 seconds it takes to read a text-only news release.

Why are capsules so effective in increasing the impact of a news release? Tamraz describes this multimedia asset as the “crossover between news, corporate communications, and marketing.” Advances in internet connectivity continue to blur lines for every industry, whether it is multimedia, communication, or distribution. By offering information in a way that can be learned both visually and kinesthetically, the News Capsule is a tool that blurs the lines between varied forms of communication. This makes it an ideal asset for amplifying a company message on a multitude of platforms.

The future of public relations and audience activation is interactive content. For Meghan Gross, president of Gem Strategic Goulston StorrsCommunications, a picture capsule was the best way to tell a year’s worth of stories. She recommended using a picture capsule to a professional services client of hers as a way to reach their core audience. In this case, the client wanted to showcase the importance of climate change by bringing attention back to all the great content they created that year. The News Capsule allowed Gem to create one single asset that hosted all of the client’s created content, allowing them to present their entire story in one outreach. Of course, once a capsule goes out, as Cathy Baron Tamraz says, it “travels.” Capsules are sharable and embeddable allowing users to embed it in stories, social channels, websites and more.

The internet proved to not be a trend and neither will mobile platforms. The digital revolution succeeded and we now find ourselves in the digital age. And now, every aspect of life revolves in some way around the era we live in, just like during the Industrial Age that preceded it. How are you adapting your communication practices for the growing needs of today’s digital, visual society?

To learn more about digital influence on news distribution read the following articles:

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Snacking On News … Will It Fill Your Brain?

June 23, 2015

Simona Bio

By Simona Colletta, International Media Relations Specialist – Paris

The internet helps people understand new things like the best way to clean a bicycle chain, proper snooker techniques, and how to change a car’s head lamp. But, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, the internet is not helping people comprehend the news. The study found that only 42 percent of people were able to answer basic questions about the news.

How could this be? Why are people so uninformed about the news when they have so many options to get the news? Maybe it’s precisely because they have all of those options. People are no longer digging into news stories and completely digesting them; instead, they are merely snacking on the news. According to the study, 59 percent of the time people do not read past the headlines on internet stories. The snacking is light, it seems.

eating_paper

While the Pew Research Center Study doesn’t identify study participants by geographic location, I live in France and was recently alerted to an Odoxa survey done for Trooclick, a French start-up company that developed an opinion-driven search engine which uses a natural language processing technology to gather news and opinions online. The survey reveals some interesting data on how the French view today’s news landscape.

85 percent of French people believe that they have more information available

Between ongoing chains of information, online news sites, search engines, and social networks, the French feel more informed than they did ten years ago. A whopping 85 percent of them believe they have more information on the news. This finding is shared widely across the population, regardless of age, social class, or income level.

Graph 1

The French do not feel more informed

If the French have won in terms of quantity of information available to them on the internet, they certainly don’t feel they have won in terms of quality. Although 77 percent consider the available information on current events is becoming more varied, only a minority believes that information is becoming more useful.

It must be noted that the internet offers so much in terms of information, but that information is often scattered, poorly organized and frequently redundant. The result? Of every 10 articles read, less than half are read in full (4.5 exactly). A tiny minority of French (8 percent) read every article in full.

Graph 2

Nearly 7 out of 10 French are interested in a free online service that would deliver them a summary of every point of view on a news event

The logical conclusion to the results of the survey (and encouraging for Business Wire and Trooclick) is that 66 percent of French people would be interested in a free online service that would deliver to them a summary of all current events. The youngest were the most interested: 8 out of 10 would be keen on this kind of online service.

Snacking on the news is not bad in and of itself, but we should be attentive, as we are in our kitchen, to the quality and reliability of what we snack upon. In this massive jungle of media and information, a reader can now count on interactive tools that help him/her to select the best “product” and follow his/her fields of interest.

Have a bite!

Try Business Wire’s Press Pass or click here to visit trooclick.com

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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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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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How to Get An In With the Mommy Blogging Community

May 12, 2015

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire

Connecting with Mommy bloggers has a wide range of benefits. Bloggers provide influence and reach on a more personal level which can result in increased audience loyalty and a higher response rate.  Mommy bloggers offer authenticity that can be hard to find at larger outlets.

Last week I attended the PRSA: Meet the Lifestyle & Family Bloggers in Manhattan. Four Mommy bloggers shared insight on the best ways to pitch, develop relationships and connect with bloggers of a similar demographic.

Mommy Bloggers

From left to right: Amy Oztan – Selfish Mom, Onica Cupido -The Mommy Factor, Jen Rabulan-Bertram -The Next Kid Thing, Nellie Acevedo – Brooklyn Active Mamma

Moderated By: Erica Saviano Tsioutas – Ketchum and Nicole Chismar – MSL Group, the speakers included Amy Oztan – Selfish Mom, Onica Cupido -The Mommy Factor, Jen Rabulan-Bertram -The Next Kid Thing, Nellie Acevedo – Brooklyn Active Mamma

Here are five takeaways from the panel.

Do Your Research: Not all bloggers are giveaway bloggers and not all bloggers have time to blog daily.
First and foremost, “Do Your Homework.”  Thorough research is one of the most important aspects of reaching bloggers.  Bloggers take pride in the topics they choose. They want to know that you are sincerely interested in what they care and write about. Like Amy Oztan from The Selfish Mom stated, “If I’m going to take the time to read your pitch, then I expect you to take the time to read what I write about.” This may seem obvious, but it can be overlooked when you’re in a time crunch. Make sure to take the time or wait until you have the time. Bloggers talk to each other, so don’t be the publicist who sent an irrelevant pitch.

Make a Genuine Connection:  Mass emails are a thing of the past.
As we’ve heard time and time again, building relationships and contributing to valuable conversations are crucial for public relations. This theme still applies in reaching bloggers large and small. How do you achieve “Valuable” communication? Like any relationship, make an effort to connect and understand the person. Does the blogger have a son or daughter? What is their favorite hobby?  Do they love engaging in conversations on Twitter? Find their touch points and make sure you touch on them. Like exercising, make an effort and you’ll see the results.

Be on Your Trend Game: Watch for holidays, social media, news, events, and pop culture.
Similar to larger media outlets, bloggers are interested in exclusivity and being topical. They want new stories to break on their blog; especially products, events or something that is trending in the digital realm. If your company news can correlate with an event or something that is trending, your chances of getting pickup are much higher.  Be familiar with what’s happing in the social media world. It’s  quick and easy to find what’s popular and what your bloggers are excited about. Like Nellie Acevedo from Brooklyn Active Mamma said, “Twitter gives life to the voices in my head.”

Create a Partnership: Lay out the benefits for everyone involved.
Many bloggers participate in brand ambassador programs as a way of getting paid, or for an opportunity to experience something interesting and new. Partnering with a blogger can be a simple way to gain awareness for your brand and an easy step to the start of a relationship. Make sure your communication with the blogger is clear and concise. Every detail should be laid out including: your final goals, frequency in posts and content of posts, as well as length, and parameters. If you don’t have the budget for a partnership, offer exclusive stories, product, or a guest post on your company website.

Gifting: Be straight forward and know what their tastes are.
If you want to gift a Mommy blogger, take a look at her social media and confirm that what you’re sending will be useful. If her kids are 10 and 12 do not send baby food samples. Send a note, and make sure to include your contact information and an end goal. For example: “Dear xx, I noticed you’ll be taking a trip to the Bahamas next week with your daughter, so I wanted to share these funky flip flops for fun in the sun. Feel free to tag us on Twitter and/or Instagram at @____ if you wear them. Have a wonderful vacation!”  Keep in mind that if you’ve invited a blogger to an event, most bloggers will take car service over a “swag bag” any day.

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