Covering Your Bases on The Big Issues This Election Season

May 25, 2012

by Danny Selnick, VP, Public Policy Services

by Danny Selnick, Vice President of Public Policy Services, Business Wire DC

The upcoming presidential election and national political conventions are looking to be a contentious time.  No doubt this will be an interesting election cycle where also the entire House of Representatives is up for grabs, as is nearly one-third the Senate.

So will the president (incumbent or newly elected) have a Congressional majority that can push along and support legislation that’s near and dear to him? Or will the country have a divided Congress that will keep it in political gridlock? The stakes are huge with political and economic and even global ramifications. Not even the pundits can agree. But one thing’s for sure, professional communicators with some interest in the outcomes will need to get the word out. The question is, with what strategy?

No longer can public affairs communicators rely solely on getting their message out to traditional media. They must also reach out to grass-roots supporters, influentials and voters by using social media — and use it effectively in creating powerful networks and communities. Additionally, communicators must use powerful search engine optimization tools to make sure their news is seen.

Let’s not also forget that the United States Supreme Court will be handing down its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Should the Court let the Act remain as is, not much will change and the law that was enacted two years ago will continue to be implemented. There will be those organizations and state governments that will remain opposed, but they’ll have to abide by the ruling. However, should the Court rule against the Act, no one really knows what will happen. Dismantling what has already been in effect will not be easy, and the Republican Leadership (including Mr. Romney, as well as those even at the state level) will have to come through on their promise of a better plan.

In sum, public affairs/corporate communicators and government relations professionals should be working on their messaging and thinking about the tactics to reaching all their key audiences. One more very important point to mention is that the American public (and voters) is not homogeneous. Far from it. Communicators need to remember to include messaging to the Hispanic community (that has been growing in numbers, power and importance) as well as to African-American, Asian-American and other groups.

Selnick is Business Wire’s Vice President for Public Policy and LatinoWire Services and developed specialty targeted services that are designed to reach any organization’s key audiences — from the media to decision-makers … to getting your message in front of the public that goes online looking for news.  The Public Policy Wire also includes Issues-Focused Lists that reach beat reporters by personalized email — including Health Care and Presidential Campaign.


Don’t Forget Who is Also Interested in Your News — Congress and Wall Street

January 30, 2012
by Danny Selnick, Vice President, Public Policy Services, Business Wire DC

by Danny Selnick, VP, Public Policy Services

Did you ever think that your earnings or hiring news might really be of interest to members of Congress?  Well they are.  When a company has positive earnings or announces expansion plans,  it may tie into job stability and growth — not just at the company, but across the particular states where the company has operations.  Members of Congress want to know about news back home — what’s affecting their constituents.  After all, they’re voters.

But staffers on the Hill aren’t personally reading through the massive amounts of news coming into their information services.  Instead, they are more likely to have filters with keywords that automatically pull out stories of interest.  So, make sure you consider how your news is likely to be searched by public affairs audiences when crafting content.  Keywords typically used by elected officials in tracking news include his or her name, the district (city) they represent, or a particular issues they’re involved with.

So if a news item mentions  Cleveland, OH, for example, it’s a good bet that Dennis Kucinich’s office (and others representing Cleveland) will see the story.  It could even become part of their news summary or daily news briefing.  Same for the Senate as well.  Because not all news releases contain good news, Hill staff need to know about that too … who knows how they might be able to help?  And now with the economy all about jobs and the hope it will improve, these news items are more important than ever.

What about news from advocacy organizations?  Did you ever think your issues based news would be of importance to industry analysts on Wall Street?  Your news can play a role in the ratings of companies and industries analysts follow.  Analysts do more than go over financials, read news releases, visit plants and hold conference calls and meeting with corporate leaders.  They’re looking for news that will have an affect on companies and industries they cover.  Issues-focused news from advocacy organizations can have an impact — if the issue is big enough.

Like members on the Hill, analysts have a plethora of news feeds to keep abreast of what’s happening.  So if you’re trying to make a point about some legislation, don’t forget to get your news to those covering Wall Street.

Whether you’re an advocacy group, association, non-profit, union, government agency or corporation, if you have important issues-focused news, Business Wire’s Public Policy Wire can help you deliver it to the decision-makers, influencers and media you need to reach most.


Business Wire’s Danny Selnick Books Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for National Press Club Event

August 4, 2011

What’s it like to sit on the dais with Minnesota Congresswoman and candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Michele Bachmann?

Ask Business Wire’s VP of Public Policy Danny Selnick, who was Bachmann’s lunch partner onstage at a recent National Press Club luncheon.    Selnick serves on the NPC’s Luncheon Speakers’ Committee and booked Congresswoman Bachmann as a speaker.

About 300 attended the Press Club event, hosted by NPC President Mark Hamrick. In addition to the Congresswoman and her guests, some of the most well-known print and broadcast reporters in journalism today–including Christine Amanpour and representatives from Fox News, Time and CNN–were seated at the head table.

Here’s Selnick’s take on the controversial Congresswoman from the vantage point of the head table.

“As the event organizer I sat next to the Congresswoman during the lunch portion of the event and had an opportunity to get to know her a bit. Politics aside, she is an incredibly warm and friendly woman who seemed to take a genuine interest in what I said about my family, job and magic as my hobby.  (I promised to spare her and everyone in the room any tricks).

“Congresswoman Bachmann talked about her values, her campaign platform and  her steadfast opposition to any debt-limit plan that failed to revamp federal spending.

In the end, she thanked me and the National Press Club for the invitation and seemed eager to face the dozens of cameras representing all the news networks, as well as print and radio journalists also in attendance.

“Later on that evening, my wife and two girls watched the webcast and my 10-year old commented how unimpressed she was seeing me up at the head table.  ‘Dad, what did you do, but sit there?’

” But I could tell she really was proud of me when I got a big hug right afterwards.”

Nice work, Danny!


Reaching Public Policy Audiences: Choosing the Right Words & Platforms

November 24, 2010

by Danny Selnick, Vice President, Public Policy Services, Business Wire DC

BW VP of Public Policy Services Danny Selnick

November’s mid-term elections are over and voters and pundits can talk ad infinitum about who’s in, who’s out, and why — and even what challenges President Obama and his administration face because of the shift in power in the House and a narrowing of the margin for Democrats in the Senate.

We’re sure to see Republicans (and Tea-Party members) try to overturn sections of the recently passed Healthcare Reform Bill.  There’s also talk of repealing recently passed financial and oil industry regulations.  Then there’s the issue of keeping or repealing the “Bush Era Tax Cuts,” the need to balance the federal budget, and free trade — all against the backdrop of creating jobs and getting the economy working again.  Still on the long list of agenda items for Congress and the Administration are education and energy reform.  One thing’s for sure: there will be no shortage of important issues coming up over the next two years.

With “divided government” the new reality in Washington, organizations need to develop a coherent communications strategy to begin building support for “what’s near and dear to them” in advance of when their issue comes up for discussion.  In some cases (like the expected attempt to dismantle parts of the Healthcare Reform Bill) an issue may be “push-started or stalled” at the state level.  Communicators must get their message out not just to media, but also to decision-makers — and perhaps even more importantly, to the voting public directly in order to engage and mobilize support at a grassroots level.  That’s especially true because, as shown in this last three election cycles, the court of public opinion (and voting behavior) is highly fluid.

Public affairs communicators are faced with a variety of challenges as to how they can effectively get their news into the hands of all their intended audiences.  Engaging online audiences, from journalists to activists, helps boost visibility and credibility.  But, first you have to learn and analyze the most popular terms and keywords used to frame issues in media coverage, social media conversations and online searches.  This information can help guide you in writing press releases and other online communications that improves search engine optimization (SEO).

For example, there aren’t universally agreed upon terms to define many of our nation’s debates (one person’s Obamacare is another person’s landmark healthcare legislation), so knowing and researching those terms and their weighted influence on audiences is critical to communications outreach — affecting how your news is seen and viewed and by whom.  A number of free keyword analysis tools are available, and Business Wire experts have written a number of blog posts that detail SEO tips for press releases.

Once you’ve crafted a well-written press release with relevant keywords (and modified landing pages with matching terms), it’s crucial to get your news widely disseminated by an authoritative source to relevant media, influencers, websites and search engines in addition to the individual outreach to your personal contacts.  That’s where we come in.  Business Wire provides a multi-platform approach to news distribution that goes beyond simply emailing and posting news to your website.  While email is just one distribution tool used by communicators, it is limited in reach to contacts on a particular list … and its accuracy is dependent upon any last updates. The newswire, is designed to reach “desks” of reporters and editors, decision-makers at the federal and/or state level with direct feeds, and to give unparalleled online visibility with advanced SEO capabilities and full-text posting to thousands of news and information web sites and systems.  Plus, Business Wire content is a trusted, authoritative news source by Google and other search engines, as well as major news organizations.

Proper use of keywords in a well-written, engaging press release, issued via Business Wire’s Public Policy Wire is among the most effective ways to reach directly key audiences, while engaging the public in your conversation.


Target the World with Your Financial News

March 26, 2009

The upcoming G20 summit meeting in London, at which world leaders will gather to discuss the global economic situation, shows perfectly how the worlds of business and finance don’t stop at national borders.  Your company’s or organization’s news can have an impact around the world, so it’s crucial to target markets outside the US with your economic news.  Here’s a look at just a few of our options for reaching your targets internationally:

globe_lg1Global Financial Media:  Target media, investors and key financial newspapers, trade publications and news outlets in 117 countries and translation into more than a dozen languages.

Asia-Pacific Financial Media:  Target key broadcast and print media, as well as financial newspapers, trade media and websites, throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  Includes full-text translation into four languages.

Europe Financial Media: Send your news to 30 nations, including all of the EU members, Russia and key markets in Eastern Europe.  Reaches consumer and general media plus hundreds of financial-specific publications with translation into five languages.

London Metro:  Reach print and broadcast media throughout the London area, site of the G20 summit, via the Press Association, the national news agency of the UK.

Public Policy Wire:  Don’t forget to target government policymakers and other opinion leaders in the US with news that impacts public policy.

CSR Circuit:  Finally, publicize your corporate citizenship efforts with distribution to leading Corporate Social Responsibility publications and thought leaders, Socially Responsible Invesment funds,  academics, activists and financial analysts.

For a complete list of distribution options visit our Distribution Catalogue, or contact your local bureau for pricing and options.


President Obama To Address The Nation – Get Your Policy & Issues News Out

February 18, 2009

President Obama will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress and the nation next Tuesday, Feb. 24. It’s certain that he’ll be talking about a range of critically important issues facing the country, including the economy, education, infrastructure, energy and sustainability issues, healthcare, and foreign affairs.

Make sure you’re part of the dialogue that will be reported on and talked about among decision-makers, bloggers, influentials and the public by issuing your press release and registering your expert commentators with Business Wire. Here’s how:

Public Policy Wire

Public Policy Wire is designed for newsmakers needing to reach reporters/editors covering breaking issues of the day. Whatever the issue, your news will always reach the right desks and the right reporters – using the most advanced technology in the newswire industry. And our feed is a trusted source in the news systems of Congress, the White House and even federal agencies. Finally, because we reach thousands of databases, online services and search engines employing “natural” SEO, your news will be easily found and read by the public, influentials and important bloggers. We’ll even send your news out with your organization’s logo attached and using the same text style features as your original document, using XHTML formatting. No more plain ASCII text. And you can use our new Press Release Builder to further optimize your news release for your important keywords.

bw_expertsource_sm

Developed in consultation with leading news organizations, ExpertSource allows you to match company spokespeople and key executives with journalists covering top news stories. Register your organization’s experts with their contact information and areas of expertise, view and respond to active media queries, and submit Abstracts and/or Advisory ideas on industry issues, surveys and trends.

Contact us today to make sure your policy-related news is reaching the right audiences.

View Public Policy and Issues News on Twitter.

– Danny Selnick, Vice President, Public Policy Services


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