Philadelphia Business Editors Discuss Changes in the Newsroom, Useful Pitching Tips

December 15, 2010

By: Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist/DC

Business Wire/Philadelphia hosted a “Meet the Editors” event on Tuesday, December 7th. The panel discussion, moderated by Cecile Oreste of Business Wire, featured Craig Ey, Editor of the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Brian Toolan, Business Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. More than 60 public relations and communications professionals attended the event at the Union League of Philadelphia. Attendees contributed to the conversation in a question and answer section and also by live tweeting the event using the #BWEvents hash tag.

Brian Toolan, Business Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Unique Angle

Ey and Toolan started the discussion by defining what makes their publications unique. Ey pointed out that the Business Journal finds story angles that would appeal to small- and medium-sized business owners. Their readership comes from selling their expertise and the long tenure of their reporting staff. Toolan of the Inquirer said the paper prides itself in providing exclusive information with real consequence. He pointed out that there is a lot of money left on the table for any story. It just depends on how curious you are as a reporter.

Role of Social Media

Both editors said there is still much to learn about social media and its role in the newsroom, but agreed that the tools are useful for monitoring trends and confirming information with sources. These resources can serve as an early warning about what is happening in a particular industry and also be the first alert for breaking news.

Looking to the Future

In regards to the future of their respective media outlets, Ey talked about the importance of attracting younger readers and changing the perception of the publication so it’s not “your daddy’s paper.” He discussed the editorial decision to include more stories about restaurants and retail, two topics that seem to appeal to a younger demographic. For the Inquirer, creating a successful business model for online news is imperative to the publication’s growth. Toolan mentioned mobile technologies and apps as playing an integral part in this process.

Craig Ey, Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal

Pitching Advice

In addition, Toolan and Ey provided useful pitching and media relations tips. Toolan stressed the need for releases to be newsworthy. Think about what the story means for the readership of the paper and make sure it includes fresh and interesting information. Ey mentioned the Seven Principles for Business Journal Reporters which public relations professionals can take into consideration when writing their press releases. The tips are paraphrased below:

1)      Answer the questions: So what? Who cares?

2)      Write and edit short.

3)      Think about visuals for every story.

4)      Dig up news.

5)      Identify the money element in every story.

6)      Provide solid news so readers can more effectively run their businesses.

7)      We cover business. Exclusively.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Media Relations Best Practices: Tips From the Press

June 1, 2010

- by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Washington, DC

When it comes to media relations, journalists are the experts.  After all, they are one of the major audiences — if not the major audience — that public relations practitioners are ultimately looking to reach.  Here are some tips of the trade from various media outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Associated Press, Federal News Radio and Bucks County Courier Times/The Intelligencer.

1. Be available . . . always.

Stacey Burling is a health care reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  According to Stacey, “My biggest pet peeve is people who send out press releases, then don’t return a phone call when I have a question about it.  When you send out a release, you, or someone on your staff, should expect to be quickly available to answer questions for at least a couple days.”

Mark Hamrick, on-air correspondent and online video producer for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, also stresses the importance of being readily available.  Mark recommends providing easy access to media relations personnel.  Include information on your release that will enable journalists to contact you any time of day.

2. Think about your story in relation to the media outlet you are pitching.

It would serve public relations professionals well to think about what medium is best for their story before contacting a journalist, says Mark.  Some stories are better for audio, while others are better for video.  Some work best in print.  Know which ones work for your story and tailor your release accordingly.

Julia Ziegler, Web/Operations Manager of WFED-AM Federal News Radio, adds that you should think about how you want your story to appear in the media.  Is your story visually compelling?  If so, provide pictures or links to video which can be embedded.  Journalists are much more likely to use the tools that are provided if they are given up front.

3. Know who you want to target and customize your release accordingly.

Learn who is covering your industry and find out who actually wants the information you are providing, says Julia.  It is best to define your audience and target the media outlets that are reaching them rather than sending your release to everyone.  According to Julia, “The biggest publication is not always your biggest ally.”

Rachel Canelli, education reporter/video correspondent for Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer, adds that one of her pet peeves is “[when] PR people get pushy about something that’s clearly not applicable to this area.”  Grab her attention by clearly defining the local angle of the release.

Remember that writing your release with the media in mind is always your best bet.  As Stacey Burling says, “One of the biggest problems is PR people who do not know how to think like journalists.  They miss opportunities to be included in stories.”  Follow these tips and don’t let your story be left out!


Upcoming Business Wire Events – May 6 Edition

May 6, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

How to Add Video into Marketing, PR and Social Media Programs to Increase Lead Conversion

Hosted by Business Wire Silicon Valley

Business Wire Silicon Valley partners with MEDIAmobz & Visible Gains to host this breakfast and panel discussion on using video to engage and convert leads.  Panelists Linda Crowe, Marketing Consultant, Former Group Manager, Media & Production, Sun Microsystems; Dos Dosanjh, WW Customer Solutions Manager, Marketing, Cisco Digital Media Creative Services, Cisco; Jay Durgan, Head of Business Development, MEDIAmobz; Cliff Pollan, Co-Founder & CEO, VisibleGains; and Mark Rotblat, VP, Business Development, Tube Mogul discuss how to integrate video across marketing channels to increase awareness, lead generation and conversion. The panel will give tips and tricks for engaging video for lead general, as well as share mistakes to avoid. This event is free for all attendees.

Visit the BW Events Page to see a video preview of this event.

Tuesday, May 11 at 8:30 am PST
TechMart Networking Meeting Center
5201 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054
To register: RSVP to Sandy Donnelly at 415-986-4422 x561 or email sandy.donnelly@businesswire.com by May 7

Social Media ROI: Being Seen is Not Enough

Hosted by Business Wire Cleveland [Cincinnati Event]

Your organization has started blogging, tweeting and updating Facebook, but is it working? Like many communicators, you may be unsure how to quantify the success of your social media efforts. Join Business Wire Cleveland and a panel of experts for a discussion on social media ROI measurement. Michael DeAloia of Tech Czar will moderate the panel, which also include Krisa Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, Daniel Lally, VP, Pinger PR at Powers Agency and James Pilcher, Business Projects Reporter at The Cincinnati Enquirer. The panel will give advice on setting goals for your social media campaign and arm you with the tools you need to generate both quantitative and qualitative results. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m. ET
The Phoenix – Cincinnati Room
812 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
To register: RSVP to Melissa Chambers at 800.769.0220 or email melissa.chambers@businesswire.com by May 5

Media Relations Boot Camp

Hosted by Business Wire Philadelphia

Join Business Wire Philadelphia and a panel of media relations experts for a discussion on getting your news heard over the background noise. Learn about the numerous platforms in today’s communications landscape to reach the media, industry associates, investors & the public. Michael Smith, PhD, Associate Professor of Communication at La Salle University will moderate the panel, which includes Bernard Dagenais, Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal; Mike Armstrong, Business Columnist, PhillyInc Blog Editor, Co-Host of Philadelphia Business Today, Philadelphia Inquirer; Michael Wood, Sr. Manager, Communications, PECO; and Alex Hillman, social technology and community developer, co-founder of IndyHall. The panel will discuss tactics for determining which platforms are best for which audiences, pitching those audiences, the differences between social, mobile and traditional media platforms, and how to use each correctly. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m. EDT
University City Science Center
Conference Room Fuller A&B, 3711 Market Street, Ste 800, Philadelphia, PA 19104
To register: RSVP to Kate Carr at 610.617.9560 or email kate.carr@businesswire.com

Best Practices for Working with Journalists in an Ever-Changing Media Landscape

Hosted by Business Wire Minneapolis

Join Business Wire Minneapolis & NIRI Twin Cities for this breakfast and a panel discussion with area journalists. Panelists Brad Allen of MinnPost, Dirk DeYoung of The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; Annie Baxter of MPR, Jason DeRusha of WCCO-TV and Ann Harrington of The Pioneer Press discuss best practices for media relations professionals in today’s changing media landscape. This event is free for Business Wire and NIRI members and $25 for non-members.

Thursday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m. CT
Graves 601 Hotel
601 1st Ave North, Minneapolis, MN 55403
To register: RSVP to Jane Cracraft at 612.376.7979 or email jane.cracraft@businesswire.com by May 14

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,061 other followers

%d bloggers like this: