Interview with Emilio Garcia-Ruiz of The Washington Post

June 9, 2010

— by Cecile Oreste, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/DC

I recently met with Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor for the Local section of The Washington Post, to talk about newsgathering trends and press release distribution.  Emilio has extensive knowledge of these topics, with more than 25 years of experience in the newspaper industry and a journalism degree from the University of Maryland.

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz

Prior to being named the Local Editor last year, Emilio served as Sports Editor of The Washington Post and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he directed an investigative series that uncovered academic fraud at the University of Minnesota and won reporter George Dohrmann the 2000 Pulitzer for beat reporting.  In addition, Emilio has worked for other top 100 dailies including the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times.

When asked about social media in relation to news gathering, Emilio said that the Post is using these tools to look for crowdsourcing ideas.  He mentioned Twitter being especially helpful for content during the big snowstorms in Washington this past winter.  Social networking tools have enabled journalists to engage in conversation with their readers.  They also allow reporters to follow organizations they cover for breaking news and announcements.  Although social media has become a major part of the newsgathering process, press releases still play a role.  The issue, however, is how to make your release stand out.

During our meeting, which lasted about an hour and a half, Emilio received 10 press releases via e-mail – all of which were irrelevant to the Local section.  “If you’re going to send someone a press release, make sure you have the right contact, because if not they’re just going to delete it.  The best press releases are hyper-targeted to what we do.”

With the number of public relations practitioners outweighing the number of reporters, it’s more important than ever to think like a journalist when writing your release.  According to Emilio, “Many of the problems could be alleviated with some basic newspaper fundamentals.  Including who, what, where, when, how in the first paragraph.  That would be nice.  Get to your point quickly instead of writing in a convoluted way.  Just like a story, if a press release doesn’t work at the top, then you’re not going to continue reading.”

Above all, practitioners should remember that public relations is about relationships.  “The best chance to get to me is with a relationship,” Emilio added.  “My time is limited and when your time is limited, you deal with the people you know.”

Live from CES 2010: Optimism!

January 7, 2010

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire

Optimism was the word at Wednesday night’s pre-opening keynote at the 2010 International CES, where Business Wire was on-site. As Keynote speaker and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put it, even with the economic difficulties in 2009, the consumer electronics industry stayed focused and innovative and still managed to make an impact on people. Both Ballmer and CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro showed optimism about the new year, with Ballmer echoing Berkshire Hathaway and Business Wire boss Warren Buffett’s recent remarks on feeling “bullish” about the future.

Ballmer’s presentation emphasized the idea of “delivering the experiences that people want, whenever they want them, wherever they are.” We certainly agree; our business is getting information to the people to whom it is most relevant, wherever they happen to be. That’s why we’ve added mobile to our distribution network, so our members’ full-text releases can be viewed easily on any mobile device.

Another theme becoming prevalent is user input in product development or user-developed products. Obviously, user-created mobile applications have gone mainstream and crowdsourcing initiatives like MyStarbucksIdea and Dell Ideastorm have successfully involved consumers in product development for major brands. Ballmer noted that Windows 7 was beta-tested by eight million Microsoft customers.

What other major themes do you see coming out of the 2010 CES?

If you missed Steve Ballmer’s keynote last night, you can catch the full video on the Microsoft website or read cNet’s detailed live-blog.

Did you know Business Wire is the official wire service for the 2010 International CES? We’re live and on-site! If you’re at the show, come see us in the South Press Room s229. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @businesswire for live updates from the show!


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