Denver-Area Journalists Discuss Newsroom Cutbacks, Pitching Tips

August 23, 2011

by JoAnne Hirsch, Senior Client Services Representative, Business Wire Denver

Business Wire Denver recently hosted a media breakfast, “Who’s Covering You Now: What Newsroom Cutbacks Mean to Your Company and How to Pitch Stories to a Shrinking Newsroom.”  The media panel discussed the changing landscape, best practices for pitching and the impact of  mobile.


David Sloan
, Account Executive for Business Wire Denver, moderated the panel, which included (L-R):

  • Gil Asakawa, Manager of Student Media, Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Colorado
  • Greg Nieto, News Reporter, FOX31 and KWGN, Channel 2
  • Patrick Doyle, Senior Editor, 5280 Publishing, Inc.

Tight budgets, shrinking newsrooms

Nieto responded to seemingly endless media consolidation by finding a silver lining.  “I have a lot more leeway to bring stories to the table,” he said. “When we have editorial meetings they used to ask for five or six story ideas and that number has probably grown to about 10.”  

Asakawa added that in recent years the Denver Post has shrunk drastically, resulting in reporters  juggling multiple kinds of stories.  One of the biggest changes, he said, has been the PR community’s outreach to social media and individual bloggers.

Know your audience, do your homework

The panel was unanimous in the sage-old advice to PR pros:  despite technology, it’s all about the relationship. “Watch some of the program on TV and see where your topic might fit in,” counseled Nieto.   Doyle requested no attachments in email pitches and Asakawa advised: “Find new hooks and plan new hooks every year so you have something to go to the media with.”

Nieto offered a lesson in selling reporters on your story:  “When I pitch a story I’m already thinking about the hook. What’s going to be the tease? A pitch should be multi-layered.  The more ammunition I have, the better opportunity it’s going to stick and someone in the editorial meeting is going to assign your story.”

Regarding timing, the journalists recommended keeping production schedules and editorial calendars in mind.  A monthly magazine works far in advance, with editorial calendars set a year out. Newspapers have a more timely window.  “You need to know that to get in the Friday section it’s done at most papers by Tuesday,”  said Asakawa.

Mobile technologies a game changer

The panel agreed that mobile is here and the future is uncertain.   “If I’m out on a story they have me shoot a little tease with my Droid that we’ll send to our website,” said Nieto. “Over the past three years there’s been a huge push to write our Web script. I find more and more I get feedback from people who read my scripts from across the country who haven’t viewed the broadcast.  That’s fascinating to me.”

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.

Business Wire PR Peeps Poll: More Than a Third Optimize Press Releases for Search Engines

May 7, 2009

Do you optimize your press releases for search engines? 

That was Business Wire’s 1-question poll for April, and we’re pleased to announce promising results:   34% of PR peeps polled say they optimize their press releases for search engines. 

Bravo!  That’s more than we expected.

Right behind the enlightened third, an almost equal 33% say they do NOT optimize press releases for search.  Twenty percent said they optimize “sometimes” and 12% “don’t know what it means” to optimize a press release for search engines.

Those of us catering to the public relations industry find these results heartening.  Press Release Optimization is a new concept and our educational webinars  suggest that the level of understanding is often shockingly remedial.  

As we said in a previous post, our clients tell us  they “don’t have time” to optimize their press releases for search engines.  That’s a shame.  One of the biggest pay-offs for doing so is better online traction through increased search engine results and sharing.

If you need help optimizing your press releases, check out the archived webinar on exactly that topic by Business Wire search pros Maria Van Wambeke and Michael Toner.  Watch for another Press Release Optimization webinar by our dynamic duo this summer.

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To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.  And how about helping with the next one?  What do you value more when measuring press release traction?

Business Wire PR Peeps Poll for April 2009:

Do you optimize your press release for search engines? 
 
                     207  Yes 34%
                     202   No 33%
                     123    Sometimes 20%
                       75      I don’t know what optimize your press release for search engines means 12%
607 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted April 1 – May 5, 2009.

International Press Release Distribution: The Three T’s

March 12, 2008

Icon-Globe-Arrows-OutFor public relations and investor relations folks working on international press release outreach, we offer a Tips & Tools section on our site that might help. Our International Media Tips post features “The Three T’s – Targeting, Timing and Translations.”

Knowing where, when and how to send your press releases means you’ll reach audiences worldwide more efficiently. These tips, assembled by our in-house international media experts, helps guide you about the differences among our international circuits, what time to release your news for optimum impact, and how to factor translations into your plans.

For more information on any of our international services, contact your local Business Wire bureau – no matter where in the world you are!


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