Agence France-Presse Shares: How to Work with Global Newswires

November 19, 2015

Legendary news agency, AFP, opens up to discuss their organizational structure, Agence_France-Presse_Logo.svgcoverage criteria, and practical tips on how  to build a relationship and work more effectively with their journalists. This is a must-listen-to webinar and can fundamentally transform the impact of your global communications.

To listen to the full webinar click here  

Agence France-Presse [AFP] is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious news agencies, with a network of 200 bureaus generating some 5,000 stories per day. Despite its prestige and influence, many communications professionals, particularly in North America, are largely unfamiliar with the scope of AFP’s geographic footprint, and its role in shaping the global news agenda.

Speakers included:

Moderator:  Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, Business Wire

Business Wire’s 2015 Media Survey Reveals Best Practices in Media Relations

October 20, 2015

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social & Evolving Media, Business Wire
Earlier this year, Business Wire asked reporters worldwide their preference for being pitched – from the type of news they prefer, to best practices for continuing relationships after coverage was secured.

The results of the Business Wire 2015 North American Media Survey provide a strong road map for communicators to follow when looking to increase the visibility of their organization via news coverage.

Click here to download the full survey results now:

Media_Relations_Info_FINALStep 1:  Write an interesting release
This may sound easy enough, but in order to catch a reporter’s attention, your news release needs to contain the information they want to cover.

When you craft your next news release, focus on the breaking news and interesting story angles as well as quotes to increase the likelihood of pick up.

Step 2:  Multimedia is no longer optional
As more and more reporters are providing news content for online sources, there is a growing need for multimedia.  What kind of multimedia? The element most preferred is a photographic with graphics, videos, infographics, logos and audio files rounding out the list.

Why is multimedia so important? As we discuss in Let’s Get Visual, multimedia elements allow readers to engage and absorb information in new ways, building deeper emotional connections between the reader and the news story.  And reporters are not just relying on you to provide them with supporting multimedia – more than 64% of reporters are creating their own to supplement content.

In short, if you want to tell your story in your voice, supply reporters with multimedia to ensure the highest possible adoption of your news.

Step 3:  Your News Release Distribution Service Matters
News distribution services such as Business Wire play an important role in the news ecosystem. 63% of media respondents noted that their jobs would be harder without newswires to vet and deliver news releases.  Commercial newswires provide media outlets with an ongoing stream of trusted, breaking news in a variety of formats, allowing reporters to access and produce news coverage throughout the day.  And what newswire do media outlets trust the most?  At 67%, Business Wire continues to be the top newswire of choice for today’s media.

Step 4:  Social Pitching is Not Advised
Despite the use of social media for research purposes or for identifying hot news trends, 75% of reporters said they do not want to receive pitches via social media

Rather than pitch reporters via social channels, use the channels to identify who is writing about your industry and to gain a better understanding to the types of news your top reporters are interested in writing and sharing with their readers.

Step 5:  The Role of Your Online Newsroom
Where do reporters turn to research your pitch? Your online newsroom!

When breaking news hits the reporter’s desk, the next step is for the reporter to research the news, the company and the impact your news has on their readers. 77% of reporters turn to company online newsrooms to find the information they need to turn your news release into a headline.  Frequently updated newsrooms provide reporters, and other interested parties, on-demand access to the news releases, multimedia and other branded content – perfect for reporters responsible for writing news stories in a 24/7 world.

Bonus tip? Share your coverage!
The top metric for judging the success of a news story continues to be inbound traffic to that piece. Help reporters meet this metric by creating a strong coverage sharing program to not only increase views, but awareness of your news.

Securing coverage in a selfie world is not easy, but by following the steps provided in the 2015 Business Wire Media Survey you can build stronger relationships with your key media targets and increase the chance to receive more media coverage.

Click here to share these survey results on Twitter:

Download the complete 2015 Business Wire Media Survey now:

Armenian Media Today: Q&A with Gegham Vardanyan

July 13, 2015

By Kai Prager, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire Frankfurt

Armenia is a country with an ancient cultural heritage that once reached from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea. It also was the first country to adopt Christianity in 301 AD.

To strengthen the statehood and instructing the people in the news religion, the Armenian alphabet was introduced around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots and the first media was produced Many of these old scripts still exist and are collected in the Matenadaran, the repository of ancient manuscripts in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.

Detail of the portal of the Matenadaran. Photo by Rabirius.

The first Armenian printing establishment was founded in Venice in 1565 and focused on religious texts; it was later moved to Istanbul. The first newspaper was published in Madras, India, in 1646, but it took another 60 years before Armenian papers and journals were printed in Armenia. As part of the USSR, most Soviet-era publications were in Russian; however, in the 1980s, there was a language and cultural revival that sparked an increase in journalistic activity. After independence, Armenia developed its own press laws. Though some media enterprises failed, more publications were founded that are still in circulation today, like Aravot, Yerkir, or AZG

The Internet began to spread with the beginning of the 21st Century and online media was developed.

To find out more about the development of online media and other trends of the Armenian media market,we asked Gegham Vardanyan, producer of, a project of the Media Initiatives Center, to give us an overview:

1.  The media market in Armenia is small. Which effect does it have on the media landscape?
Armenia is a small country; the actual population figure barely reaches 3 million. This doesn’t prevent us from having, for example, a large number of TV channels. For instance, there are 14 TV channels broadcast in Yerevan alone. There are many daily newspapers, but the print media is experiencing a crisis: print runs barely reach 5,000. In addition, newspapers are printed 5 times a week: there are no newspapers on Sunday or Monday.

Online media is well developed. News websites usually publish in three languages: Armenian, English, and Russian.

Despite the quantity I mentioned, it’s not always that the same TV station offers diverse TV products for its viewers, especially in terms of news. Armenian news outlets are not wealthy, and few have their own correspondents, not even in Moscow or Washington. In order to keep abreast of international news, Armenian news outlets often make use of different news agencies, especially Russian sources.

2.  Who owns the classic media outlets, like publishing houses, broadcasting stations, etc.? Does it interfere with journalistic work?

There is the Public TV and Radio Company of Armenia, which is completely financed by the state budget.

The matter of media ownership, by and large, is a problem. In many cases, large media holdings are Closed Joint-Stock Companies (CJSC). The law allows neither members of the public to apply to the state registry to receive the names of stockholders nor requires media companies to make the names of stockholders public.

Some of the private stations belong to politicians and businessmen close to the government. Though the law officially prohibits political parties from owning TV channels, four parliamentary parties have a huge influence on four different TV stations and the public knows this. This, of course, has a direct effect on the work of these TV channels.

Gegham Vardanyan. Photo by Sona Kocharyan.

Gegham Vardanyan. Photo by Sona Kocharyan.

3.  How did the move to digital media change the Armenian media landscape?
News websites in Armenia that operate according to the convergent newsroom model are advanced. Leading websites offer their readers not only text, but also high-quality photos, video, and live video coverage of developing news.

The most widespread social networking site is the Russian Odnoklassniki, though for discussions on social and political topics, the main platform is Facebook.

Though there is a lack of professionalism in the Armenian media landscape, the increasing number of news websites ensure media pluralism and are relatively more free (i.e. less controlled) than broadcast and, to a lesser extent, print media.

4.  What sources do journalists usually use to access information?
In Armenia, journalists use press releases. There are 5–6 press clubs that host press conferences on different issues every day. Republishing content from local news outlets without permission, as well as translating from various foreign media, is extremely widespread.

5.  Which topics are most popular in the media?
Here, the picture is the same as in the rest of the world. The most popular topics are crimes, celebrities, and sports, especially football. From political topics, of interest are news on the Karabakh conflict, when the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijani border is tense. In general, developing news are of interest.

But the overall picture is different on different websites. For example, the top 5 most read stories in 2014 of a few leading news websites in Armenia were drastically different.

6.  Do you have any tips for people who would like to reach media, or journalists in Armenia?
You can read about Armenia’s media in a few industry websites, such as the Media Initiatives Center, (a project of the Media Initiative Center), and the Yerevan Press Club. See also the database of Armenian media outlets and professionals on the Yerevan Press Club website, as well as the Media Map on, which is organized by region (for example, see here for Yerevan).

Journalists in Armenia can be reached through social media. They are active primarily on Facebook, though also on Twitter.

Note:  Adrineh Der-Bogossian helped Gegham Vardanyan with the English text.

Click here to share this media relations tip on Twitter: How to Work with Armenian Media: A Q&A with Gegham Vardanyan:

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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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Top 10 Takeaways From Business Wire’s “Best Practices For Engaging The Media” Orlando Event

November 27, 2013
by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor

Business Wire Florida recently hosted “Best Practices for Engaging the Media” at the beautiful Alfond Inn in Orlando with local journalists and bloggers. Among the topics discussed were what they look for in potential stories, how to pitch them, what they are doing to keep pace with social media, the latest media trends, just to name a few.



Beth Cocchiarella, President, EMC Public Relations, @bcocchiarella

Orlando Media Event

Orlando Media Event “Best Practices for Engaging the Media”- From left to right: Bess Auer, Sean McNamara, Ned Popkins, Steve Helling, and Beth Cocchiarella

Here are the Top 10 Takeaways from the panel discussion:

  1. If you can pitch a story in 140 characters or less, it’s most likely a great story.
  2. Ask yourself this question, “Would you read this story if you didn’t work there?”
  3. The subject and first line of a pitch email often determine success.
  4. Reinforcing the value of knowing your target before you pitch. Before you pitch, know what the reporters and bloggers write about.
  5. Most newspaper reporters monitor and follow people on their beat. It’s pretty decentralized. Know their beats.
  6. Building personal relationships with bloggers is very important and social media is the best tool. Keep in mind most bloggers are not journalists and have other day jobs.
  7. Journalism is still about telling a good story regardless of the medium. The tools used to tell the stories are now different.
  8. What defines the news? News piece that’s interesting. Best with good pictures and video. Use multimedia in your pitches!
  9. Online coverage is great and easy to track. Better results and can get numbers from it. Hard copy is not as prevalent.
  10. Social media = ratings on adrenaline for news assignment editors.

Thank you to our amazing moderator and panelists for a fantastic and informative discussion!

Media Relations Supervisor Pilar Portela

Media Relations Supervisor Pilar Portela

If you missed the event you can also check out the Twitter conversation on #BWORLMedia and Storify at

For upcoming local Business Wire events or our award-winning webinar series, visit our events page or follow Business Wire events on Twitter, hashtag #bwchat.

Monika Maeckle: New Media Career Exemplified by Change Morphs to the Next Stage

November 15, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President of New Media

Today my career at Business Wire comes to an end and my first thought is that I will miss you, our clients, colleagues, webinar attendees and readers of the Business Wired blog.   I leave you in the able hands of our talented marketing team, who just picked up a fourth award from the Society of New Communications Research.

Change has been the only constant in my combined 16 years here.   When I joined the company the first time, in New York City in 1987, we considered the fax machine “new media” and the Internet was in its infancy, relegated to use by universities and computer geeks.   That was the year the domain came online, Microsoft gave us Works, and Compuserve (remember them?) introduced the GIF standard for images.  

Back then, Cathy Baron Tamraz managed the New York Region for Business Wire, Gregg Castano, who recruited me, served as New York City sales manager, and Phyllis Dantuono  was my fellow account executive.    This talented triumvirate now serves as Business Wire’s CEO, President and COO.    

We were the East Coast pioneers of Business Wire, planting the flag in Manhattan for founder Lorry Lokey’s budding California wire service empire.  I was sad to leave two years later, but family called me home to Texas in 1989.

Eight years later I reconnected with the New York crew when I read in Texas Monthly Magazine that the wire services were opening in Texas.   I called Cathy, and with the foresight worthy of a Berkshire Hathaway CEO, she dispatched the affable Tom Mulgrew (now Vice President of Agency Relations) to recruit me from the boutique PR agency I was running at the time.  Tom and I hit it off, and soon we opened an office in San Antonio.  Dallas and Houston followed shortly, and the rest is Business Wire history.
What a fun ride we’ve shared: opening offices in Texas and abroad, yanking marquis accounts from the grasp of our rivals, learning and launching new tools and technologies too numerous to name.   I’ll never forget staging a luncheon in San Antonio in the late 90s, encouraging clients to “join the webolution” and explaining “Spam, it’s not just a meat product anymore.”  And then there was that major deal we did with Warren Buffett.  Berkshire Hathaway bought the company in 2005 and owns it to this day. 
The landscape keeps changing, and yet Business Wire remains constant, always out front.   
While it’s tempting to focus on the frustrations of the daily grind in this tough economy, I leave Business Wire proud to have been part of a team that in spite of any challenge, continues to set the pace, lead the way, and stage the industry for what comes next–whatever that is.  
For me, that will mean launching a strategic consulting and communications firm in 2012 with my talented former newspaper editor husband, Robert Rivard.  In the meantime, you’ll find me at the Texas Butterfly Ranch–a blog about the life cycle we all share.  Please stay in touch and feel free to subscribe.
Until we meet again, I wish each of you the best.

Happy Chinese New Year! And Make Sure Your International Target Audience is not on Vacation

February 2, 2011
by Matthew Allinson, International Media Relations Supervisor

Matt Allinson, Business Wire International Media Relations SupervisorThe wisdom of sending a news release to a country that’s on holiday is a frequent question at our news desk.  Our response?

Unwise.  And when the news is sent anyway, our clients wonder about the lackluster  pick-up by media.

A better question is why would you spend your company’s hard-earned dollars/euros/pounds/yen sending out a news release that virtually no one is going to read because they’re taking a day—or a week–off?

The practice of forcing news during holidays is predominantly an American one.  The U.S. penchant for a 24/7/365 go-go-go news cycle has made us believe everyone else in the world operates likewise.

Yet most countries and cultures work at a much more leisurely pace, often enjoying twice the vacation time as the American worker.  With the exception of New Zealand, Americans work more every year than any other industrialized nation.

What this means is that if you’re responsible for sending news overseas, be aware of what’s taking place in your target countries or regions so that your news doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

Here’s what David Lore, the bureau chief at Interfax Shanghai, had to say about doing business in China during a holiday:

When it comes to doing business in China, there are a host of “dos and don’ts” that can make or break a deal. You don’t embarrass your Chinese partner in front of his subordinates, and you do take major holidays into consideration when preparing press releases. Especially the week-long Chinese New Year holiday (CNY), also known as Spring Festival. Without question the single most important holiday on the Lunar Calendar, CNY is a time when tens of millions of Chinese are on the move, returning to hometowns to reunite with family and friends.

On a business level, top decision-makers and opinion-shapers usually depart on extended vacations that often encompass the week before and the week after CNY. For all intents and purposes, China’s economy (with a few exceptions, like retail) goes into a kind of hibernation from Feb 2 – Feb 8.

The best resource we’ve found to monitor holidays all over the world is  This site provides information on when banks and stock exchanges are closed for public or religious holidays. Other major events (elections, planned strikes, festivals, etc.) are also listed which can help when determining the proper timing of a news release.

Other, less detailed resources include Onada, Who is on Holiday and Wikipedia.


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