7 Leading CEOs Discuss the Future of Company Communications [Free Webinar]

February 26, 2015

The strategic communication landscape is evolving at an ever-increasing pace.  We’ve seen the move from plain text releases to an era of activation through rich, multimedia storytelling.  Now, more than ever, growing your skill set is critical to keep up with the changing demands of clients and the media. It’s a “learn or get left behind” world.

On March 3 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, seven of the nation’s leading communication CEOs will come together to discuss the changes and innovations changing the way organizations communicate with media, analysts and consumers.

CommPro CEO Leadership Discussion

On March 3, join 7 of the nation’s leading CEOs for an discussion on the future of communications.

Hosted by Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and CEO of Business Wire, this conversation will provide attendees of all levels with best practices that will directly impact communications programming for 2015 and beyond.  Discussion topics will include:

  • Where the PR/Communication industry is headed
  • Instilling and showcasing a spirit of innovation in the workplace
  • The role of collaboration in the creative environment
  • How to create a sense of purpose in your organization
  • The value of mentorship and training
  • Mastering the work-life balance

Participants include…

Register for this free webinar now:  https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/10/7387

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The secrets behind press conferences, product reveals and trade show marketing

February 24, 2015

By Raschanda Hall, Director of Global Media Relations, Business Wire

Trade shows are all about product reveals, updates and, engaging media.  And by engagement I mean, “come ye media and tell the world of the things you have learned today.”  All meant to guide consumers into the conversion funnel, from awareness to action, faster and farther.  The Chicago Auto Show is no different.

Chicago Auto ShowMany exhibiting auto manufacturers will host exciting and sometimes theatrical and humorous press conferences geared toward glamming up the reveals and editorial coverage.

A successful press conference and product reveal is virtually a Hollywood production, and with sticker prices nearing $500,000, what you’ll hear from the communicators responsible for pulling off these events is that you have to nail the basics.

Birthing an automobile:
Preparation and planning are fundamental tenets of public relations. As the dust settles on one show, exhibitors are looking ahead at ideas for next year. According to Curt McAllister, Midwest public relations manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, “This is a little bit of Hollywood. Typically a press conference reveal [the birth of an automobile as he called it] may last all of 20-25 minutes and will probably range between half a million to a million dollars to produce. It’s the closest thing we get to Hollywood here in the auto industry. A lot of preparation is involved.  There is constant communication with our media to let them know we are going to do something big in that city so that they can save a spot on their schedules, and we can ensure a really good attendance.”

Authentic messages and messengers:
“Focus on what’s changed, what’s new, and why you did it,” says Andy Love, the head of car product marketing for Chrysler Group.  “Explain things in an easy-to-understand way.  If you have a new safety feature, help the audience relate with a story.  Explain how things matter and fulfill a need.  If it’s a high-end technology show, how it is easy to use and how it applies to their lives.”

Wendy Orthman is the Manager of the Midwest Region for Chrysler Group Communications.  She works with Chrysler

2015 Dodge Viper GTC

2015 Dodge Viper GTC

executives to get them ready to present on the big stage by first having them present at smaller shows.  “We want our executives at these shows. You want to make sure the speakers you choose have a high enough title that they attract the media. Their quotes bring authenticity and have significance and weight.  The sweet spot is when you have someone with title that can speak with knowledge and be impactful to the media.”

James Zahn, the pop culture and lifestyle blogger better known as The Rock Father, has seen his fair share of press conferences. “Excitement and Enthusiasm. It’s all about the two E’s. Don’t make us [journalists and bloggers] feel like you’re giving us the company line.  If a speaker sounds passionate about the business or product, that makes it more fun for us.”

Show up differently:

SpongeBob Inspired Toyotal Sienna

SpongeBob Inspired Toyotal Sienna

There is a lot of competition for news at these tradeshows and many of your competitors are also holding press conferences. You want to think of how you can show up differently.  Nissan of North America flipped the order of their press conference reveals. “A lot of other guys, they would do a slow build up and reveal the vehicle at the end. We do the opposite,” says Joe Gallant, Manager of Shows & Exhibits at Nissan.  “We keep the speeches short and we reveal the vehicle almost right away.”

The showbiz side of your product reveal means nothing if it doesn’t further your message. “There are very extravagant and flamboyant ways to pull a drape off a car. But don’t get over your budget, and be realistic. Make sure the message and the product is at the heart of it.  If you get so caught up in the smoke and mirrors you’re going to lose your audience,” warns McAllister.

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Business Wire and Black PR Wire Host Free Webinar: Building Brand Believers

February 23, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Social + Evolving Media, Business Wire

In recognition of Black History Month and in celebration of their continued partnership, Business Wire and Black PR Wire will host a free best practices webinar for business professionals featuring a distinguished panel of accomplished corporate leaders, brand representatives and non-profit pioneers. The panelists will share their case-studies and insights on how they have connected with black consumers for their industries and organizations.

What:   Building Brand Believers: How to Reach the Black Market
When:  Wednesday, February 25, Noon – 1 p.m. ET
Register now: http://go.businesswire.com/Building-Brand-Believers

Featured Speakers:      

  • Alicia R. Alston, Vice President, Global Communications, Prudential Financial, Inc
  • Amber Bullock, Executive VP, Community & Youth Engagement, American Legacy Foundation
  • Courtney Cunningham, Esq., Co-Founder/Managing Director, Commonground/MGS;
  • Danyele L.C. Davis, Vice President, Flowers Communications Group.

“This will be a powerful session that no PR professional would want to miss,” says Bernadette Morris, CEO of Black PR Wire.  “These experts will share their experiences and we all look forward to hearing from them.”

The webinar is free and open to the public. However, registration is required for all participants. To register for the session, please visit http://go.businesswire.com/Building-Brand-Believers.  Registered guests will also be able to follow along with our conversation and ask our panelists questions by tracking and including the #bwbprw hashtag on Twitter during the webinar.

Want to share this webinar information with friends and colleagues? Tweet it out by clicking this link: http://ctt.ec/vdhd0

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

February 21, 2015

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

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

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

bizwirepressreleaseprefs


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

February 17, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Applying 8 Modern Day Dating “Rules” to Public Relations

February 14, 2015

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

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

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


Clickbait vs. News Releases: How the News Release Perseveres in a Clickbait World

February 12, 2015

By Hannah Kelly, Editor, Business Wire Paris

Clickbait is the term used to describe web content that uses sensationalist headlines in order to generate click-throughs, and often goes hand-in-hand with a lack of quality or accuracy. Clickbait manipulates the “curiosity gap,” enticing readers with an “unpredictable” story through an intriguing title that does not match the resulting story.

buzzfeed

It’s become a topical subject of late, with Ben Smith, Buzzfeed’s Editor-in-Chief announcing in November that “Buzzfeed Doesn’t Do Clickbait”, and the creation of The Onion’s satirical website, clickhole.com, almost a year ago. Readers are becoming increasingly exasperated by misleading titles and anticlimactic articles, and a backlash movement has been created. This lead to events such as Facebook declaring that it was taking measures to remove clickbait from the platform and the creation of the ingenious Twitter account @SavedYouAClick, which currently has over 187,000 followers.

So it seems the internet’s largest content creators have decided: clickbait is over.

But if this is true, why do news releases still work? Why is it, in this world of short attention spans and long titles, the news release still catches the attention of media, consumers, analysts, decision makers and more?

Simple. It’s trustworthy.

  • A news release headline will always tell you exactly what you’re about to read. Be it “Company’s Earnings up by 7%” or “Company Nominates Person as New Vice-President,” there are no surprises. The essential information is presented straight away, and the article will contain a more detailed explanation.
  • A news release will include contacts. Want to query something? Find out more information? Discuss an event? At Business Wire, the inclusion of a valid contact (verified by our team) is non-negotiable. This allows the reader, whether they are an analyst or a future customer, direct access to the right person within the company.
  • It provides additional context and content. In past years, PR professionals would have to plea to media outlets to include a link back to their company’s website. However, this is rapidly changing.  More often we now see reporters linking back to a client’s news release within their articles.  This new step allows the readers to read the factual news from the company, while they present their view within their article.
  • Arguably the most important aspect of all – publisher credibility. News releases are the origination point for any story. Reporters utilize this as source data, the raw data they need to tell a story.

So the news release lives on, victorious in its integrity and straightforwardness – and Business Wire can help you to be a part of the reputable news release collective.  Because after all, honesty is the best policy.

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