by Paul J.F. Bowman, Editor, Business Wire Minneapolis
On May 27th, Business Wire Minneapolis hosted a Meet the Media breakfast at the Graves 601 Hotel, across the street from our Minneapolis office. Attendees included Business Wire clients and cohorts of all backgrounds.
Our panel included employees from a wide variety of local media points, including print, online, TV and radio. The panel, which offered many tips on pitching to local writers and reaffirmed the necessity of announcing company news in an effective manner, included:
- Brad Allen, MinnPost.com
- Dirk DeYoung, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
- Marty Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)
- Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV
- Ann Harrington, St. Paul Pioneer Press
One of the panel’s hot suggested topics/trends is company volunteerism (i.e. companies offering paid employee time for volunteering during the 40-hour work week). On the other hand, one editor’s staff is “greened-out.” To them, corporate social responsibility articles are cliché and overused in today’s media.
Another major trend is the vanishing of embargoed copy. The press agreed that it is very difficult to sit on a hot lead for a story; another journalist might be willing to forego the embargo just to claim the scoop. The only exception is study or research: reporters appreciate receiving this copy in advance so there is time to analyze and interpret the data.
Some key points about media in general:
- Most general rules about media still apply regarding pitching, targeting, and writing.
- Print newspapers are not all dying; some have maintained their growth despite advances of Internet media.
- Details, details! The more specifics you are able to provide, the better the story. For example:
- quotes from those involved to help lengthen and “flesh out” the article
- full names and titles of those involved (businesses/contractors, architects, lawyers)
- specific locations (headquarters, where contract was signed, new facilities)
- use experts for analysis within the content—make sure you provide titles, applicable degrees, etc.
- Make sure your contacts on the release:
- are primary experts on the release content.
- are available 24 hours a day. If only one is, specify who is the after-hours contact.
- are prepared to serve as ambassadors between the company and the public.