Orange County Editors Discuss Business Trends and Online Tools

August 18, 2009


On August 12, Business Wire Newport Beach hosted a media breakfast on business trends and online tools enhancing local news publications and their websites. Business Wire Senior Vice President of Marketing Tom Becktold kicked off the discussion with a presentation on the new PR toolbox: how social media and other emerging strategies are affecting how brands communicate with their audiences.


An in-depth look at three of Orange County’s major media outlets followed, presented by a panel of editors, including (left to right):

Among the tips and key points brought up by the panel:

  • Ms. Allen says that the Register is very much focused on the web first. Its reporters post breaking news and updates on stories as it happens online, then the print team pulls from those stories at the end of the day to craft the story for the newspaper itself. Since it began this strategy, has doubled its page views year over year.
  • Ms. Allen also pointed out that, because of the focus on online, the OC Register has become very multimedia-oriented. Its photo desk is much more open to accepting photos and video from the public than it has been in the past, because while the paper has its team of photographers, they don’t produce enough photos for online use.
  • Ms. Borgatta presented some do’s and don’ts for pitching editors. Her don’ts included:
    • Don’t cold call an editor and launch directly into a pitch.
    • Don’t pitch an editor a story that has no relevance to the publication. Spin the story with an angle that may work with the publication.
    • Don’t, whatever you do, call an editor or publication by the wrong name.
  • Her do’s included:
    • Do start off a phone pitch by asking if the editor is on deadline.
    • Do be direct & to-the-point, whether it’s an email or phone pitch.
    • Do be a hero to the editor. If an editor needs to fill a hole, become someone they can count on to give them everything they need to supply a last minute story.
  • Mr. Lyster says that the OC Business Journal think of themselves like the Wall Street Journal of the Orange County area. They run similarly, with the largest companies based in the area receiving most of the coverage in the front pages.
  • Mr. Lyster notes that the OC Business Journal has found that, interestingly, the reason why local executives and CEOs is because they look at the Business Journal sort of like a community newspaper. While they can get their industry news from the national papers, trade publications and market research, they like to keep up with their fellow local company executives that live and work where they are. It almost feels like a high school newspaper, where the students are the CEOs and other executives.

Here are some audio clips from the event:

Rebecca Allen: “The OC Register is very web-focused.”

Michael Lyster: “Local executives look at the Business Journal like a community newspaper.”

Click here to download a complete audio recording of Tom Becktold’s talk on the new PR toolbox and here for a recording of the panel discussion.

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

Media Members Talk Recession, Share Tips for PR Pros

April 2, 2009

Business Wire Newport Beach
recently hosted “Meet the Media: Communicating During the Recession,” a media breakfast featuring a panel of area media members discussing today’s media trends, how the media handles news-gathering and what the business and PR communities can do to improve their communications with publications, as well as how the uncertain economy affects both groups. More than 70 PR & IR professionals from Orange County and the Inland Empire took in the discussion, moderated by Business Wire Newport Beach Regional Manager Christie Brockhage and including panel members:

Here are some of the key takeaways from the panel:

  • It’s usually best to pitch a story to reporters as opposed to editors. Reporters have a natural instinct and passion for reporting news.
  • When reaching out to a reporter, always ask, “Are you on a deadline?” “Do you have time?” “Would this be a good time to talk?”
  • Don’t use company lingo when pitching. Make it as simple as possible for the reporter to understand your story. Don’t make them have to ask for further explanation.
  • With the current economy, business stories are very relevant. But media outlets don’t like to stack up the news with the same type of stories.
  • The recession, as well as the rise of news websites, have been very disruptive to the media, particularly large newspapers. The Internet is making TV old news, since, by the time the 6:00 news rolls around, everything there is to report is already online.
  • Media sources are countering with efforts like hyper-local journalism, such as a beta site launch for Saddleback Valley.
  • Additionally, there are now more opportunities for readers to “skip the middleman” by posting blog posts and events to media websites.

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


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