Local Coverage Can Transcend the Community it Serves

May 11, 2012

by Molly Pappas, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire Boston

Last Thursday, over 100 PR and communications professionals attended Business Wire Boston’s media panel breakfast event focused on the ever-changing media landscape.  Panelists from the Boston Business Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Herald, Patch.com and Mass High Tech discussed how news is changing in a digital environment, ways publications measure success and the differing views on paywalls.

Panelists included Frank Quaratiello, Boston Herald’s business editor, George Donnelly, executive editor at Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech’s newest associate editor, Don Seiffert, associate regional editor of Patch.com, Abby Jordan, and Leigh Montgomery, Christian Science Monitor’s librarian.  Business Wire’s own Sanford Paek, Group Vice President of Eastern U.S. and Canada, served as moderator.

L-R: Sanford Paek, Frank Quaratiello, George Donnelly, Abby Jordan, Leigh Montgomery, Don Seiffert

Here are some of the highlights from the discussion:

News changing in a digital environment:

  • Digital formatting has changed the way in which the media address their audience.  In terms of storytelling, the visual experience online can be interesting.  Donnelly says the Boston Business Journal runs two to three slideshows a week.
  • The Boston Herald has played around with its homepage and moved the video player there, and has since seen a dramatic increase on time spent on the site.  Videos bring in about 180,000 views.
  • Digital environments have brought about a different world of immediacy to Jordan and her Patch.com team.  They do not wait for an end-of-the-day deadline like print publications; instead, they are continually updating their sites, usually five to seven times a day.  “The site is not just for people to consume, but to interact with,” says Jordan.  For example, people can upload their own events on the site for display.
  • “We need to put aside old media/new media; it’s just media,” says Montgomery.  In 2009, the Christian Science Monitor was the first international publication to drop its daily print and move to a Web daily only.  They still adhere to a publishing schedule, but she says they have more flexibility to publish throughout the day online (usually 30 stories per day).
  • Seiffert has found that the length of stories and deadlines are affected by the digital environment.  “There are losses to the digital age.  You lose the ability to report longer, more well-crafted stories,” he says.

Measuring success:

  • Patch.com is unique in that it does not have a print subscription number to base its success on.  “We are the new kids on the block.  We measure success on the number of unique visitors on the site, the number of comments on a story, how our readers interact with the site,” Jordan says.
  • For Quaratiello and the Boston Herald, circulation of print product is an obvious measure of success.  But it’s also about the visitors online, who are building a community and using the Herald as a “meeting place” of sorts.  The Herald has helped create a forum, engaging the paper and its readers.
  • As an online publication, the Christian Science Monitor can draw on a lot of online usage data, such as quizzes, to monitor success.  The core, however, is solution seeking, Montgomery says.  When a story is being discussed and you hear and see it in conversation, that is considered a measure of success.
  • While the Boston Business Journal has really embraced analytics, they try not to allow it to be the sole decision maker on the news they cover and publish.  “We want to give people as much as we can in an interesting way,” says Donnelly.
  • For Seiffert, there is a constant struggle between balancing context and ‘hits.’  “We measure success on Tweets, join/follows on Facebook, the most read and most emailed articles.  But there is a danger of losing the personal connection,” he says.

Paid content vs. free:

  • “Readers aren’t tired of free news, the newspapers are tired of giving out free news,” says Seiffert.
  • “I do not think paid online subscriptions will be successful.  It’s just not going to pay the bills,” says Quaratiello.  Donnelly, however, disagrees.  He sees the tide turning in the other direction, and believes that it’s necessary. “Newspapers are realizing that readers need to subsidize revenue.  Newspapers are dispersing news worth paying for.  Valuable news shouldn’t be free,” he argues.
  • Patch.com has not looked at a paywall.  They use metrics to get advertisers, thus bring in revenue.
  • Because of the Christian Science Monitor’s multiplatform model (Internet first and paid print subscriptions), Montgomery believes the publication will be self-sustaining by 2017 because of the revenue they bring in.

The panelists ended the event with a few quick pointers on how they like to be pitched:

  • Seiffert always likes to talk to someone directly.  However, if that isn’t possible, provide links or pointers to other primary sources he can contact.
  • “When we get information, our day begins.  It’s frustrating and annoying when someone sends in a release at 5, then leaves and we can’t get them on the phone,” Quaratiello says.
  • Both Jordan and Donnelly are happy to accept photos, but he advises that they be no more than 1 megabyte.  Editors and reporters are weary of opening photo attachments because they can cause computers to freeze or shut down.

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.


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Olympics in London, Katie Paine in Dallas, Meet the Media in Boston, Denver and Charlotte

April 30, 2012

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Business Wire’s Media Breakfast: The Olympics, Media & PR

Hosted by Business Wire London

With the biggest sporting event in the world at our doorstep, join us for a discussion about how the Olympics affects the media landscape. Panelists include: Matt Ball, Editor-in-Chief of MSN UK, Scott Dougal, Deputy Sports Editor, the Press Association, Duncan Hooper, Managing Editor, News & Sport, MSN and Darren Waters, Head of Devices & Social Media, MSN / ex-BBC journalist. This event is FREE for public relations and communications professionals.

Wednesday, May 2 at 8:45 AM BST
St Bride Foundation
Bride Lane, Fleet StreetLondon , EC4Y 8EQ, United Kingdom

To register: RSVP by Monday 30 April to uk@BusinessWire.com

Meet the Boston Media

Hosted by Business Wire Boston

Join Business Wire Boston for breakfast and a panel discussion with members of the local media. Learn about current trends in journalism, what kind of news editors are looking for, and how to effectively pitch a story. Panelists include: George Donnelly - Executive Editor, Boston Business Journal, Abby Jordan – Associate Regional Editor, AOL’s Patch.com, Leigh Montgomery – Librarian, Christian Science Monitor, Frank Quaratiello – Business Editor, Boston Herald and Don Seiffert – Associate Editor, News, Mass High Tech. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, May 3 at 8:00 AM ET
Westin Waltham Hotel
70 Third Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02451

To register: RSVP to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2184174926?ref=ebtn

Meet Denver Journalists and Public Relations Professionals Specializing in Targeting the Hispanic Market

Hosted by Business Wire Denver

Learn Tips for Reaching and Pitching Hispanic Media, a Critically Important and Growing Segment of the American Community. Daniel Montano, President/CE) of Elevation Creation International moderates a panel, including María Rozman, News Director, KDEN Telemundo Denver; Roberto Martínez-Maestre, General Director, El Hispano; Kim DeVigil, Senior Director, Communications, University of Denver; and Luisa Collins, News Director, Univision Colorado. This event is FREE for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, May 3 at 8:30 AM MDT
Denver Athletic Club
1325 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO, 80204

To register: RSVP by May 1 to JoAnne Hirsch, (303) 861-8833 or joanne.hirsch@businesswire.com

Pitching to Pickup – Tips from Local Media on Working with Newsrooms

Hosted by Business Wire Charlotte

Local media professionals will discuss how to effectively pitch news to the media. Panelists include Dion Lim, News Anchor, WCNC; David Harris, Managing Editor, The Charlotte Business Journal and John Arwood, Business Editor, The Charlotte Observer. This event is FREE for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Tuesday, May 22 at 7:30 AM ET
Dilworth Neighborhood Grille
911 East Morehead St, Charlotte, NC, 28204

To register: Please RSVP by Thursday, May 17 to Penny Sowards at penny.sowards@businesswire.com

Measuring What Matters: New Rules for 21st Century Communications Measurement

Hosted by Business Wire Dallas, with NIRI, PRSA, IABC and Critical Mention

What metrics really matter? How can metrics drive strategy? Join IABC, PRSA, NIRI, Business Wire & Critical Mention for the annual joint communications lunch, as Katie Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, provides measurement insight on “best in class” measurement programs for 2012, best measurement tools today, where measurement is headed and more. Standard Luncheon Fees apply: Full-time Student $25.00, Guest $50.00 , Member $40.00 and Table of 10: $500.

Thursday, May 31 at 11:15 AM CT
Thanksgiving Tower (Tower Club)
1601 Elm Street, Dallas, TX, 75201

To register: Please RSVP by May 28 at 10:00 pm on this page

Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag #bwchat


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Killer PR Tips in Phoenix, Digital Etiquette in Charlotte, Hyperlocal Journalism in Pittsburgh

July 19, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Adapt or Vanish: Five Killer PR Tips to Stay Relevant

Hosted by Business Wire Phoenix

PR is no longer relegated to drafting press releases and bylined articles. Today, PR pros support business goals, connect and support customers, amplify demand-generation efforts and take social listening to a whole new level to move the company’s brand forward. Join Business Wire Phoenix & Cindy Kim, Director of Marketing and Social Media for JDA Software, for this session on how social business is impacting the PR world. Cindy will outline five killer strategies to help you make an impact that goes beyond just PR, based on real-world lessons. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, July 21 at 11:30 a.m.
SkySong
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd., Alliance Room, #365, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

To register: RSVP to Billy Russell at (480) 990-9942 or email billy.russell@businesswire.com

Minding Your Mobile Manners – Etiquette Tips for the Digital Age

Hosted by Business Wire Charlotte

Join Business Wire Charlotte for breakfast and a panel discussion with experts in the field discussing the topic: Minding Your Mobile Manners – Etiquette Tips for the Digital Age. A panel of professionals will share their experience and expertise, presenting both PR and media perspectives. Panelists include Eric Frazier, staff writer for the Charlotte Observer and Scott Hepburn, president of Media Emerging, a public relations and marketing firm. The event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 a.m.
Dilworth Neighborhood Grille
911 E Morehead, St., Charlotte, NC 28204

To register: RSVP to Penny Sowards at 704-552-1590 or email penny.sowards@businesswire.com by Monday, Aug. 1

Hyperlocal Journalism: Latest Buzz Word or Developing Trend?

Hosted by Business Wire Cleveland [Pittsburgh Event]

There appears to be a trend toward “hyperlocal” news coverage. What does this mean, exactly? Has there been a fundamental shift toward more community news coverage? What is the best way to pitch your news to media outlets covering small local communities? Find out what hyperlocal means for PR professionals with our panel, which includes Bobby Cherry, Reporter, Sewickley Herald; Cindi Lash, Regional Editor, Western Pennsylvania, Patch.com; and Gina Puppo, Community Coordinator, Trib Total Media. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 8 a.m.
Rivers Club
One Oxford Center, 301 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

To register: RSVP to Matt O’Donnell at matt.odonell@businesswire.com by August 17, 2011.


Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag
#bwevents


Milwaukee Media Discuss Pitching Tips and Media Relations Best Practices

July 12, 2011

by Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager, and Matt Blouin, Account Executive, Business Wire Chicago

Business Wire Chicago recently hosted a luncheon featuring top Milwaukee media at Milwaukee’s Newsroom Pub. Panelists offered tips on creating pitches that generate interest.

(L-R) Mark Maley (Patch.com), Bob Helbig (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), Kathy Mykleby (WISN-TV) & moderator Raschanda Hall (BW Chicago)

Kathy Mykleby, News Anchor/Reporter at WISN-TV, along with Bob Helbig, Deputy Business Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Mark Maley, Milwaukee Regional Editor for Patch.com shared their insights regarding what it takes for a story pitch to be successful.  Raschanda Hall, Business Wire’s Global Media Relations Manager, moderated the panel.

Great crowd at the Newsroom Pub!

Below are some of the key takeaways from our panelists:

  • Local Content is King.  There is no real answer to “what is news” and no real definition to “newsworthy.”  Being interesting or clever can help.  Tailor the news to a specific area, giving it a local angle.  The ultimate goal is to serve the interests of  readers.  Look at yourself as a reader.
  • Social networking sites provide leads and promotional opportunities.  Reporters are constantly gathering information from Twitter and other social media sites.  They are especially interested in following people and organizations relevant to their jobs. Maley says his regional Patch.com editors rely heavily on Twitter to find and promote stories.  Mykleby says social media is great but we sometimes forget that success lies in building relationships.
  • The higher the resolution the better. Visuals are important to the layout of news stories.  Always make sure to provide quality, high resolution photos.  Even if multimedia is not used right away, it is typically kept on file.  Helbig admits that years ago the Journal Sentinel would never think of using outside photos but now it is much more common.
  • Attachments are okay, but… if you will be attaching something in an email, explain what is in the attachment in the body of the email.  Better yet says Helbig, include the attached press release in the body of the email too.  This serves two purposes.  He can read it right away and forward or print a clean version for filing or sharing with a colleague.
  • Social Media Release or Traditional does not matter — just keep it short.  The format of a press release is less important than the length.  Whenever possible, try to keep the release to no more than one page, and be sure to include contact information.  Mykleby says if she or one of her producers at WISN-TV needs more information they will ask for it.
  • Email is the preferred method of contact if the matter is not urgent.  An occasional follow up phone call is acceptable.  Be straightforward as time is precious and staff may be limited.  Helbig says he gets several dozen emails an hour.  The subject line and first sentence of an email might be all that is viewed.
  • Make sure your website is journalist-friendly.  Have a high quality website with as much information as possible for reporters to access.  Contact information, pictures and company descriptions are all useful. Mykleby says when she’s researching, Google, press releases and company websites all are important.

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 #bwevents.


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Meet the Media in Milwaukee, Discuss Newsroom Cutbacks in Denver

June 20, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Tips From Top Milwaukee Media: Meet the Media Luncheon

Hosted by Business Wire Chicago (Milwaukee Event)

We all love a scoop. We’re asking top Milwaukee media to give us the scoop on what it takes to catch the attention of their editors, reporters and producers. They will also share advice on why story pitches find success or fall flat. Join our luncheon discussion for the tips you need to have before pitching the three prominent Milwaukee news outlets on our panel: Bob Helbig, Deputy Business Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Kathy Mykleby, News Anchor/Reporter, WISN-TV; President of Milwaukee Press Club; and Mark Maley, Regional Editor – Milwaukee, Patch.com. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, June 22 at 11:30 a.m. CT
Newsroom Pub
137 East Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

To register: Send an e-mail to Abbie.Sullivan@BusinessWire.com. Seating is limited. We request no more than 2 guests per organization.

Who’s Covering You Now

Hosted by Business Wire Denver

Join Business Wire Denver for breakfast and a panel discussion on what newsroom cutbacks will mean for your company. We’ll cover how to pitch to a shrinking newsroom with a panel of Denver-area experts, including: Greg Nieto, News Reporter for FOX31 and KWGN, Channel 2; Patrick Doyle, Senior Editor at 5280 Publishing, Inc. and Gil Asakawa, Manager of Student Media, Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Colorado. This event is free for members and $20 for non-members.

Wednesday, June 29 at 8:30 a.m. MT
Denver Athletic Club

1325 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80206

To register: Send an e-mail to JoAnne Hirsch at joanne.hirsch@businesswire.com

Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag #bwevents


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