The 5 Definitive Rules to Media Relations in 2014

August 13, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

Earlier this year, Business Wire released their 2014 Media Survey in which we asked 300 reporters, journalists, editors, bloggers and freelancers a wide range of questions related to how they cover company news.  Their answers provide a very clear road map to media relations best practices in 2014.  In this post, we look at the top five questions that make up the new rules for media relations in 2014.

1. Reporters have to meet metrics too With 44 percent of media survey respondents now writing for online publications, the metrics in which the success of an article is based upon have changed. Thanks to unprecedented speed and reach of news enjoyed by the world today, story views have replaced print sales, social shares replacing water cooler discussions.

Media Moving Online

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As we have discussed many times, one of the easiest ways to increase the visibility of coverage of your organization is to share it out. Utilize social media to increase the chance of likeminded individuals and influencers finding out about your news, while assisting journalists in meeting the overall story’s own success metrics.

Reporter Metrics

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2. What types of news interest reporters? With so much news occurring every day, what is the best way to capture a reporter’s attention?  What types of news do reporters want to see in a press release?

bizwirepressreleaseprefs

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The next press release you write should not only focus on the breaking news you are sharing, but include facts, angles, quotes and other assets to increase usefulness to reporters.  

3. Your Multimedia Asset or Theirs? 73 percent of reporters in this survey said photographs were their most favored supplemental asset communicators could provide them. Almost every online and print article today includes multimedia.  When you provide interesting, usable photos, graphics, infographics, video and more, not only are you helping the media outlet, you are also telling your own story, in your own voice.

bizwiremultimedia

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4. Your website is their top research tool When it comes to doing research for a story, journalists overwhelmingly turn to company websites and company online newsrooms for background information.

bizwireresearch

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When was the last time you took a critical look at the information on your website or within your company online newsroom from the perspective of a reporter on a deadline?  Is your information easy to find?  Can reporters download or embed assets instantly? Is your site impeding your coverage? Did you know that 88 percent of reporters asked said press releases were their most desired type of content in an online newsroom? Do an audit of your website and, specifically your online newsroom. Refresh this important asset to increase usability.

5. Which newswire do today’s reporters prefer? When provided with an array of choices, 71 percent of journalists and media outlets responding to this survey selected Business Wire as their top choice for news releases.

bizwirewires

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With more than 50 years of leadership experience in the news distribution industry, while we are proud of this statistic, we are not surprised.  Every day we are a conduit between media outlets, reporters, bloggers, analysts, brand fans, organizations, corporations, start ups, Fortune 500 companies and more to ensure timely distribution and receipt of the world’s leading corporate and organizational news.

Learn additional tips and tricks on how to work with today’s media outlets by downloading the complete 2014 Business Wire Media Survey Guidance Report now. Get a copy of the infographic containing the images in this blog post here, or use the below code to embed the infographic into your website:

21st Century Journalism & Public Relations

 

Copy and paste the following to embed this infographic within your site:
<a href=”http://blog.businesswire.com/2014/08/13/the-5-definitive-rules-to-media-relations-in-2014/”><img title=”The 2014 Business Wire Media Survey Infographic” class=”aligncenter” alt=”21st Century Journalism &amp; Public Relations” src=”http://storage.pardot.com/19392/87712/BW_media_survey_infographic.jpg&#8221;
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To learn more about crafting and distributing content that activate your media targets, drop us a line.  We’d love to talk.To learn more about Business Wire’s media services click here.


Combine your IR and PR news or separate them? Reporters weigh in

July 7, 2014

Should a public company's financial content reside within the online newsroom or within the IR site_q30_2014As time becomes more precious for today’s journalists, company websites, or more specifically online newsrooms and IR sites become increasingly important.  As the importance of these sites grows, so does the question of how to highlight the content relevant for each of an organization’s differing audiences.  For example, should public companies combine financial data with branded content?  Or do reporters prefer separate microsites, each highlighting the content relevant for that specific reader, making it easier for the visitor to find what they are looking for?

Find out what reporters want in an online newsroom in Ibrey Woodall’s latest article in our series based on the results of the 2014 Business Wire Media Survey.

Click here to read: Hosting Corporate Financial Data: Online Newsroom or IR Site?

Download a copy of our Media Survey results at: http://go.businesswire.com/business-wire-media-survey-results


KISS an Online Newsroom

August 8, 2012
By Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services, Business Wire
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communication Services


“What I’m hearing is KISS — Keep it Simple, Stupid — correct?” exclaimed one of the 70+ attendees during Business Wire’s “Meet the Media” luncheon. The discussion for this Atlanta-based session covered how the media uses online newsrooms. As moderator of this session, I turned and looked at the panelists to answer this outburst. All three replied with vigorous, affirmative nods.

The panel consisted of Anita Sharpe, Bureau Chief, Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg News; Jeremiah McWillams, Business Reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Stephen Brown,EVP/Managing Director, Cohn & Wolfe-Atlanta. Each panelist shared their personal insights about challenges and usage of online newsrooms by the media. This included keeping the online newsroom simple and straightforward with easy access to news specifically about the organization.

For many years, I’ve surveyed journalists on what they want in an online newsroom. I’ve also surveyed communicators on how they manage their online newsroom. I use this valuable feedback to make sure that Business Wire’s NewsHQ product contains the best features and functionality. I enjoy listening to the horror stories, and seeing journalists get worked up about obstacles in some of the online newsrooms that they visit.

Atlanta "Online Newsrooms" media panel

(L-R) Jeremiah McWilliams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Anita Sharpe, Bloomberg News; Stephen Brown, Cohn & Wolfe-Atlanta and Ibrey Woodall, Business Wire discuss how media use online newsrooms.

Although all agreed that an online newsroom is a necessity for any organization, below are simple points that have caused frustration for these particular panelists.

  • Excessive clicks from the corporate site to the newsroom
  • Complicated navigation and design
  • Uncategorized press releases
  • Absence of press releases distributed via wire services
  • Dearth of historical press releases
  • Press releases in PDF format only
  • Omission of dates in press releases
  • Lack of fact sheets
  • Insufficient birth dates for executives
  • Missing subject matter experts
  • Unavailability of email alerts
  • Forced registration/password-protected content
  • Inadequate updates during a crisis situation
  • Failure to provide media contact phone numbers and email addresses

All of these frustrations are easy to avoid with a proper online newsroom. There was one request made; however, that I’m not sure will ever be available in an online newsroom – cell phone numbers for chief executive officers.


PRWeek Takes a Look at Business Wire’s NewsHQ

July 31, 2012


Since its debut nearly two years ago, NewsHQ (and its IR counterpart, InvestorHQ) has made quite an impact, with dozens of companies adopting our versatile, dynamic online newsroom solution.

Today, PRWeek takes a look at NewsHQ, through a Q&A with Tonia Elrod, associate director of global communications, digital and e-commerce for Procter & Gamble. An excerpt:

How does it serve your business needs?

It helps us communicate to the news media and other influencers more efficiently. We now have one place they can go to get all the information they need. We didn’t have newsrooms before this. We’d have to email or call them with information.

Media or influencers can sign up for alerts so we can send out alerts to everyone at the same time now. This has helped us reach media and influencers who we know want to receive information, versus guessing who wants to receive it.

Overall, it’s more efficient for P&G and more real-time for the news media.

Click through to read more on how P&G is using NewsHQ to streamline their global media relations operations globally (and a few nice words about Business Wire as well!).


Online Newsroom or Investor Center – Your Message Must be Mobile

May 21, 2012
by Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services
Ibrey Woodall

Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

I have weekly, often daily, conversations with communicators at Fortune 500 companies. These discussions focus on online newsrooms and investor centers. More and more, I see these top-notch professionals realize that their communications center should be optimized for mobile access.

Whether your message is for investors and analysts or journalists and bloggers, you cannot ignore the fact that your audience is a moving target. And that moving target has a smartphone.

Two years ago, only 18 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owned a smart phone device. Today, it is 44 percent according to Nielsen. If you need more statistics to convince you of the mobile momentum, the Pew Research Center reports that a third (34%) of all desktop/laptop news consumers also use their smartphone to access news.

So the question isn’t whether you need your online newsroom or investor center optimized for mobile devices, it is how quickly you can make it happen. Other points to consider include which platforms your mobile-optimized online newsroom or investor center will support; how investors, analysts, or journalists will find your mobile site; if your mobile site is legible; if you will be able to view mobile site statistics; and whether you need a mobile application or a mobile website.

Luckily, mobile-optimized sites should be clean and uncomplicated since we are talking about a very small screen. Therefore, the mobile-optimized version of your online newsroom or investor center should take no longer than two weeks to launch. All major platforms (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android) should be supported, and when a member of your target audience visits your online newsroom or investor center, their smartphone should automatically redirect to the mobile version for better viewing.

Simple design is the key to a good user experience when it comes to mobile sites. Shy away from use of graphics that carry a large file size, and keep the code clean. As with any other site, you should have access to analytics so that you will know the number of page views and unique users garnered by your mobile online newsroom or investor center.

Although there are very good reasons to create a mobile application, Business Wire offers the mobile-optimized version. It’s faster and less expensive to provide to communicators with deadline concerns and budget limitations. It’s also searchable via Google so target audiences have a greater chance of finding company news, information and other content types including press kits, stock quotes, and contacts. And, as we’ve seen, web browsers will continue to gain speed, while an individual platform may not necessarily have an indefinite lifespan.

If you have questions concerning NewsHQ Mobile online newsrooms or InvestorHQ Mobile investor centers, contact your local Business Wire representative.


LA Communicators Share Online Newsroom Best Practices

April 9, 2012

by Warner Boutin, Account Executive & Luis Guillen, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire LA

Business Wire LA hosted a media panel breakfast event on Wednesday, March 28th examining best practices for online newsrooms.

Business Wire’s VP Web Communications, Ibrey Woodall moderated the panel. Panelists included Brian O’Connor, Director of Marketing & PR, Cunard Cruise Line; Serena Ehrlich, Director of Marketing, Mogreet; Deborah Braidic, Manager Website Content/Internal Communications, Children’s Hospital LA and Amanda Hedlund, Web Communications & Media Relations Specialist, Children’s Hospital LA.

L-R: Amanda Hedlund, Deborah Braidic, Brian O’Connor, Serena Ehrlich & moderator Ibrey Woodall

Based on the recent Bulldog Reporter/Business Wire Communicators Online Newsroom Survey results, panelists discussed anecdotes, challenges & overall benefits of their online newsrooms. Here are some of the highlights of the discussion:

General survey findings:

  • Half (48.4%) of corporate communicators currently have an online newsroom
  • The online newsroom remains a relatively modest investment for most companies
  • Companies are integrating their social media activity into their newsrooms
  • Two most important site features: PR contacts and search module

On building your online newsroom:

  • Stakeholders should come together from the very beginning – O’Connor
  • Corporate communications and web development must be on same page. “We streamlined things early, which prevented the marriage from falling apart down the road” – Braidic
  • Know your audience’s needs. “We make sure our audience can quickly find our latest news” – Hedlund
  • Determine what content your audience wants to see
  • Journalists want quick access to your newsroom rather than searching full site

On making your online newsroom relevant:

  • Customize newsroom based on top 3 most frequently accessed content type:
    • Photos, press releases & b-roll – Cunard Cruise Line
    • Multimedia, PR contacts and all social media content – Mogreet
    • Multimedia, Experts/Physicians lists and protected logos – Children’s Hospital
  • Categorize your releases and list experts as well – Ehrlich
  • Use inbound site traffic to create potential blog posts. “I check the web traffic analytics for blog ideas” – Ehrlich
  • Analyze your online newsroom’s web page stats on a weekly basis
  • Make your corporate blog accessible on your online newsroom

On online newsroom maintenance, crisis communication and security:

  • Every company should have dark site ability, allowing you to prepare pages ahead of time for a potential crisis
  • Dark sites need to be light on graphics and multimedia
  • Some of my clients maintain 10-12 different dark sites for “just-in-case” situations – Ehrlich
  • You must know your target market if you’re going to password protect your newsroom – Ehrlich
  • Password protected content needed sometimes:
    • We don’t want somebody pulling a photo archive on a ship we don’t manage anymore – Cunard Cruise Line
    • Sometimes we’ll use passwords to prevent logos from being stolen – Children’s Hospital LA

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit our events page or follow Business Wire events on Twitter, hashtag #bwchat.


New Year, New Online Newsroom

January 24, 2012

by Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services, Business Wire Florida

Click here to download the 2011 Communicators Online Newsroom Survey Exec Summary

Hopefully, one of the items on your list of New Year’s resolutions is to closely review the workings of your current online newsroom. Do you have a fully developed and optimized online newsroom? Does it have the expected features? Does it fit well into your overall set of public relations and social media tools? Does it allow you to work efficiently and timely?  If not, do you have the budget to afford one that does?

Based on the results of the October 2011 Communicators Online Newsroom Practices Survey by Business Wire and Bulldog Reporter, the majority of organizations who intended to create an online newsroom in the future expected to do so within the next three to six months. That means that 2012 will be the year that some communicators will finally take advantage of the technology available to them.

In the past, barriers to utilizing an online newsroom have included lack of resources, inability to self-publish content, inability to integrate social media, lack of traffic, lack of analytics, lack of automated posting of press releases, inability to customize or highlight content, and simply the absence of a user-friendly content management interface.

Fortunately, very few of those surveyed felt that the cost of an online newsroom was a hindrance. Both large and small companies pay less than $10,000 a year for a standard online newsroom. Use this number as a parameter when working the cost of an online newsroom into your 2012 budget.

One of the obstacles communicators have had to deal with is one I’ve seen way too often. You won’t find this hurdle noted directly on the survey because it deals with internal departmental control and strife. However; you can imagine or even relate to the situation when you see that most organizations use an internal IT department to create their online newsroom. This may explain why communicators have not been able to self-publish content, automate press release postings, integrate social media, or even highlight specific content.

An online newsroom is a means by which a communicator can perform their job more efficiently, update content more frequently, supply desired material to journalists more easily, and interact with multiple audiences more timely – especially during a crisis situation. It is not just another section within an organization’s marketing website.

Will you be able to use dedicated communications technology to meet the varied demands of 2012? In other words, are you a PR warrior with the proper battle weapons?

Learn more about Communicators Online Newsroom Practices: join us for our free webinar on Tuesday, February 28 at 1pm ET. Ibrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services for Business Wire, will moderate the panel, which includes Cindy Haas, Director, Corporate Communications, Ryder System; Maggie Jensen, APR, Media Relations Consultant, Securian Fianancial Group; and Mike Trask, Manager of Corporate Communications, Bally Technologies. Register for the free session HERE.


PRSA International Conference Preview: See you in Orlando!

October 14, 2011

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire Los Angeles

Heading to the PRSA International Conference this week? So are we! We’re looking forward to meeting PR professionals from across the country and learning about the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Don’t forget to come by and see us at Booth #401/403 for fun giveaways and a chance to win an iPad2.  We’ll have our team of experts on-hand to discuss our entire suite of public relations services, including:

While you’re at the show, take advantage of free one-on-one demonstrations of our dynamic NewsHQ Online Newsroom solution conducted by our online newsroom expert Ibrey Woodall.  You’ll learn how a better online newsroom can benefit your organization. Contact your local account executive or email Conferences2011@businesswire.com to schedule your free consultation.  We have times available all day Sunday and Monday.

Business Wire’s Laura Sturaitis, Executive VP of Media Services & Product Strategy, will be speaking with Greg Jarboe, president of SEO-PR, at a session called “Maximizing Press Release Performance Online” on Tuesday, October 18 at 9:45 a.m. ET in Palazzo Salon E.   You won’t want to miss their presentation of the results of an 18-month study on online press release performance and the strategies and best practices for optimizing press releases to increase traffic and engagement with key landing pages and websites.

Follow live updates from the conference on Twitter @BusinessWire.   Hope to see you there!


InvestorHQ and NewsHQ Now Available

September 14, 2010

We teased you with them a couple of months ago — now they’re finally available. InvestorHQ and NewsHQ, our new online investor center and online newsroom products, are here for your company to build and better your web presence.

Take a look at today’s press release, and view the two slideshows below that outline some of the terrific features to be found in NewsHQ and InvestorHQ.

To learn more about the NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center, please email HQ@businesswire.com.


International Communicators Hungry for Communications Technology… and Cake

June 14, 2010

– by Ibrey Woodall, VP, Web Communications Services

Ibrey Woodall

The IABC World Conference took place in Toronto, Canada June 6-9, 2010. It was a perfect opportunity for Business Wire to announce the launch of our NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ investor center services.

So many attendees from all over the country were hungry to learn about communications technology and how it integrates with social media. This was evidenced by the many sessions referring to the subject matter, including “How to measure the ROI of your social media efforts” by Katie Delahaye Paine of KDPaine & Partners, “Integrating multimedia into your social media campaign” by Donna Papacosta of Trafalgar Communications, and my own Sunday session “Online newsrooms with social media integration.”

Other tracks included employee communications, global trends, change management, communication leadership, and strategy and counsel. You can see more of the program by visiting http://www.iabc.com/wc/program.htm. You can also search on the Twitter hash tag #iabc10 to get an idea of the conversations happening during the conference. From this same feed, I found a blog about my session entitled “Online newsrooms with social media highlights” by attendee Kristen Sukalac or Prospero Communications.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the opening general session. A team of musicians called Drum Café (http://www.drumcafe) showed everyone how to listen and play to the same beat using African drums. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many drums in one place. Drum Café has performed for Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, the Queen of England, Tony Blair and George W. Bush, and they certainly didn’t fail to show a good time to IABC attendees.

IABC 40th Anniversary Cake

And of course, Guy Kawasaki, author of nine books, provided a very comfortable and enjoyable closing general session on “The Art of Innovation.”

I would be remiss if I did not mention that this year was the 40th anniversary of IABC, a feat that every organization should be fortunate enough to celebrate. In rolled an extremely large cake that took about six chefs to pick up and place on the table. I personally enjoyed the sigh of relief and self-congratulations on each chef’s face once the cake was successfully transferred.

This was my first IABC conference. It was refreshing, professionally done and held many possibilities for both attendee and exhibitor. Although some may not be there yet, several attendees were well aware of the need to integrate social media and search engine optimization into their press release distribution. Yes, even the ones who work in the government industry.


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