The Hive – The Buzz and Business of Blogging in Europe

July 31, 2014

By Kai Prager – Senior International Media Relations Specialist

The Hive – The Buzz and Business of Blogging in Europe

Picture provided by Elisabetta Rizzato, Italian Bark (http://www.er-interiordesign.com/)

Two stops from Copenhagen Main Station I stepped off the local train. I looked around and had the feeling I was in a different city:  No historic buildings, no boats … just a few apartment buildings and a modern structure in the background. I took to the street with my little map and tried to decide which direction to go.  I saw two women leaving the station as well and asked them for directions. They pointed toward the modern structure. They were also on their way to the conference, and five minutes later we entered The Hive together, like three eager bees.

The Hive styles itself as “The European Blog Conference.” Visitors came to Denmark from all over Europe, from Iceland to Italy and from Hungary to the Netherlands, to attend. Some of the participants even crossed the Atlantic to take part in the conference, taking the scope as far as the U.S.

Attending the keynote I noticed a main theme that appeared in one form or another throughout the event: Authenticity.

Katie Treggiden, Confessions of a Geek Designer

Katie Treggiden, Confessions of a Geek Designer

Katie Treggiden, who runs the blog Confessions of a Geek Designer, gave an engaging speech about finding –and writing in — one’s own voice and theme. She said this is essential to attracting a core audience who visit the blog regularly. Broadly styled writings, on the other hand, don’t aggravate anyone.

The next speaker, who showcases authenticity with every post, is the charming Anne Faber.  She discussed how Anne’s Kitchen  turned from a blog to both a book and a TV show. The secret to her success is her love of food and cooking which she convincingly applied to her blog and later adopted for publishing efforts and a career as a television presenter.

The Hive hosted a wide range of keynotes and workshops showcasing helpful tools for bloggers, from social media and SEO to storytelling and photography. There were helpful tips for those who want to turn their blog into a business, such as including ads, tying in a shop or offering other services. But it was also stated that all efforts to gain revenue should fit the overall concept of the blog; otherwise, the authenticity of the blog would be damaged.

After two days at the conference, and talking to bloggers from all over Europe and beyond, I left with the realization that blogging transcends borders and connects people all over the world. Blogging provides the possibility to look closely into a special subject that can attract readers everywhere. It permits the use of a wide array of media like text, film, audio and images. But most important, a blog should be authentic and true to its theme and style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Talking Turkey and International Media Relations: Pitching Turkish Media

February 14, 2011
by Kai Prager, Media Relations Representative, Business Wire/Frankfurt

Turkey is a country that has seen increasing interest in recent months and we’ve experienced more queries recently on how to pitch Turkish media. Perhaps a more stable government and the “stellar growth” of the Turkish economy accounts for this interest.

The Turkish press is rich and diverse, with about 40 national newspapers selling 4.5 – 5 million copies per day. The most popular include Zaman, Posta, Hürriyet, Sabah, Milliyet, Türkiye, Cumhuriyet and Vatan, and represent the scope of Turkish society from traditional and conservative to liberal and socialist.

About 900 local and weekly papers flourish throughout Turkey, in Kurdish languages, Greek, Armenian, Arab and Hebrew. The big national papers such as Zaman are printed in Turkish but also produce English versions, Daily News and Today’s Zaman.

As the official language, Turkish is the language of choice when pitching local media. We find that most publishing houses employ journalists who speak English, or even German, but releases delivered in the native languages will get more attention. If you don’t send your story in Turkish, make sure you send it to writers that speak your language.

Most newspaper web sites list the staff writers, the articles they’ve written, and ways to contact them. Don’t forget to do your homework and peruse the clips before contacting journalists.  As elsewhere in the world, Turkish media appreciate your familiarity with their work and dislike irrelevant pitches.

We advise a follow-up phone call to make sure a story gets noticed after sending. And, as always, having a relationship with the reporter helps.  Visuals can give you an advantage in capturing attention as well — photos, graphics, logos, anything that makes it easier for time-strapped reporters to assemble a story.  Just like reporters around the world, members of the Turkish media appreciate the entire story package, not just the text.

It’s worth noting that just as in the United States, press freedom is part of the constitution, even though Turkish law allows for some restrictions.   Article 301 of the penal code makes it a punishable offense to “insult Turkishness.”

When the writer and Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk was prosecuted under that Article for a speech given during an awards ceremony in which  he criticized the government, it became an international incident.  Be advised also that insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is punishable by law and has lead to the blocking of some websites like YouTube.

PR professionals can effectively target Turkish media by familiarizing themselves with journalist preferences, crafting a newsworthy release, including multimedia and following up.  By doing so, your press release is likely to get the attention it deserves.


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