How Snapchat is Disrupting the News Industry

September 24, 2015

By Natasha Artavia, Business Wire

While you may have disregarded Snapchat as a serious contender for news distribution in the ever growing social media Snapchat_Logosphere, you may want to reconsider.

Launched in 2011, Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to communicate with annotated images and video clips that disappear once viewed. It is the perfect representation of the future of news sharing as it merges text with images, a process that taps into innate human learning ability thus allowing users to instantly understand what the reader is trying to portray.

According to Snapchat’s own internal data, 4 billion (and counting) videos are viewed on the mobile app each day. Think about that for a moment. 4 billion videos are uploaded and shared and viewed on a daily basis between Snapchat’s users. Now, while most of those videos are user generated content, consider the impact this platform has on the news sharing and consumption.


News is travelling at a breakneck speed and becoming more and more socialized now that mobile devices are established threads in our social DNA. How prevalent are smartphones? According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, approximately 64 percent of American adults and 85 percent of young adults own smartphones.

When you factor in app downloads and user engagement on smart phones and other devices, Snapchat’s disruption of the news industry shouldn’t come as a surprise. Media firms are always striving to increase their audience range and Snapchat provides them access to a huge, demanding audience in the 18-34 year old range.

This is where Snapchat’s Discover comes in to play. To date, 15 media outlets (including Mashable, CNN, ESPN and National Geographic, to name a few) have joined in on this new way of distributing news. Easily accessible, Snapchat users tap on the icon of the media outlet they are interested in and view short bursts of breaking news in the form of videos, photographs, interviews, etc. These Snaps present a condensed, media rich platform to share today’s latest breaking news, highlights from the last Sunday’s football game, to clips on how to bake the perfect pizza.

While the Discover channel partners are limited in number, they provide Snapchat’s 100 million daily users with fresh content that they can consume and share. And where Discover allows companies like IGN to craft these catchy, modern news reels, others are creating and using their Snapchat accounts to engage with their audiences and consumers directly.

For marketing purposes, this intimacy between company and consumer can be extremely beneficial. Through exclusive visual content, consumers have the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes of the companies and brands they follow and are loyal to. From the debut of the latest products to mini-interview clips, this social channel is providing business with a new way to approach their brand and gain loyal consumers.

Snapchat’s visual interface is in many ways the future of global news.  It allows organizations to reach wider audiences popeincluding international audiences without the need for translations, as it presents the news in a visuals first format.

Brands using Snapchat to reach audiences must be prepared for their news to disappear as well as to be snapped and shared again.  Of course, this means this type of transparency needs to be handled with extreme care. Even though Snapchat boasts brevity and the 24-hour expiration date of each Snap, users are able to save content via screen captures and through the app itself.

While Snapchat continues to grow, and the demand for more user-friendly news content increases, it will be interesting to see the new ways in which more traditional news outlets create, package and disseminate to the public.

Interested in learning more about the future of visual news?  Download our free guide:  Let’s Get Visual to learn the science behind visual news as well as the steps you need to take to create it yourself.

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How Should I Promote My Content: An Infographic for Smart Marketers

September 10, 2015

By Vilan Trub, Business Wire

Great content is only as great as how it’s distributed. If people aren’t seeing your branding and message, they won’t be able to act on it. If people aren’t engaging with your content, they can’t be eased further into the marketing funnel.

The 10 Required Questions of Content Promotion

The 10 Required Questions of Content Promotion

A major goal of a marketing plan, reaching out to the public, is to turn potential leads into clients and customers.  A successful marketing campaign raises visibility, creates brand loyalty, and more resulting in a large ROI. After all is said and done, how do you actually reach your market and effectively engage your audience? 

The first step is identifying the power of content marketing. According to a 2015 poll by Smart Insights, almost 30% of respondents listed content marketing as the most important digital marketing trend for the year. The second most selected answer (big data) received less than half the votes (14.6%). The most popular forms of content marketing are social media content other than blogs (93%), eNewsletters (80%), articles on your website (78%), illustrations/photos (75%), and videos (74%). There are many options for how to reach an audience and companies are trying them all. Are they organized in their efforts? A shocking 56% of the respondents said they do not have a content marketing strategy or plan, even though they are actively utilizing content marketing.

Not having a game plan is very inefficient and can lead to disaster. Imagine a basketball team running onto the court without knowing any plays to execute. LeBron James might be the best player in the world, but even he wouldn’t score too many points if he was playing with a team that didn’t have a strategy. Your content, similarly, might be the most interesting, engaging, and disruptive, but if you don’t have a plan of distribution, you’ll be the only person aware of it.

How do you get as many eyes as possible onto your great content?

Business Wire put together this infographic that illustrates how content marketing travels down a road, and what steps to take to reach your desired audience.

It’s important for communicators to remember that assets are tools and how you use them will determine their effectiveness. If your news features an eye-catching headline, native advertising is a good route. If you have newsworthy content, issuing a news release would amplify your content to journalists and other media professionals. If you have multiple related pieces and multimedia, a news or picture capsule makes for a great interactive asset that captures audiences’ attentions for far longer than passive content.

What are some of the key takeaways from the infographic?

  • If you have newsworthy content – issue a news release
  • If you have comparative data – make an infographic
  • If you have a video – make a vine or GIF for additional social messaging
  • If you have multiple related pieces – issue a news or picture capsule

Content marketing is proving to be more than just a trend. If you utilize this highly effective method for reaching potential clients and customers, for building brand awareness and loyalty, remember to have a game plan. Content and distribution working together will raise visibility of your message and lead to a desired ROI.

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Just in: Hard Data Supports the Effectiveness of Interactive Media vs. Passive Content

August 31, 2015

Nothing ends an argument like data, and the data on interactive media is in.

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Image source: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey

Demand Gen’s 2015 Content Preferences Survey offers a startling look at just how effective interactive media is when compared to passive content such as text-only articles when it comes to consuming information. People are spending more time using multimedia that they can click on and explore. These interactive, gamified assets, such as news and picture capsules, are quickly becoming engagement magnets for the industry, attracting and retaining the interest of potential clients and customers.

How do the numbers stack up?


When asked, 88% of respondents stated that interactive content is effective in creating differentiation between brands, while only 55% believed that passive content is effective in creating differentiation.

To read the full highlights of the study and statistics between interactive and passive content, click here.

How can this survey help communicators? By knowing what form of assets  have the greatest impact on modern audiences, communications pros are able to take advantage, create more impactful content and more effectively reach and convert their target market. This data takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what works best and what approach to take in managing dialogue between brand and public.

Understanding the importance of multimedia as a prime tool for communicators, Business Wire recently launched a white paper designed to help communicators take advantage of these highly successful content pieces. The paper details the science and other aspects behind the influence such an asset can have on the success of your news release. Click here to read this piece and click here to share this information with your Twitter followers:

[DOWNLOAD NOW] Business Wire Launches Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release

July 9, 2015

Earlier today, published a piece outlining the new Business Wire multimedia report Let’s Get Visual: Multimedia and the News Release. This guide offers comm pros best practices for releasing company news that will connect with modern audiences in the digital and mobile age. While the importance of a news release is timeless, the communication landscape is changing and PR and IR teams need to take advantage. Find out how.

2015 WP_Cover Graphic_Lets Get Visual

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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Journey of a News Release

July 7, 2015

We can tell you how a press release develops into breaking news, reaching everyone from industry reporters to regular folks enjoying morning coffee with their tablet. We can also show you the same information with a cool sharable video. What’s the difference? The difference is the same as reading a recipe for the perfect steak or watching Gordon Ramsey prepare one, step-by-step. Visuals relay information that is both unique and engaging and when executed correctly, highly effective.  These are the reasons why we won’t tell you how a news release works – we’ll just show you.

The release of How Your News is Made – An Inside Look at News Releases and News Distribution aims to showcase the steps that a company announcement takes before issuers can celebrate the full results of their communications outreach.

The new media playing field is changing. Taking full advantage of social and mobile platforms, as well as advances in smartMastercard Sample Release technology (even air conditioners seem to be smart these days) can make significant impact in maximizing news release visibility. How does that happen? First a news release needs to be written. Not all releases are written equal and certain actionable tips can go a long way such as crafting a compelling headline, ensuring the first sentence contains key information, inserting calls to action and leveraging well placed hyperlinks to drive inbound traffic.

The next step shows just how much influence the digital revolution has on how people communicate. Once you have crafted your interesting news release, it is time to add in supporting multimedia. The reach of a text-only news release is minor compared to the reach of a release that includes multimedia. An image, an infographic, a video—these assets push your news across the internet and keep audiences engaged while consuming your core messages.

3 times as muchThe reason for multimedia’s success is how easily it relays ideas. Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text. When reading text you try to paint an image of what you’re reading with your imagination. A video offers information in such a way that can’t be misinterpreted, both offering information and explaining it, simultaneously. Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz does not hide her confidence in the role multimedia will play in the communications industry.

“My prediction is that multimedia will be a part of every single news release.” – Cathy Baron Tamraz during a conversation with Tim Bahr, CEO of Nextworks.

Once the release has been built and sent to Business Wire, our editorial team reviews the release, suggests edits and distributions to ensure the release meets your goals.  Once edited and approved, the final news release is disseminated across the wire and into the hands of your key constituents.

But you can’t celebrate just yet!  Once the release is out, media outreach performed and online discussions have begun, it is time to measure the results of your work.

Business Wire provides a wide range of measurement and monitoring tools to help you track the impact of your news rulerrelease. Business Wire NewsTrak and NUVI reporting shows not only how much activity your release received, it provides detailed information on social discussion and shares surrounding your news. For more specific data, the Market Impact Report tracks the impact of your release upon your (and your industry’s) stock price.

Your release has been crafted, assets added, received editorial review and feedback, crossed the wire, activated your key and secondary audiences and provided you with data to help craft the next one.

This is the path of a news release.

Interested in learning more about Business Wire’s news distribution service? Let us know! And just click here to share out this exclusive sneak peek on the distribution of a news release:

How Has Digital Changed Communication

June 25, 2015

The internet changed almost everything. Most facets of life are now either shaped or directly dictated by the internet, especially the way we communicate. How has the internet changed communication? Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO of Business Wire, answers that question with one word: multimedia.

“My prediction is that multimedia will be a part of every single news release,” Cathy said to Tim Bahr, CEO of Nextworks, during a conversation on the future of business news communications. The conversation, taking place during this past SXSW, touched upon the Smart News Release (SNR), a news release enhancement first launched by Business Wire in 1995. The ability for a commercial newswire to embed graphics into a news release and transmit it to news media outlets via the SNR was the first marriage of multimedia with text. It wasn’t just a news release with an image or video, it was an entirely new and unique asset for media recipients. What are the benefits of this marriage?

A recent study by Microsoft finds that human attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds. That means by the time you’re reading this sentence, you’re probably ready for some visual stimulation. Today’s constant stream of multimedia might be a cause for society’s diminishing focus, but it can also serve as the cure. A picture has long been touted as being worth a thousand words, making video exponentially more valuable. By including a video with a news release, you are intriguing the audience on multiple senses. According to Northern Michigan University’s Academic & Career Advisement Center, approximately 30% of people are auditory learners. By incorporating video with audio into your news release, you are reaching a larger audience than by just including images alone.

The importance of video to public relations is not a surprise. Tamraz elaborated on her comments about multimedia explaining that, “people think visually.” Videos provide the public with news in an easy to consume and engaging format.

It’s been twenty years since the launch of the Smart News Release. How have communications assets evolved in the age of Web 2.0?

PR pros are always looking for ways to amplify a news release – a tool that raises visibility of a company, and encourages engagement of the news within key audiences. And, as Tamraz says in the video, assets such as News Capsules provide that very boost to any news release. A News Capsule is a tool that allows a brand to tell a story using interactive multimedia. It’s the gamification of the news release and it boasts an average reader engagement time of 6:12 minutes. That number really jumps out at you when you compare it with the 20 to 30 seconds it takes to read a text-only news release.

Why are capsules so effective in increasing the impact of a news release? Tamraz describes this multimedia asset as the “crossover between news, corporate communications, and marketing.” Advances in internet connectivity continue to blur lines for every industry, whether it is multimedia, communication, or distribution. By offering information in a way that can be learned both visually and kinesthetically, the News Capsule is a tool that blurs the lines between varied forms of communication. This makes it an ideal asset for amplifying a company message on a multitude of platforms.

The future of public relations and audience activation is interactive content. For Meghan Gross, president of Gem Strategic Goulston StorrsCommunications, a picture capsule was the best way to tell a year’s worth of stories. She recommended using a picture capsule to a professional services client of hers as a way to reach their core audience. In this case, the client wanted to showcase the importance of climate change by bringing attention back to all the great content they created that year. The News Capsule allowed Gem to create one single asset that hosted all of the client’s created content, allowing them to present their entire story in one outreach. Of course, once a capsule goes out, as Cathy Baron Tamraz says, it “travels.” Capsules are sharable and embeddable allowing users to embed it in stories, social channels, websites and more.

The internet proved to not be a trend and neither will mobile platforms. The digital revolution succeeded and we now find ourselves in the digital age. And now, every aspect of life revolves in some way around the era we live in, just like during the Industrial Age that preceded it. How are you adapting your communication practices for the growing needs of today’s digital, visual society?

To learn more about digital influence on news distribution read the following articles:

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The Rise of Digital Video and Why it Matters

May 26, 2015

By Hannah Herreid, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire

“Instead of couch potatoes, we have digital potatoes.” Ryan Van Fleet, Senior Director of Insights and Analytics, Tremor Video

There is no arguing that the digital sphere is here to stay. In fact, digital video may soon take the reins from cable television. According to a study by Limelight Networks, Inc, “More than 90% of consumers are open to ‘Cutting the cord’; a shift led by the desire for flexibility and increasing availability of on demand programming.” Additionally, digital video advertising is growing faster than any other advertising platform. Online video ad revenue is estimated to reach $5 billion in 2016 whereas TV ad revenue is predicted to decrease by 3% each year (BI Intelligence).

With mobile and digital use on the up and up, it comes as no surprise that companies, journalists, and thought leaders have taken notice of the trends and practices encompassing it. The Publicity Club of New York recognized the rise in digital video at a recent luncheon where 6 leaders in digital production discussed the current happenings and future of digital video.

PCNY Panel of Producers

PCNY panel of producers: Mike Schmidt – Mashable, Christopher Booker –  The Financial Times, Shalini Sharma – Fast Company, Joanne Po – The Wall Street JournalMarcos Bueno – Vox Media, Laura Petrecca – USA Today

The Power of Live Streaming + Social Media

Joanne Po, Executive Producer at The Wall Street Journal stated, “The path of journalism has changed. We’re creating our own journalism, not necessarily tied to the paper anymore.” The Wall Street Journal like other publications in attendance, have practiced live streaming for multiple years. According to Po, viewership of their live video stream is much higher than traditional cable networks through syndication with other sites who repost the videos. Presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Meerkat, Periscope and others also contribute to the increased number of viewers. Livestreaming has served as a great media platform for breaking news and creating content in an efficient manner for digital media.


New Expectations for Journalists
Reporters are now expected to take a video and be able edit and understand the production techniques whether they are on the production side or not. This is especially true for breaking news. Some producers prefer to send a reporter and shoot the footage themselves as opposed to a PR person’s video in order to keep the digital consistent and in line with the publication; however, news outlets are always looking for qualified experts to comment on breaking or national news stories. For a Public Relations professional, it is still recommended to submit your videos to news sources. Make sure that it is relevant and topical, and try to relate it to a current event. The publication may or may not use your footage, but they will follow up if they like the story regardless.

The Evolution of Media Strategy
According to Jim Pavia the Senior Editor at Large at CNBC Digital, the video component a few years ago was a regurgitation of what had already appeared in an article, and viewership was low. The audience wasn’t necessarily getting anything out of it. Now the strategy behind online video has changed. Videos now offer the viewer a bonus or added value as incentive to watch. “The consumers of media have evolved in their practices of consumption therefore, media must also evolve.” Since the rise in digital video consumption has increased exponentially, CNBC among other media outlets have added digital video components to almost all of their online articles.

Branded Production for Digital Media
The shift from broadcast television to digital video can be attributed to millennial consumers who lead the pack with an average of 4-7 hours of online video intake a week. They consume almost twice the amount over any other age group (Limelight Network, Inc).

Digital video is no longer about clips, but about building production brands, and this is a trend we’ll continue to see. Fast Company is a prime example of this with multiple segments that tap into millennial interests. For example the “Fast Comedy” that features funny workplace skits, “Brand Evolution” which highlights iconic brands’ past, present, and future, and the “29th Floor” a platform for editors and writers to take on whatever is current.

It’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot more online video moving forward. From digital ads in the marketing realm, to online production, to company created videos, evolving with the consumer is what media outlets and public relations professionals must do to keep current.

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