“Every Business Has an Audience” is a Key Takeaway from SXW2O

March 17, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

The venue was large and had already been entertained by the great Al Roker by the time Jim Weiss (CEO, W2O Group) and Cathy Baron Tamraz (CEO, Business Wire) stepped on stage. They had their hands full with a standing room-only audience and only saying something fundamentally mind blowing would turn it around. Fortunately for the crowd, that’s exactly what happened.

Cathy and Jim at SXW2O event

During the session, Cathy was asked how a newswire service could support a startup or organization that journalists weren’t actively looking for information on. “If you have a business, you have an audience,” she told the crowd. “Safe is not going to win the game.”

More news is being created and consumed now than ever in the history of modern man, she continued, adding that there are trade papers, journalists, online publications and consumers looking for relevant company news every day. You don’t have to be a big name brand to get noticed; you just have to have a good product or piece of news. In a world so cluttered with content, it was refreshing to hear someone say what every successful large and small organization knows to be true. You don’t have to be big to get noticed — you just have to appeal to your core audience.

Apple WatchTo reiterate the point that smaller companies can greatly benefit with a newswire service, Cathy cited her own company’s history. When Business Wire first launched over 50 years ago, they were distributing news for companies like Hewlett-Packard, companies that were being run out of garages. This hasn’t changed much. From startup launches to the introduction of the Apple watch, Business Wire continues to distribute market moving news across a wide range of industries.

Jim Weiss chimed in, adding that startups need to get into the practice of issuing releases. It is important to start building and archiving a digital trail for your company during its earliest stages. The digital revolution also created a wide variety of options for the format of your distributed information.

Both Jim and Cathy agreed that multimedia was not just beneficial to a news release, but a requirement in modern news consumption programming. Modern communicators like Hasbro, Intel, Cigna and more are leveraging multimedia assets like News and Picture Capsules that allow users to play a game while learning about the brand and product. IntelBy incorporating interactive multimedia within the news story, audiences spend far more time on the news announcement than they would had it just been a simple text release.  Text-only news releases engage readers for seconds, while interactive-based releases are showing engagement results between 4-10 minutes – rates that are unheard of in the current communications and content marketing space.

The next topic covered was the importance of measurement in the communication space.  Measurability is the single greatest tool in identifying how a release is impacting the market and the company goals alike. Advents, such as NUVI, create an ability to not only see where your news release is being picked up but who is engaging with it and how – reading, sharing or advocating. Being able to distinguish the public reaction of your release gives you the opportunity to take control over your campaign like never before.

nuvi report

The lineup at this year’s SXW2O was fantastic, and the reason why is because the speakers were inspiring. There is a great feeling to knowing that you can make an impact especially when the message is coming from people who make an impact every day, like Jim Weiss and Cathy Baron Tamraz. The question now is who are you trying to activate with your news, and how can Business Wire help you distribute it?

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Listen up! Everything PR and Social Media Pros Need To Know About Meerkat

March 9, 2015

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

Welcome to Meerkat!

Welcome to Meerkat!

As Business Wire’s director of social and evolving media, I get asked a lot about the future of social tech and which emerging apps are going to impact the social news distribution/consumption flow.  Right now, that tool is most definitely Meerkat.

Meerkat is a very easy to use, point and shoot iOS application that allows users to share live video from their mobile devices.  For today’s marketers, the opportunities provided by Meerkat for program amplification, and real-time news sharing are huge.  Expect to see marketers use it to livestream media and consumer focused events and interviews, showcase product use, create meet and greets with executives, interviews and even provide real-time behind the scene sneak peeks.

Using Meerkat is easy! First you download the app and log in using your Twitter account.  Meerkat will automatically find and link you with Twitter followers who are also using Meerkat, so right from the start you have fans and followers.  Meerkat videos are not available for replay, although you can choose to save your broadcasts for additional content marketing use.basketball meerkat

Meerkat offers two ways to livestream –in real-time or later, at a scheduled time.

To begin a livestream, aim your camera to feature whatever you want to show and start streaming.  The app will then send out a Tweet to your Twitter followers, as well as a mobile alert to Meerkat connections, that you are livestreaming, inviting them to view your video.  Meerkat users can then come and watch either via the Meerkat app or their web browser, with in-app notifications alerting you every time someone new joins in.

How to schedule on meerkatTo schedule a livestream, click the schedule button, type in the time and date of your upcoming livestream and Meerkat will help you promote it by sharing this information via a Tweet sent from your Twitter account.

During your livestreams, you can engage with viewers via comments that are also pushed out on Twitter as a way to increase the visibility and potential engagement of and with your Meerkat livestream

The results of Meerkat livestream announcements on Twitter remind me of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  First, it coincides with Twitter’s recent move to allow users to embed Twitter-hosted videos on any website.  As Twitter focuses on video sharing, don’t be surprised if you see more videos within your Twitter stream. While we cannot confirm it at this time, it would make sense for Twitter to change their news feed algorithms slightly to highlight this new feature.

In addition to Twitter’s own emphasis on video, Meerkat also taps into innate human behavior in two ways.  First, when one sees an announcement of a livestream from a friend or connection, it creates a desire to click to see what is being shared. Secondly, with today’s consumers adopting visual communications, this is a perfect marriage between social media and video production, allowing them to watch the video live, as it is being made.  Meerkat itself built in a point system to reward users for watching other videos, showcasing top viewers via a leaderboard.  The gamified, viral nature of the tool, combined with the ease-of use, makes this a marketers dream – and just in time for SXSW.

With no costs associated with the service, and its ability to alert your followers of current and upcoming broadcasts, there is no reason marketing and communication pros should not be testing this tool to support a wide range of event, business, product and consumer-focused marketing program. Are using Meerkat yet?

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The Future of Strategic Communications: Thoughts from the C-Suite

March 6, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Marketing, Business Wire 

Business Wire and CommPro.biz recently hosted a conversation between seven PR and communication industry CEOs on the topic of innovation in the communication industry.

Innovation Leadership Participants, from left to right: Sabrina Horn, The Horn Group, CEO Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group, CEO Patrice Tanaka, PadillaCRT, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist Stacey Cohen, Co-Communications, CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire, CEO/Chairwoman Barri Rafferty, Ketchum, North America, CEO, Sandra Fathi, Affect, Pres/Founder Fay Shapiro, CommPro, CEO

Innovation Leadership Participants, from left to right: Sabrina Horn, The Horn Group, CEO Jennefer Witter, The Boreland Group, CEO Patrice Tanaka, PadillaCRT, Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist Stacey Cohen, Co-Communications, CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, Business Wire, CEO/Chairwoman Barri Rafferty, Ketchum, North America, CEO, Sandra Fathi, Affect, Pres/Founder Fay Shapiro, CommPro, CEO

Participants of this discussion included:

Click here to read how these respected CEOs view the role of innovation, collaboration, creativity, mentoring and leadership within their agency and the public relations industry as a whole:  http://bit.ly/1wZ1F7f 


PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of March 2

March 3, 2015

By Denise Grayes, Senior Client Services, Business Wire

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
Marketing Inspirations has been selected as a finalist for four campaigns for the 2015 Atlanta Marketer of the Year Awards (AMYs), and received recognition as a finalist in the Atlanta American Advertising Awards (ADDYs). Article

Porsche Cars North America has appointed Christian Koenig as vice president public relations. Article

Austin
Drumroll announced that it has hired Nicole Sanchez into a new Account Director position, created to support continued agency growth. Article

Chicago
Derivatives clearing organization OCC has hired David Prosperi as first vice president, public relations, and Patricia Overstreet-Miller as first vice president, corporate communications, both reporting to newly appointed as executive vice president, business development Scot Warren. Article

FoodMinds has added the American Frozen Food Institute to its client roster. In addition, Welch Foods has named FoodMinds its agency-of-record for health professional and nutrition influencer communications. Article

Cleveland
FrazierHeiby has named Bryan Haviland as president. Article

DC
Crosby Marketing Communications has promoted Jeff Rosenberg to EVP, leading its advocacy and social media practice. Article

Clutch recently published its first report on leading search engine optimization consultants. Article

Denver
The American Advertising Federation (AAF)-Kansas City recently held its American Advertising Awards and honored Woodruff Sweitzer for its work with AMVAC Chemical Corporation. Article

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored the nation’s largest integrated travel marketing firm MMGY Global with its top award, “Best in Show” for its rebranding and advertising campaign for the city of Cleveland. Article

DBC PR + Social Media has been appointed PR agency of record by cocktail soda maker Q Drinks. Article

Crosby Marketing Communications has promoted Jeff Rosenberg to executive vice president. Article

Global Strategy Group has hired Matt Canter as senior vice president. Article

Telluride Ski & Golf Resort has selected Buffalo Brand Invigoration Group to direct golf-focused public relations for its breathtaking mountain course and associated memberships, stay-and-play packages, and instruction programs. Article

Story Partners has hired Adam Croglia as a director. Article

Los Angeles
American Apparel has named Thoryn Stephens as chief digital officer, a newly created role at the company, and Cynthia Erland as SVP of marketing. Article

Movement Public Relations announced the signing of its newest client, The Detour Bistro Bar, a Culver City restaurant founded by Los Angeles locals and long-time caterers Ranni Kumgisky and Dane Pearson of Great Dane Catering and Events. Article

Automotive search site AutoWeb has selected JMPR Public Relations as its public relations agency of record. Article

Pacific Shore Holdings announced that Smith Public Relations has been named as its new marketing and public relations agency of record. Article

Miami
The Florida Department of Citrus and Mexican theme park Experiencias Xcaret have signed on as initial clients for The Agency, a new integrated communication firm focused on the millennial sector. Article

As Orlando-based integrated marketing agency Chatter Buzz Media prepares to celebrate its third year in business this Spring, its co-founders, Shalyn Dever and Ashley Cisneros Mejia, pause to reflect on a historic 2014. Motorsports communication professional David Hart will be joining the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca team as public relations manager, effective March 2. Article

Brad Goldstein, former corporate affairs director at Oxbow Carbon, has left the company to start a crisis communications and crisis management firm-Resilience Communications. Article

NTC (Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc.) has hired Gina Morales, APR, to serve as the Vice President of Marketing for the leading post-closing services provider. Article

Fetching Communications has added new clients including the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists for its National Service Animal Eye Exam Event; The Rein Coat, to raise awareness of its therapeutic calming coat for pets; and Daybreak/Lindy & Co. to raise visibility of its treats and mission. Article

Minneapolis
The Integer Group has appointed Michael Rivera as Executive Creative Director out of Integer’s Des Moines office. Article

Nashville
DVL Seigenthaler, a Finn Partners Company, has promoted three to partner: Jonathan Carpenter, Mark Day, and Andrea Lindsley. Article

Memphis International Raceway has hired Craig Wack as director of public relations and marketing. Article

Newport Beach
Strategic video communications firm D S Simon Productions has added an industry veteran to its expanding sales team. Brian Devenny, who worked at D S Simon for six years as director of media relations, has rejoined the company as Senior Account Manager for the West Coast. Article

New York
Ted Sabarese has joined Porter Novelli as regional creative director, North America. Article

Financial communications specialist ICR has hired public affairs veteran Michael Robinson as managing director and former business and financial journalist John Jannarone as senior vice president. Article

DKC Public Relations has launched BR&, a branding and advertising arm. The group will be led by Karen Whittey, VP and creative director. Article

OpenLink has brought on Aspectus PR as its global communications partner following a competitive pitch. Article

King + Company announced it has been retained by Juice from the Raw, an Online Cold-Pressed Raw Juice Cleanse. Article

Blue Chip Public Relations announced it has been retained by EQIS Capital Management to earn media coverage for the new book, “Mutual Funds Exposed,” by its Chief Financial Strategist Dr. Kenneth Kim and Chief Investment Officer William R. Nelson, as well as for the company and its offerings to investment advisors and their clients. Article

TapImmune Inc. announced the company’s management team has selected New York City based PCG Advisory as agency of record for Investor, Public, and Social Media Relations. Article

Barbara Branagan-Mitchell, owner of Branagan Communications Consultants, is celebrating 22 years of success as a sole proprietor entrepreneur in 2015. Article

Focus Media announced that Michael Bieger has recently been promoted to director of public relations. Article

European social data intelligence company Talkwalker announced its entry into the U.S. market with the opening of offices in New York City. In coordination with the NYC launch, Talkwalker has hired Todd Grossman as CEO Americas. Article

Richard Rubenstein, President of Rubenstein Public Relations, has announced that Amy Delson has joined the agency as Vice President. Article

Hawkins International Public Relations has named Michelle Kelly vice president, client services, and Martha Carrera account director. Article

Aspectus PR has been selected by OpenLink to act as its global communications partner. Article

Ogilvy PR has promoted Suresh Raj to the newly-created role of MD of global business development. Article

Korn Ferry has hired Peter McDermott as principal. Article

Philadelphia
The organizers of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement have hired Cathy Renna, SVP of TargetCue, to lead media relations and visibility activities for events in Philadelphia this summer. Article

David Neff, Founder and President of Philadelphia-based Neff Associates, will be receive this year’s Grace Labouchere Award for Corporate Humane Awareness at The Fur Ball, the annual celebration and fundraiser of the Morris Animal Refuge. Article

Rita’s Italian Ice has brought on Vault Communications as its PR AOR. Article

Phoenix
China Mist Iced Tea has named Santy as AOR. Article

Amendola Communications announced it has been selected as the public relations and content marketing agency of record for Zynx Health. Article

LaneTerralever has been named the PR Agency of Record for the Arizona chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Arizona Chapter (NMSSAZ). Article

Fitmoo, Inc. has selected Las Vegas-based Forté PR as its public relations agency of record. Article

Zion & Zion continues to add to the ranks of its senior talent with the hire of public relations professional Teri Morris. Article

Las Vegas-based Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media has hired Antonia Genov as social media manager. In addition, Melanie Shafer was promoted to public relations supervisor. Article

San Francisco
Waggener Edstrom Communications has been selected by Tallie as communications agency of record to help the San Francisco-based company disrupt the expense reporting industry. Article

Seattle
Amazon is unifying oversight of PR and public policy under the leadership of former White House press secretary Jay Carney. Article

San Diego & San Francisco
Wonacott Communications has hired Johner Riehl as vice president and Andrew Park as account director for its interactive entertainment and technology PR team. Article

London
WGSN has hired Ogilvy PR as its global PR agency of record. Article

Mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile has called in Chime agencies Harvard and Essentially to oversee PR and sponsorship strategy in the UK. Article

MeetingRooms.com has hired Weber Shandwick as its PR agency of record ahead of its official launch in March.  Article

Nautilus has extended its relationship with the Hoffman Agency to support support a European rollout of its latest home fitness products. Article

Eulogy! is launching a strategic content marketing division to help clients amplify their stories across a wider range of online and offline channels. E!Content is led by Noelle McElhatton. Article

Corporate and public affairs firm Cicero Group has launched a healthcare practice under the leadership of former Baxter senior communications director Fiona Cohen. Article

Firefly Communications has been appointed by global talent management software provider Cornerstone OnDemand to handle public relations and digital communications in the UK, and support with European agency co-ordination. Article

Mind Candy has appointed Fever as its new retained UK consumer agency. Fever’s sister agency, Nelson Bostock Unlimited, has also been appointed to drive Mind Candy’s corporate PR program. Article

The Press Association has appointed Sophie Lister to the role of communications manager, responsible for managing external and internal communications for a number of divisions within the company including news, images and sport. Article

The Pension Protection Fund has appointed Lansons to provide communications and external relations support on a retainer basis. Article

Marketing and PR agency Zoodikers Consulting has hired Marcus Chrysostomou as its senior account director. Article

Paris
Publicis Groupe has announced its acquisition of South Africa’s Epic Communications, two weeks after the Holmes Report revealed the deal’s details. Article

Spanish communications consultancy Infopress has rebranded as Atrevia. Article

Waggener Edstrom Communications announced six new strategic partners in Africa. Core Public Relations, Corporate Talk Group, Exclamation Marketing Ltd., Hotwire PRC, Lift Consulting and XLR8 reinforce WE’s commitment to the fast-growing African continent and extend the agency’s service network to 18 new markets in Africa and more than 100 globally. Article

Grayling and Huntsworth Health have partnered on a health and wellness offering for the Middle East and Turkey known as Grayling Health. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has strengthened its Portuguese office with the appointment of creative director Tiago Veiga. Article

Sydney
BlaBlaCar has called on Chase India to oversee government affairs as it launches operations in India. Article

Toronto
Canadian luggage retail brand Bentley Group has named Narrative PR as its AOR. Article

Precious metals producer SilverCrest Mines has appointed Michael Rapsch as vice president, corporate communications. Article

Ireland + Hall Communications has added four new clients: design shop twenty2b Design; teALCHEMY, a Canadian tea brand; former professional athlete turned artist Brendan Murphy, who has founded World143, a crowd-funding organization; and beauty brand Takie’moto Cosmetics, founded by “urban Model” turned entrepreneur Nicole Hamilton-Takemoto.  Article

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The Role of Consistency in News Releases, and Gym Workouts

February 28, 2015

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

StetchingEarlier this month, CommPro.biz published a piece by Business Wire Newport’s Kathy Tomasino outlining the seven reasons why sending out a news release is a lot like going to the gym and sharing her top tips for creating a communications fitness plan.

Click here to read this piece. Have a comment or a tip of your own?  We would love to hear your thoughts!  Just leave a message in the comment section below.


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

Click the following link to share this invitation with colleagues and industry experts via Twitter: http://ctt.ec/1b7fd


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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