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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The State of News Media in 2015: Say Hello to the Mobile Generation

May 7, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Millennials have been riding the wave of digital revolution for close to a decade, leaving behind a wake of influence over every industry. Well, for news media, the crest just broke and as we all bob up and down in an ocean of technology, we need to brace for the oncoming information tidal wave known as the mobile generation.

The Pew Research Center has released a series of data detailing the current state of news media for 2015 and the numbers are as era defining as when the final issues of LIFE magazine saw their way to the printers. Of the top 50 digital news websites, 39 saw more traffic to their sites and associated applications come from a mobile source than from a desktop computer.

Pew Research Digital News Viewss

Trying to understand this trend is pointless. It doesn’t matter if people are choosing to use mobile devices because of their convenience while on the go or out of actual preference. What does matter is the growing dominance of mobile technology and communication professionals must adapt, just as they did nearly a decade ago when Millennials first opened the doors on modern news consumption.

In January of 2015, Yahoo-ABC News saw 93,160 unique visitors to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices while only 59,099 visited from a desktop computer. Other news outlets that saw similar disparity include CNN Network, NBC News Digital, Huffington Post, USA Today sites, BuzzFeed, and The New York Times Brand. For the communications industry, this pattern dictates that both editorial news, and company issued news, must be compatible with mobile platforms in order to reach the desired audience.

Besides shedding light on how people consume their news, the Pew analysis also revealed a startling trend. Although individuals more often consume their news using a mobile device, they spend less time doing so per visit. For 40 of the 50 top news sites, visitors using desktop computers spent the same if not more time per visit. For 25 of those sites, the time spent per visit from desktop users was at least 10% higher when compared to those using a mobile device.

It is clear to news outlets that it is becoming harder to keep an individual’s attention on a single piece of news. This is a challenge communication professionals have been facing for years.  And the answer is the same for both types of content creation; in each case, article or news release, the addition of multimedia is statistically shown to be more effective in MasterCard Pricelesskeeping a viewer engaged and scientifically shown to convey a message in a much shorter amount of time than a text-only message, 60,000 times faster to be exact. Consider multimedia as a passport, allowing editorial coverage and news releases to travel safely and efficiently into mobile territory. Interactive multimedia, the gamification of the news release, has shown an average engagement of 6:12 minutes. Compare that to the average engagement with text-only news releases of only 20 and 30 seconds.

The facts are in and the best practice would be to analyze them and, as with every wave, go with the flow. The mobile generation wants their news when they want it, and when they get it, they don’t want it for long. That’s not to say that the public has lost interest; on the contrary, news consumption is at an all-time high. It’s just a different type of news consumption, one that engages more senses, and communication pros need to take notice and make changes to the process today. Remember, you can fight that wave and lose, drowning in a constant evolution of technology serving up a constant stream of content, or you can ride it out and bask in the sunshine above.

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of May 4

May 6, 2015

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!

Austin
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist was voted Best Resource, 2015 Small Business Book Awards. Article

Boston
UK-based Red Lorry Yellow Lorry has expanded its PR team in Boston with the hiring of Michelle Barry as director of technology PR and Justin Ordman as technology PR account manager. Article

Gaffney Bennett Public Relations announced the hiring of Sarah Whitney and Chris Velardi. Article

Cleveland
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has appointed Koch Industries communications director Matt Lloyd as deputy chief of staff for communications and strategies. Article

Dallas
Lewis Public Relations announced that Infomart Data Centers has selected LPR as its agency of record. Article

DC
Crosby Marketing Communications has added Gabrielle Weber as a senior integration manager, handling programs for clients in Crosby’s government practice, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Article

Houston
On April 23, Ward commemorated 25 years in business with back-to-back educational events and a cocktail reception at the JW Marriott Houston Downtown. Article

Los Angeles
Murphy O’Brien Public Relations announced the newest clients in the firm’s esteemed travel collection: The Venetian, Las Vegas, The Palazzo, Las Vegas, Hotel Jackson and Hunt Valley Inn, a Wyndham Grand. Article

Miami
Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications (CAMC) has been selected to serve as the North American PR agency of record for Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Article

Minneapolis
Gage announced it has hired Reid Gorder as senior developer where he will be working on Gage’s premier brand web applications. Article

Nashville
Walmart‘s Dan Bartlett has hired his former colleague from Hill + Knowlton Greg Hitt as VP of corporate affairs, slated to join Walmart on June 1. Article

New York
Mariella Kapsaskis has been named MINI communications manager by BMW of America. In addition, Rebecca Kiehne and Hector Arellano-Belloc have been named BMW product and technology spokespersons. Article

McGraw Hill Financial has named Courtney Geduldig as executive vice president, public affairs, following the retirement of Ted Smyth, who had led corporate and public affairs since 2009. Article

Overseas Shipholding Group has appointed Brian Tanner as vice president, investor relations and corporate communications. Article

Anita Kawatra has joined Edelman‘s New York office as executive vice president for its health sector. Article

Coyne has appointed Matt Leung as Advertising Account Director. Article
Aspectus has appointed Jed Hamilton as its new Managing Director for North America. Article

Sopexa Group announced the appointment of Benjamin Bourinat to the role of Director of Public Relations, Sopexa USA. Article

The PR Council has named Capstone Hill Search as its first global recruitment premier partner firm. Article

Tony Telloni has departed Golin after almost two years heading the firm’s New York office to join tech firm Sparkpr. Article

Dawn Bridges, EVP of corporate communications at Al Jazeera America, is leaving the network along with EVP of human resources Diana Lee. Article

Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN) announced a partnership with the International Women’s Forum (IWF). Article

Cohn & Wolfe was named The Holmes Report’s 2015 Best Large Agency to Work For in North America. Article

JONESWORKS announced their representation of Pencils of Promise and nügg Beauty. Article

Ruder Finn announced the official launch of a specialized offering under its broader employee engagement practice, dedicated to helping companies engage with both current and prospective technology-focused employees.  Article

Health Unlimited announced its partnership agreement with New York-based specialist healthcare digital firm, Propeller Communications. Article

IMRE announced the hiring of John Bentz as Senior Vice President for its Consumer practice. Article

CPR Strategic Marketing Communications announced the expansion of its account executive team with the addition of Nathan D. Molinari as account coordinator. The company has also promoted Katelyn Petersen to account director, Joelle Caputa to creative director and Alexis Lignos to account executive. Article

Natalie Guevara has taken on a new in-house role as Senior Communications Officer of online annotation platform Genius (formerly Rap Genius). Article

San Francisco
UK-headquartered Babel PR has appointed Caroline Kawashima as Executive Vice President & U.S. Head for its recently established San Francisco operations. Article

Silicon Valley
Tom Foremski has joined software company Delphix in a newly-created role leading editorial and content. Article

Denver & Minneapolis
Woodruff Sweitzer will acquire Confluence Marketing, effective May 1. Article

Hong Kong
Nick Wheeler has departed Ketchum after more than 12 years with the firm in China, where he was GM of the Beijing office. Article

Ogilvy & Mather China announced the appointment of Thomas Zhu and Juggi Ramakrishnan as Executive Creative Directors at Ogilvy Shanghai. Meanwhile, Chong Kin joins Ogilvy Beijing as Executive Creative Director. Article

Frankfurt
redRobin Strategic Public Relations has won the KRUK Deutschland account, a part of KRUK Group, a leader of the receivables management market in Central Europe. Article

London
Mischief has been appointed to handle public relations and influencer communications for SodaSteam‘s brand proposition: “Water Made Exciting.” Article

Royal Club has assigned Cohn & Wolfe for its new Royal Club Shandy campaign. Article

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has hired Kate Hopper as a director to lead the IHG, Mondelez and TUI accounts. Article

Brands2Life has been appointed by leading password manager and digital wallet Dashlane as its UK communications partner following a competitive pitch. Article

Publicasity has added a new travel client, winning Saint Lucia Tourist Board, following a five-way competitive pitch. Article

Horizon Pharma has named John B. Thomas executive vice president, strategy and investor relations. Article

Swiss hearing aid manufacturer Phonak has appointed Otto Communications as its retained PR agency for the UK. Article

Mobile payments startup MyCheck has hired CCgroup for UK PR support, shortly after securing $5m in backing from Spanish bank Santander. Article

Eddie May is stepping down from his role as joint managing director at Threepipe, 11 years after co-founding the UK firm with Jim Hawker. Article

Bite has hired Michael Gonzalez for a newly-created role as head of influencer relations in the UK. Article

Nick Mulholland is departing Freuds, after 12 years as one of the UK PR agency’s most senior management figures. Article

WPP has invested in fashion and lifestyle website Refinery29. Article

Paris
VMA Group has opened a new Africa operation, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Daniel Munslow has been appointed to the team heading up VMA Group’s Africa practice. Article

Golin is partnering with local PR firm Rekta to launch its presence in Turkey, via an office in Istanbul. Article

Sydney
Walmart has shifted Indian PR duties to Perfect Relations following a competitive review. Article

Tokyo
Ogilvy & Mather Japan and Geometry Global Japan are celebrating major successes at two prestigious, international creative industry awards. Article

Toronto
Citizen Relations Canada has named Amdanda Shuchat vice president as it strengthens leadership in its new i²: Insight & Innovation working group. In addition, Sabrina Kandasamy has been appointed senior director of strategic planning and Morgan Todd has been promoted to manager, analytics. Article

BBC Worldwide North America announced the appointment of Sandra Mackechnie to the position of Vice President, Digital Ad Sales for BBC.com, Canada. Article

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When Posting Financial News to an IR Site, Risks Are Not Acceptable.

April 29, 2015

By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

Security of an investor relations (IR) website and news distribution is paramount to any public company. Ask the investor relations officer (IRO) who has suffered due to earnings information being released to the public prematurely.  If a company’s earnings news release is accessible too soon, it can move markets, and quickly. When this happens, expect heads to roll in many ways.

Although most IR site vendors state that earnings releases post automatically to the IR site service they manage, only a few can actually confirm that the posting of the news release happens directly from the distributor to the IR site. Some vendors utilize a third-party aggregator to obtain newswire-distributed news releases and then post the release onto the IR site service. Anytime an additional step like this is added to a workflow process, more time is needed, and the opportunity for something to go wrong is greater. Most experienced communicators are familiar with the concept of Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

At Business Wire, an earnings release is never staged onto an IR site before publication – hidden or not. When the earnings release is distributed to the desired outlets, it gets posted directly to the IR site at that time, not any sooner. This leaves no opportunity for Murphy to cause trouble. Once the news release distribution is ordered, the option to post the

Earnings news releases that are distributed via Business Wire post directly and simultaneously to the Business Wire InvestorHQSM IR site service.

Earnings news releases that are distributed via Business Wire post directly and simultaneously to the Business Wire InvestorHQSM IR site service.

release to the InvestorHQSM IR site is selected, as is the option to place the release in one or more subject matter categories. Sweet, simple, streamlined and secure.

As important as the technical dangers mentioned above, so are the internal workflow risks.  All internal procedures at Business Wire have gone through a rigorous audit. Departmental shields against unauthorized access to data can be attested to by the Service Organization Control [SOC] 2 Type II attestation engagement report that Business Wire received in 2014.This means that your news release (in text or PDF format) will not be posted to your InvestorHQSM site by a Business Wire product specialist to save time or effort.

So, when selecting an IR site vendor, do assess and compare the basic features and functionality of the service. Don’t forget, however, to pay close attention to the details of the IR site service when it comes to security of your financial data.

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…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Ibrey Woodall is Vice President of Web Communications Services for Business Wire. She is responsible for Business Wire’s InvestorHQ IR site and NewsHQ online newsrooms services. She can be reached via email Ibrey.Woodall@Businesswire.com or LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/ibreywoodall.


Business Wire Roundtable: Mixing with Chicago Media

April 28, 2015

By Whitney Cowit and Courtney Saltzman, Business Wire Chicago

On Wednesday, April 22, Business Wire Chicago held its first Media Roundtable and Speed Networking event featuring journalists and editors from across the print, TV and radio industry. Organized in 15-minute Q&A sessions, attendees met with reporters to discuss topics such as their role in the news cycle, how they find content and what information is most valuable to them.

Media participants included some of the biggest outlets in the industry, with contributions from:

The Business Wire Chicago team had an opportunity to participate in the sessions and share back key learnings. Below is a sampling of what they heard.

What is the best form of outreach for pitching stories?

  • Carrie Walker of ABC Chicago 7 is open to texts, calls or emails. If it’s breaking news, she wants to know about it. Additionally, she indicates that you can pitch news anchors directly. They often have influence over the stories they broadcast.
  • Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz of the Chicago Tribune recommends email. She mentions if you don’t hear back, follow up with a phone call and eventually she will get back to you.
  • Kathy Chaney of WBEZ 91.5 states she prefers email for pitches or via social media channels. Please don’t fax!
  • Mary Wisniewski with Thomson Reuters says no phone calls, as emails are always preferred.
  • Natalie Perez with Univision requests that you contact her assignment desk directly via email or phone. They also have their own social channels for outreach.

NUVI Chicago

What are some of the best ways to develop relationships with media?

  • Elejalde-Ruiz (Chicago Tribune) says no gifts. She would rather have an in-person meeting over coffee or lunch so she can hear your story idea and ask questions.
  • Walker (ABC Chicago 7) emphasizes that developing strong relationships with media is key. In her words, everyone has a job to do and if a PR person can deliver quality content he/she will make a good impression.

What information should PR communicators include in their subject line?

  • Elejalde-Ruiz (Chicago Tribune) says including the word “Exclusive” always helps. Additionally, make sure stories are relevant to the reporter’s beat. Further, if you were referred to her via another media point, include this in the subject line.
  • Walker (ABC Chicago 7) recommends including the words “Current” or “Today” as a way for her to denote pressing news from tomorrow’s stories.
  • Wisniewski (Thomson Reuters) prefers content that relates to national trends, top stories and legislation ‘hot topics.’ Be sure to include these keywords in the subject line of your email pitch.
  • Chaney (WBEZ 91.5) suggests you never be vague in a subject line. The more detail you can provide the more inclined she’ll be to open your pitch.

What information should PR communicators include in their email pitches?

  • Walker (ABC Chicago 7) loves to see multimedia accompanying a pitch since it shapes the story. She also looks for expert sources that are relevant to her beat and the stories she is covering. Finally, she suggests always leaving out one important detail. It will give her a reason to call.
  • When pitching an expert source, Chaney (WBEZ 91.5) recommends including other places your source has been quoted or recent appearances within broadcast coverage. Additionally, she suggests you include unique angles to stories that may have previously been thought of as commonplace.
  • Elejalde-Ruiz (Chicago Tribune) recommends being as straight-forward and concise in your emails as possible. Avoiding irrelevant details helps her quickly assess the news angle to see if it’s relevant to her publication.
  • Perez (Univision) prefers storylines that offer a human element and appeal to emotions.

What details should PR communicators avoid in their email pitches?

  • Elejalde-Ruiz (Chicago Tribune) does not believe surveys are a good source of information. Pitches that include these are typically ignored.
  • Walker (ABC Chicago 7) asks that PR people do not send b-roll footage or videos as ABC 7 Chicago will usually obtain their own for broadcasting. Additionally, satellite media tours no longer provide useful content for their coverage.
  • Wisniewski (Thomson Reuters) says not to include any attachments with your pitch. She also suggests avoiding repeat pitching and redundant emails since she will follow up on stories she’s interested in covering.

How do media measure the success of their stories?

  • Chaney (WBEZ 91.5) utilizes social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Sound Cloud for metrics.
  • Elejalde-Ruiz (Chicago Tribune) relies on headline clicks as a form of measurement.
  • Walker (ABC Chicago 7) receives daily reporting on her ratings.

Reporter Metrics

Where do media find most of their story ideas and leads?

  • Chaney (WBEZ 91.5) states that press releases are her number one source for news and information. In addition, she utilizes the AP Daybook each day, but often finds the need for supplemental information as the Daybook does not offer a complete overview. She also believes that journalists cannot do their job unless they are on social media.
  • Similarly, Perez (Univision) uses press releases as her primary source of information. She states that press releases that include multimedia (photos, videos, images) are a bonus. As a secondary resource, she often utilizes social media, Facebook in particular, to find exclusive stories.
  • Wisniewski (Thomson Reuters) utilizes social media as a source for news since it’s the quickest and most up-to-date resource available.

bizwireresearch

What else do PR professionals need to know?

  • According to Walker (ABC Chicago 7), in-studio guest appearances need to be booked at least 4 weeks in advance. Weekends are often a good opportunity for “feel good” stories. When pitching this type of content, keep that in mind. She also enjoys great visuals and finding a unique approach to each story. For example, rather than merely covering a large event, Walker often follows an individual attending the event (or one affected by the cause) to gain an inside perspective and depict how the outcome of this event will impact this individual’s life moving forward.
  • Chaney (WBEZ 91.5) says that journalists want PR professionals who will advance their story and give them something that you haven’t given to other media outlets. Media are always hungry for an exclusive.
  • All of our media guests stated that whether or not news is relevant to their beat, they will often pass it along and share with colleagues to whom it would be relevant.

Reporters Prefer Business Wire

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PR Updates From Around the World for the Week of April 7, 2015

April 8, 2015

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!

Austin
Drumroll announced that it has hired two new employees to its team. Article

Boston
AMAG Pharmaceuticals has hired Linda Lennox as vice president of investor relations and corporate communications, assuming the duties of Kathryn Carr Payne, who has been promoted to vice president of external affairs. Article

Socialtext announced business strategist and marketing communications luminary Tom Tardio has been appointed Chairman of the Board. Article

Charlotte
French/West/Vaughan has been selected by Absorption Pharmaceuticals as marketing and public relations agency of record. Article

Cynthia Goins, founder and principal officer of Motivations, selected the PR PROS team for a new branding and creative campaign that will be introduced in April 2015. Article

S&A Communications has announced the hiring of Deneen Winters Bloom as director of client services. Article

Chicago
Marci Kaminsky has joined financial advisory firm Grant Thornton as chief communications officer. Article

Delta Dental Plans Association has named David Irwin as its new director of corporate communications. Article

CF Industries Holdings has hired Chris Close as director, corporate communications. Article

Edelman named David Greenbaum as MD of Edelman Digital in its Chicago office. Article

Entertainment Cruises has retained Zapwater Communications as its public relations firm of record. Article

Bianchi Public Relations was retained to handle North American PR activities by Eisele Connectors, Inc. Article

Lambert, Edwards & Associates announced the promotion of Jeremy Bakken to Senior Director. Article

Winger Marketing recently announced the hire of Alisa Bay as its Director of Public Relations. Article

Cleveland
Baesman launched their new website as part of a company-wide rebrand that reflects their long-standing reputation for delivering innovative, customized marketing solutions for their clients. Article

Dallas
Two North Texas restaurant brands announced that they have retained Champion Management Group LLC of Addison, Texas, as their new Public Relations Agency of Record. Article

Kevin Nix has launched Playbook Strategies, a strategic consulting firm focused on legislative, ballot, and judicial initiatives. Article

DC
Public affairs strategist Ed Gillespie has returned to Brunswick Group as senior counselor. Article

CenturyLink announced that John F. Jones has been named CenturyLink’s senior vice president of public policy and government relations effective immediately. He succeeds Steve Davis, who is retiring. Article

The Glover Park Group has hired Robert Seidman as vice president in the firm’s government affairs practice.  Article

Porter Novelli has added Ryan Kuresman in its Washington, DC, office as senior vice president. Article

Goddard Gunster has hired Dan Colegrove as a senior advisor. Article

Bully Pulpit Interactive has released Vantage, an advertising technology platform that it says will boost the impact of paid and owned content and provide additional measurement capabilities. Article

GMMB has hired Don Corrigan as SVP and creative director. Article

Nextility has engaged GreenSmith PR as it moves into power advocacy for small businesses. Article

Warschawski announced that it was named the agency of record for Chiron Technology Services. Article

Denver
DStreet has added Fenix Lighting US to its client roster. Article

MMGY Global has added three new global hospitality clients to its esteemed portfolio of tourism accounts, including Leading Hotels of the World, Occidental Hotels & Resorts and NH Hotel Group. Article

Los Angeles
Kirk Stewart has formed a new firm, KTStewart, headquartered in Los Angeles and specializing in corporate communications. Article

Allison+Partners announced that it has appointed Carline Jorgensen to be general manager of the agency’s Los Angeles office. Article

Miami
Sterling is the newest client of JoTo PR. Article

Juan Valdez Café has selected Newlink America as its AOR. Article

Minneapolis
Hormel Foods has announced the retirement of Julie Craven, VP of corporate communications, and VP of legislative affairs Joe Swedberg. Wendy Watkins, global VP of corporate communications at Delaware North Companies, was named VP of corporate comms at Hormel. Article

Pineapple RM announced the promotion of Danielle Cristal to account executive. Article

Nashville
Ripley PR has been selected to become a partner in IPREX. Article

Newport Beach
Vectis Strategies has hired Sarah Catz as senior partner. Article

New York
Ketchum has named partner Tyler Durham president of Ketchum Change. Article

Edelman has named Martin O’Reilly global chief information and technology officer. Article

DKC has appointed Kristin Boehm as director of its digital division, DKC Connect. Article

Club Med has named Current Lifestyle Marketing as public relations agency of record following a competitive review. Article

The Halo Group has been selected by Flossy Shoes to capture attention of fashion influencers through a multi-tiered national public relations and social media program. Article

Magrino has added two new clients today: the Chateau d’Esclans estate, located in the Provence region; and recently-launched market and dining experience Le District, which opened in downtown Manhattan last week. Magrino also renewed agreements with James Beard Foundation Awards and the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Article

Havas PR has launched a new practice focused on gluten-free products. Article

Labatt USA has named Eric Mower + Associates as its social media AOR. Article

Tumblr has hired Stephanie Dolgins as its first CMO, according to Re/code. Article

Evins Communications has named Drew Tybus as VP and director of its food, wine, and spirits division. Article

Novogen announced it has appointed US-based public relations firm, PCG Advisory Group, to drive the Company’s investor-awareness program in the US. Article

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), announced it has merged two of its divisions – Association of Business Information & Media Companies (ABM) and the Content and Information Services Division (CISD). Article

Brandon Thomas has joined Southard Communications as Senior Account Director. Article

Current Lifestyle Marketing has announced the promotion of Christine Bridger to Executive Creative Director and hire of Jonathan Kreissman, joining the Current team as Vice President in New York. Article

Magrino announced a number of new hires and internal promotions which reflect the agency’s continued growth and development of some of the best communications and marketing professionals in the industry. Article

Philadelphia
Olympus Corporation of the Americas has promoted Mark Miller to VP of corporate communications. Article

Phoenix
SnappConner PR has promoted Cory Maloy to EVP. Article

San Diego
Halozyme Therapeutics has appointed James Mazzola as vice president, corporate communications and investor relations. Article

Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Public Relations and Gable PR have merged operations. Article

San Francisco
BMC Software has tapped Eastwick to lead its PR efforts in the US following a marketing shakeup last year. Article

W2O has snapped up VinTank, a combination social media monitoring, social media management and social CRM platform developed first for the wine industry. Article

Bay Alarm Medical has hired Horn Group for consumer communications support as it looks to grow its brand and reputation and drive sales leads. Article

The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa has promoted Alexis Eaton to director of public relations. Article

Atlanta & New York
GNC Holdings announced the addition of three new communications partners to help drive profitable growth for the brand. The new agency partners – Consigliere (brand management/creative/advertising), CROSSMEDIA (media/communications planning) and 22Squared (digital and social media)-were selected after a multiple-month review and assessment process. Article

Hong Kong
Ketchum has appointed Bruce Shu as managing director of Ketchum Greater China. Article

Zeno Group Asia has appointed Matt Collette to lead its new regional planning and research capability as director of planning and innovation. Article

Ogilvy Public Relations Indonesia once again will be supporting the World Economic Forum as its public relations provider for the upcoming East Asia forum in Jakarta 19-21 April, 2015. Article

London
Paul Lyon has joined Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in a newly created role as its director of corporate communications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Article

The Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism has appointed Publicasity to handle its consumer and trade PR in the UK and Ireland. Article

Focus PR has been appointed to handle the global PR programme for CourvoisierArticle

Ranj George has joined Lewis PR in the newly-created role of UK head of consumer. Article

Amanda Groty is joining PayPal as senior director of communications in EMEA. Article

Edelman is to shut down its Russian operation in favour of an affiliate deal with local firm PRT. Article

Carisbrooke Shipping has selected London-based maritime and offshore marketing consultancy Wake Media as its new public relations agency. Article

Paris
Saab Grintek Defence has appointed Tribeca Public Relations as its strategic communications partner for sub-Saharan Africa. Article

Sydney
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One on One with VentureBeat’s Founder and CEO, Matt Marshall

April 6, 2015

By Matt Van Tassel, Business Wire

With over a year since Business Wire signed an exclusive wire partnership with VentureBeat, I thought this was a perfect

Matt Marshall, CEO and Founder

Matt Marshall, CEO and Founder

opportunity to sit down with Matt Marshall, the man behind this great news organization.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our partner, VentureBeat is a powerful channel for Business Wire clients looking to engage venture capital funds and influencers. The highly targeted audience for VentureBeat includes potential investors, business decision-makers, tech industry leaders, and consumer enthusiasts with a keen interest in the latest innovative products and services. By adding news releases to VentureBeat, Business Wire clients gain access to the venture capital news mix, with stories aimed at VC-backed innovation, deal flow and liquidity.

Matt Marshall, Founder & CEO of VentureBeat, launched the website in 2006 in response to the lack of coverage in the entrepreneurial and tech space. Matt began his writing career with the Washington Post in 1994 and covered venture capital for the San Jose Mercury News prior to starting VentureBeat. In 2002, Matt was awarded “Journalist of the Year” by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists. Matt’s impressive background, experience and passion were clearly evident when we spoke to him about VentureBeat.

Matt, give our readers a little background, what is VentureBeat?
VentureBeat is a media company that covers disruptive technology and why it matters in our lives. We are headquartered in San Francisco, with a news bureau in New York and staff writers in France and the United Kingdom. The company, now at 44 people, is divided into News, Events and Research. Events produces six events per year, targeting C-level executives and founders. VB Insight, our new, VC-backed research offering, focuses on reports tracking mobile monetization and marketing automation.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat

How did VentureBeat get started?
The company began in 2006 as a personal project. I was working at the San Jose Mercury News and blogging in my free time. This blog was the seed of what became VentureBeat.

Who is VentureBeat’s target audience?
VentureBeat is what I call a “B2B2C” play.

We target people who are already in the technology industry, along with those who aspire to be in it. As our conference participants show, our audience is comprised of C-level executives at leading technology startups, senior technologists at blue chip technology companies, investors, analysts and leading academics. Other notable participants include young people early in their technology careers, many of them starting their own companies, as well as regular folks interested in what’s happening at the forefront of innovation.

What kind of traffic volume do you receive – daily, weekly, monthly?
Our most recent numbers are 7.5 million uniques per month. Volume varies, of course, depending on the news or if we’re hosting a conference.

Is there a particular industry or sector that you gravitate towards (or perhaps is trending now)?

The general “beat” at VentureBeat is innovation. But lately, we’ve started focusing on the new technologies and strategies companies are using to achieve impressive growth, given the explosion of the smartphone and other channels.

Whether it is in the area of social, mobile or marketing automation, there are thousands of promising companies. As it has been with other market segments, our job has been to filter through those technologies, and report which ones are really working. We’re doing that through our news, but also our events, and increasingly our research initiative, called VB Insight.

What do you look for when you are going to write a story?
It goes back to innovation. If a company is disrupting an entrenched business, that’s a story. If a company aspires to change the world through online education or a health care device, that’s also a story. The bottom line is that we want to bring our readers the news from the front lines of this industry.Business Wire VB Logo

Does multimedia play an important role in VB’s reporting process?
We’re open to anything that gets the story across in a compelling way.

Is there a funding round or minimum amount of funding required for a story to be written?
We don’t play those games at VentureBeat. If a startup has an innovative value proposition, we will write about them. We don’t care if the company is two guys in a garage.

How does VentureBeat differentiate itself from other online news portals?
We distinguish ourselves in two ways: The first is that we bring old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism to a world moving at Internet speed.  We don’t rely on gossip or un-sourced pieces. We get the story fast, but we also get it in full.

The second difference is breadth of coverage.  We don’t just chase the next funding announcement. We do science pieces, stories that explore the human impact of technology, pieces that are often critical of the received values of the industry itself.

How is VentureBeat perceived versus competing websites, like TechCrunch or Wired?
TechCrunch is great, fast, and snarky. It’s also pretty loud, and sometimes had a hard time buckling down and covering the most innovative trends with serious analysis. That’s where we think VentureBeat adds greater value. You’ll see us go a lot deeper in areas of marketing technology, for example, where we bring in the expertise we’ve generated from our VB Insight research initiative. We bring a depth of insight that is unparalleled, because of our data set draws from tens of thousands of technology users. The same goes for Wired, to some extent. Wired covers a lot of cool, wonky stuff, which we also try to do. But they’re less focused on the business leader — that practitioner who really needs to get things done and needs to make critical decisions on the tech they’re using.

What is the most important benefit VentureBeat offers its readers? 
Our goal is to inform–and inspire.

What were some of the reasons that helped VentureBeat decide on moving forward with the Business Wire partnership?Press Releases on Venture Beat
There were two reasons: The first was your brand. The second was the community of sophisticated business users that support that brand.

What are some of the advantages for Business Wire clients posting their news releases to VentureBeat?
The chief advantage is direct access to one of the most sophisticated and influential technology/business audiences in the industry today: 35% of VB readers are C-level; 58% director-level and above; 70% have final purchasing power at their jobs.

How can VentureBeat contribute to driving brand awareness for our clients’ websites?
Again, it goes back to our audience. Their influence, combined with their engagement and regular sharing of content across their social channels, leads to that increased brand awareness.

To learn more about how your company’s news releases can benefit from Business Wire’s exclusive partnership with VentureBeat, click here.


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