Seattle Tech Media Discuss How to Get Your News Noticed

September 23, 2011


By Mary Oehler, Senior Editor, Business Wire Seattle

Business Wire Seattle recently hosted a luncheon featuring top Seattle Tech media  journalists.  Both online and traditional journalists offered their thoughts and insights into what makes a good story and how to go about getting your news noticed.

Lauren Linscheid, Business Wire Seattle’s senior client services representative, organized the tech media event featuring moderator Jennifer Archer, Vice President, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, with panel participants John Cook, Co-founder, GeekWire; Brier Dudley, Technology Columnist, The Seattle Times; Tricia Duryee, Senior Editor, AllThingsD; and Curt Woodward, Senior Editor, Xconomy.

Seattle Tech Media Panel (L-R): John Cook, Curt Woodward, Tricia Duryee, Jennifer Archer & Brier Dudley.

Below are some of the key takeaways from our panelists:

It’s ALL about narrative.  Journalists want to cover a compelling or quirky tale whether the actual subject matter is a product launch, personnel change or company profile.  Get personal, look around at your employees.  If somebody in your company has a fresh angle to offer, use it. Are you or  your company involved in something new and/or exciting?  Find a way to add that to your news. The bottom line: if the story is interesting, we’ll use it.

Be an industry source and expert when using social media.  With the tens of thousands of stories that cross social media outlets daily, these tech journalists are more likely to notice and follow a company, individual or organization on Twitter or blogs when that entity does more than report on its own news.   Curt advises:  “Be a source of information and not just a purveyor of pitches.  Be an expert.  Be a reader of all kinds of media.  Be into the whole scene.”  Tricia added, “create a personality.”  This is the type of online presence that gets the journalist’s attention and puts you on their radar, increasing the chances of your own news getting noticed.

How to effectively pitch a story to the journalists?  John Cook: “No calls!” Across the board, these journalists stated they do not regularly pick up their phone or check their voicemail.  They prefer an email to a phone call and that brings up another point of agreement: if it’s an email pitch, be succinct.  They want the pitch to be direct and concise with good communication and follow-up. Don’t bury your intent 16 paragraphs down.  Get right to it.  And while traditional journalist Brier relies heavily on these email pitches and his RSS feed for leads, the online journalists say a tweet is much more likely to catch their attention – in fact, Tricia works with two computer screens full of nothing but twitter feeds and John Cook says, “I have to cut myself off of Twitter because I will find so many stories to cover.”

Multimedia is much desired … but.   The bottom line is that these journalists love multimedia but are more likely to use it as an enhancement to the written story than as a stand-alone.  A busy schedule means they may not always have the time it takes to produce a polished asset, but if they receive a high quality multimedia piece with a good set of information, they’ll likely use it when reporting on the story.  That being said, it still goes back to being about the narrative – “what’s the story here?” and will this enhance the quality of that story?  It must be meaningful.

Finally, in response to moderator Jennifer Archer’s inquiry on how the media view PR professionals – “friends or foes?” – panelists were unanimous in their position that the working relationship between the media and PR professionals is a necessary and valuable “partnership,”  though Brier did jokingly offer up the term “frenemies.”  However, the journalists agreed that the media do need PR professionals to do their job.  They especially appreciate those PR professionals who do their industry homework and know the outlet they are pitching and what it covers.  And, very importantly, they value good, effective communication.

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: Powerful Pitches in Cleveland, Crisis Comm in Florida, Meet the Tech Media in LA

March 21, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Powerful Pitches

Hosted by Business Wire Cleveland

Just about everything in a communications professional’s life involves some form of pitching. A successful pitch involves a great deal of persuasion and creativity. Join Business Wire Cleveland for a breakfast seminar featuring Jim Kukral, web entrepreneur, blogger, professional speaker, educator and author of two books – Attention! This Book Will Make You Money and The Ultimate Pitch. Jim will draw from his years of experience counseling major corporations, entrepreneurs and small businesses to provide you with the tools and inspiration to prepare powerful pitches that will grab attention and help you accomplish your goals. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, March 24 at 8:00 a.m. ET
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

To register: Please RSVP to Melissa Chambers at melissa.chambers@businesswire.com

CRISIS! Expect the Unexpected: Plan, Manage, & Respond

Hosted by Business Wire Florida

Join Business Wire Florida & JM Family Enterprises, Inc. for this in-depth panel discussion with South Florida media and crisis communications experts. Amy Wagner, former SVP of Investor Relations and Global Communications of Burger King Corp hosts the panel, which includes Laura Vann, Public Relations Specialist, Lynn University Marketing and Communication; Don Silver, Chief Operating Officer, Boardroom Communications; Elianne Gonzalez, Hispanic Press Officer, Insurance Information Institute; and Wayne K. Roustan, General Assignment Reporter, South Florida Sun Sentinel. This event is free for all attendees.

Wednesday, March 30 at 11:30 a.m. ET
JM Family Enterprises Inc.

111 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

To register: Please RSVP by Friday, March 25 to Julia Sotelo at Julia.Sotelo@businesswire.com or call 954-474-8833.

Meet the Media: LA-area Technology Journalists Discuss Reporting Trends and how to Pitch Tech Media

Hosted by Business Wire LA

Join Business Wire LA for breakfast and a panel discussion featuring technology journalists as they share their thoughts on what makes a good story and learn how your organization can increase its chances of being covered by the media. Panelists include: Natalie Jarvey, Reporter (Technology), Los Angeles Business Journal; Kevin Kelly, Features Editor, G4tv.com; and Brian Deagon, Business and Technology Journalist, Investor’s Business Daily. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, March 31 at 8:00 a.m. PT
The Olympic Collection
11301 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

To register: Please RSVP by March 29 to Garrett Henricksen or Heather Hardge at (310) 820-9473 or email larsvp@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


Charlotte-Area Media Discuss PR Best Practices

November 24, 2009

Business Wire Charlotte hosted a Meet the Media luncheon for more than 50 local communications professionals on November 12th in Durham, NC. The discussion, moderated by Mary Hecht-Kissell of PR Strategies, focused on the best practices for communicators in the tech/biotech industry. The panel of speakers included:

Here are some tips from the panel:

Pitching:

  • Email is the best way to pitch reporters.
  • Don’t call reporters when you know they are on deadline.
  • If you reach a reporter on the phone, ask if it is a good time to talk.
  • Don’t pitch two reporters at the same publication with the same story & not tell them about it.
  • Good pitches are newsworthy.  Focus on what is new, what hasn’t been done before or what is being done in a better way.
  • The larger the number of people impacted by a tech innovation, the more newsworthy it is (e.g., a drug therapy for cancer).

Working with Media:

  • Establish & foster relationships.
  • Provide information in a timely manner to meet reporter’s deadline.
  • Always tell the truth.
  • Avoid confrontation; focus on facts – not emotions.
  • Avoid industry jargon when telling your story.
  • Avoid saying anything off the record.

Leveraging Media Coverage:

  • Share media coverage with employees as a motivational tool.
  • Post media coverage on your Web site to help visitors find it.
  • Extend your media coverage by posting it on Twitter, Facebook Fan pages and Linkedin.
  • Highlight media coverage in customer newsletters.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents

 


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