Tag Archives: public relations

MEDIA News: Media Moves at U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg News, Sports Illustrated, People and More

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news from the research team.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here.

U.S. News U.S. News & World Report (Washington, DC): Gary Emerling (@gcemerling) is the new Senior News Editor and Alan Neuhauser (@alneuhauser) is a new Reporter at @usnews.

Bloomberg News Bloomberg News – Washington Bureau (Washington, DC): Former Politico White House Reporter Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) joins @BloombergNews to cover the same beat

Sports Illustrated Sports Illustrated (New York, NY): Former Oregonian Sportswriter Lindsay Schnell (@LindsayRae19), former Denver Post football scribe Joan Niesen (@JoanNiesen) and New York Times Sports Writer Greg Bishop (@nytbishop) have all joined SI (@SInow) as Sports Reporters.

People magazine People Magazine (New York, NY): Entertainment Weekly Managing Editor Jess Cagle (@JessCagleEW) will succeed Larry Hackett as Managing Editor.

SELF Magazine Self Magazine (New York, NY): Adina Steiman (@adinasteiman) is the new Features Director.

O The Oprah Magazine O, The Oprah Magazine (New York, NY): Megan Deem (@MeganDeem) is the new Executive Beauty Editor @O_Magazine.

Crain's New York Crains New York (New York, NY): Emily Laermer (elaermer@crainsnewyork.com) (@elaermer) has been promoted to News Producer.

Wall Street Journal  The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY): Adam Auriemma (@adamauriemma) is the new Deputy Bureau Chief for the Management and Careers Bureau.

NYT Magazine The New York Times Magazine (New York, NY): Jim Rutenberg @jimrutenberg), 13-year veteran of The New York Times, has left the newspaper to join the magazine. He has been named Chief Political Correspondent.

Bloomberg View Bloomberg View (New York, NY): Former Huffington Post Reporter Kavitha Davidson (@kavithadavidson) joins @BloombergView as a Sports Columnist.

 

AOL AOL (New York, NY): AOL (@AOL) has relinquished its controlling interest in Patch (@PatchTweet). All sites are said to remain operational as Hale Media takes majority control of the local news outlet.

CBS Newspath CBS Newspath  (Dallas, TX); Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) is the News Correspondent for the Dallas’s CBS NewsPath television news service.

TechCrunch TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) (tips@techcrunch.com): Co-Editor Eric Eldon (@Eldon) has left.

InStyle InStyle Magazine (New York, NY): Diana Tsui (@Chupsterette) is the new Senior Editor at InStyle Magazine.

Curbed Chicago Curbed (@Curbed): Ian Spula is no longer Editor at Curbed Chicago (@CurbedChicago).

Greatist Greatist (@Greatist): Abby Lerner (@LiveandLerner) is now Editorial Director at this fitness site.

Detroit Metro Times Metro Times (Detroit, MI): Vince Grzegorek @vincethepolack) has been named interim Editor of the alternative newsweekly (@metrotimes), replacing Bryan Gottlieb. He will continue to serve as Editor and Web Editor of Cleveland Scene Magazine (@Cleveland_Scene).

The Boston Globe Boston Globe (Boston, MA): Beginning in February, Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter John Allen (@JohnLAllenJr) will join the Boston Globe

Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX): Ryan Holeywell (@RyanHoleywell) leaves Governing (@GOVERNING) to join the Chronicle (@HoustonChron) as an Energy Reporter.

Pioneer Press St. Paul Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN): Sports Editor Mike Bass (@MikeBassPP) has left the newspaper after a decade plus of service. And Tad Reeve (@TadReeve) has been promoted from Deputy Sports Editor to Sports Editor @PioneerPress.

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA): The Los Angeles Times Media Group (@LATimes) has launched a new online retail shopping website called District West (@DistrictWest).

Hollywood Reporter The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, CA): Hugo Lundgren (@hugolundgren) moves from New York to serve as Acting Editor for @Hollywoodreporter.

Ladies Home Journal (New York, NY): Hilary Merzbacher (@hmerzbacher) is no longer Assistant Food Editor.

Scott Monroe Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME)/Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME): Scott Monroe (@ScottDMonroe) is the new Managing Editor for both papers.

The Montana Standard The Montana Standard (Butte, MT): Al Balderas (@sportsphann) is the new Sports Editor at the Standard (@mtsbrk).

ChieftainNews Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, CO): Randy Rickman has been hired as the new General Manager at the paper. He most recently served as Regional Publisher for the Independent Record in Helena, MO and the Montana Standard in Butte, MO.

Maintenance Tech Lubrication Management & Technology (Chicago, IL): The trade outlet has ceased its independent publication. The print edition has merged with sister publication Maintenance Technology (@MTMagazine). Jane Alexander will serve as Editor for the new combined title. For additional information, go to http://www.mt-online.com.

NYCandG New York Cottages & Gardens (New York, NY): Former Country Living Assistant Market Editor Paige Alexus is the new Associate Editor @NYCandG and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens (@HCandG).

MEDIAware’s full weekly version can be found at:www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/medi…

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department provides daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at Agility (agility.prnewswire.com).

Transparent Business Drives Great PR

A trip to the mechanic for a simple car repair delivers a lesson for our blogger in the PR ramifications of  how the availability of digital information can impact a business.  Conclusion: Transparent business practices are an important driver of great public relations. lil tweet bird

My coffee maker was on the fritz and the thermometer read -9 degrees Fahrenheit last Friday morning when I arrived – under caffeinated and frankly pretty grumpy — on the doorstep of the auto dealer I’ve used to service my car for the last few years.  One of my headlamps had burnt out, and while replacing the bulbs is usually a pretty quick fix and one I’ve handled myself previously, I decided to seek professional help due to the freezing weather.

What I ended up getting was an object lesson in how today’s age of radical transparency and the availability of digital information can impact a business.

As Tony, the service consultant at the dealer, pulled up my records and started the paperwork, he mentioned that replacing the bulbs in my headlights would cost almost $200.

“$200? How much do the parts cost?” I asked him.   That number sounded really high.

He told me the lamps cost between $20 -$25 each, but the labor involved was considerable, given the fact that the wheels and parts of the fender needed to be removed in order to change the bulbs.   He made it sound like A Very Big Deal.

But it also sounded fishy to me.  The daughter of an auto parts dealer, I know enough to be a little dangerous.  One of my most satisfying life moments was this exchange with a sales manager who was who was trying to sell a fluffy-haired 22 year-old me an over-priced extended care package on my first new car.

Him: “You know, if your carburetor goes kaput in five years, you’re covered.”

Me: “It’s fuel-injected.  It doesn’t have a carburetor.”

Back to my story.  The point is this: I’ve changed the bulbs on almost every car I’ve owned.   And I can assure you, I didn’t have to remove the wheels to get the job done.  EVER. 

Enter the connected customer

So I did what any connected consumer would do. I whipped out my iPhone and Googled “how to change headlight bulb 2009 Subaru Forester,” and within a second was watching a video of how it’s done.  It looked pretty simple, and I held my phone up so Tony could see.  He shrugged, saying they took the wheels off to change the bulbs.

By now, I was getting pretty angry.  I may be blond, female and (at the time of this incident) suffering from woefully low levels of coffee, but I wasn’t impaired enough to buy the story he was feeding me.   I killed the video, consulted Google again, and called another Subaru dealer, located a few suburbs away.

As a few other interested women wandered in from the adjacent waiting room to hear what was going on, I got connected with Johnny from the other dealer’s service department.

“I have a 2009 Forester XLT, and one of the headlamps has burnt out.  I’ve replaced bulbs in other cars, but not in this one,” I explained, staring levelly at Tony, who was starting to squirm a bit. “I’m trying to figure out if it’s something I can handle on my own, or if I should bring into the shop.”

“You can do it yourself, but we charge $15.61 for the labor to change a bulb, so you might just want to bring it in,” Johnny told me. “It’s a quick and easy job for us.”

Fifteen dollars and sixty-one cents? At that point, part of my brain short circuited.

“Johnny, let me level with you,” I said, reeling a bit from the huge disparity in potential charges.   “I’m standing here in the service department of another dealer, and they’re telling me they have to take the wheels and part of the front end off to change the bulbs, and it’s going to cost me almost $200. What gives?”

There was an uncomfortable silence, then Johnny replied, “Well, it *is* easier if you put the car in the air – that’s what we do.  We take the wheels off too, and go up from underneath.  But as I said, it’s an easy job for us and takes just a few minutes.  We charge $15.61 labor for each bulb replacement.  I think your dealer is charging too much.”

I thanked Johnny, told him I’d be there in about an hour, hung up, and told Tony I wanted my car brought back up.  It would be well worth my time to drive 15 miles to save over a hundred bucks.

Implications for brands

As I waited for my car, I thought about how transparency burned this particular dealer.   Brands simply can’t charge unreasonable prices, or make unreasonable claims in today’s networked information environment.  Information, examples and copious feedback are available via the smartphones in our pockets.

Assuming that your customers are uninformed and that you’ll get away with it is a recipe for disaster.   There are apps that provide instant access to reviews and can suggest the best repair shops for your make and model of car, which I suspect are going to problematic for my old dealer.

For businesses that have used information asymmetry to their advantage, the transparency evolution will be a particularly rude awakening.  Simply put, times are changing, and you can’t bet that your customers are clueless.  (Related:  App-Armed and YouTube-Educated, Taking Care of My Baby.)  In fact, some brands are using information to empower their customers, creating advocates and gaining efficiencies.

Bad service = bad search rank

However, before we even get into the big data argument, there’s another reason why organizations need to abandon models that capitalize upon their customers’ ignorance – these practices are risky, and can result in bad PR, detrimental online reviews and negative buzz.  Google has a history of cracking down on bad merchants, sinking their search rankings, and promised last year that they’ll continue to bury bad actors.

Transparency is good PR

Folks in the SEO space have been saying things like “The best SEO is great customer service,” for years now.  Their counter parts in social media have a similar corollary: “Want viral social buzz? Start with a great product!”   I’m going to create a maxim for PR:  “Transparent business practices drive great PR.”

Transparency ensures your front-line staff will never be hamstrung between mission statements that purport to put the customer first, and business practices that do anything but.  Operating under the assumption that everything about your organization’s practices can be discovered at any given time by any person effectively insulates the company from unwelcome surprised, whether it’s the ticked off customer or rogue ex-employee.  If there’s no fuel, there can be no fire.

As social and search become inextricably entwined, it’s crucial for brands to evaluate their business practices and ask themselves whether their practices can stand the test of transparency, and the PR team should be the catalyst. It’s good for business, and it’s good for PR.

Stay in on top of what people are saying about your brand with our MEDIAvantage media monitoring suite.  

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the recently-published ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

The Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

For the first time this year, tablets and smartphones surpassed desktop usage for shopping and social networking, marking 2013 as “the year we all went mobile.” The influx of new communication tools inspired PR and marketing pros to rethink traditional tactics in order to better accommodate the needs of their audiences. Beyond PR’s top blog posts of 2013 offered tips on competing for audience attention by targeting consumers with unique content, raising awareness through press releases, and maintaining engagement on social media. Here are the top 10 posts in descending order along with their key takeaways:

1)      Top 10 Best Practices for Social Media

Use social media to provide friendly and knowledgeable customer service on a consistent basis

2)      The Difference Between Social Media News Releases & Traditional Press Releases

Social-friendly formatting makes it easy for readers to share your content

3)      An Emerging PR Trend: Content PR Strategy & Tactics

Create content that represents your brand’s point of view within the timelines of a person’s search for information or buying process

4)      Generate Awareness, Not Links, With Press Releases

Press releases seed discovery among relevant audiences

5)      Do Press Releases Help SEO?

Human interaction with press releases boosts search engine rankings

6)      SXSW: Forget Stories. Your Brand Needs a Narrative

Build a narrative around your brand to encourage active long-term participation from the audience

7)      Content We Love: The Press Release Behind the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign

Sharing multimedia elements offers interesting insights behind the message of your campaign

8)      The Top Ten Reasons to Send a Press Release

Use a press release to establish your organization as a thought-leader within your industry  

9)      SEO is Dead, Now Lets Optimize!

Maximize the reach of your content by distributing on multiple channels

10)   Marie Claire Magazine: Pitching Tips & Overview from Editor-In-Chief Trish Halpin

Research the interests of key demographics and target your pitch accordingly

Thank you for reading our blog throughout the year and participating in the conversation. We wish you a very happy new year and look forward to facing exciting new challenges with you in 2014.

holiday-2013

The Future of Financial Services Communications

earlier this month,  I attended an event hosted by Business Development Institute and PR Newswire that focused on communications in the financial services industries, but included lessons most communicators can appreciate.

There were several short presentations with different speakers and topics that took place during the event. Here are some of the important topics and key points from topics each presentation:

Embracing Technology to Create Trust Among Small Businesses Presented by: Noah Breslow, chief executive officer of OnDeck

  • Technology is being disruptive to financial services.
  • Square is a form of classic disruption.
  • To gain trust with customers, you need to do the following: set the contrast; simplify your message; manage expectation closely; bring human to the online process; and engage your promoters.
  • Engage with your customers so they do not feel they are alone.
  • Use services like Yelp and build ratings to show customers they are not the first.

Big Data 101: What It Means for Business                                                  Presented by: David Ray, corporate vice president of corporate Internet at New York Life Insurance Company

  • “Big Data is data that is too large, complex, and dynamic for any conventional data tools to capture, store, manage and analyze.” (source: wipro.com)
  • Ninety percent of the data you have in your enterprise is unstructured.
  • If 90 percent is unstructured, at best, businesses are making decisions based on 10 percent of their data.
  • The present and future opportunity for big data may not be to process enormous amounts of data, but, rather, to tie together previously untied and/or isolated systems.
  • Lady Gaga uses big data. Her manager created a Gaga-centric social network by mining the singer’s Twitter and Facebook fans. This will effectively bypass other social media networks and allow them to keep 100 percent of future revenues.

Social Media and Compliance                                                                Presented by Joanna Belbey, social media and compliance specialist, and Victor Gaxiola, subject matter expert, at Actiance, Inc.

  • Social businesses can’t just use one collaborative technology to keep its      employees connected; they need to use them all.
  • Enterprises face the following challenges using social media: security, governance and enablement.
  • Successful financial advisors have been using social media all along, but now they have even more forms of electronic communications to further their reach.
  • Social media can be used to drive customer loyalty, leverage connections, and close new businesses.
  • The key is to come up with a communications policy in advance.
  • A salesperson emailed 200 LinkedIn connections and 158 got back to them. Perhaps social media will replace the cold call?

Finance: Community vs. Commodity                                                   Presented by: David Kelin, CEO and cofounder of CommonBond

  • You can’t buy a community; you have to build a community — and you need to build a community people want to belong to.
  • After someone applies for a loan with CommonBond, they will pick up the phone and call that person. It i a way of connecting on a human level.
  • Giving back is another important component to building a community.

Building Trust in a Content Rich World Presented by: Greg Matusky, president and founder of Gregory FCA

  • Consumers’ trust rate of financial services industry is at an all-time low.
  • Content bridges the digital divide between the business and consumer. It is the framework for building trust.
  • Eighty percent of consumers look for four sources of information before buying.
  • The five C’s of trusted content: compassion, credibility, creativity, contemporary, and compliance.

Allianz Global Investors Empowers Its Sales Force With Social Media Presented by: Erin Meijer, social media manager at Allianz Global Investors

  • Allianz uses social media to humanize their brand. Also, clients and prospects are on social media, so they need to be there too.
  • It is not social media — it is social business.
  • LinkedIn is the Google of the business world.
  • Your social media is your digital equity.
  • Here are some tips for social business: 1) Be visual (use charts/graphs, thumbnails with articles, infographics, etc.). 2) Create a content calendar for your social media. 3) Be authentic, and always add value. 4) Have a strong call to action. 5) Be social. 6) Use automation tools to minimize effort and maximize impact.

Optimizing for the Speed of Social                                                          Presented by: Sebastian Hempstead, executive vice president of North America at Brandwatch

  • Automation tools are absolutely crucial because you cannot manually deal with the amount of social data out there.
  • Some social media command centers are physical and some are virtual; some engage directly and some don’t; some are managed by social media teams and some are cross-functional.
  • Listening on social allows you to identify when there is a bigger problem going on, such as a system performance issue. When this issue happens, alerts are triggered among the different departments that this is going on.
  • To expand on social, engage with posts mentioning competitors, such as reviews and complaints.

Written by Polina Opelbaum, editor of ProfNet, a service that helps journalists connect with expert sources. To read more from Polina, check out her blog on ProfNet Connect.

Drop the Mic: Even Beyoncé Uses Press Releases

beyonce PR

The tactics used to launch Beyonce’s new album: the element of surprise, hip Instagram video —  and a press release.

Mega-superstar Beyoncé  shocked millions of fans when she simultaneously announced and released her fifth studio album on iTunes over the weekend, just before midnight on December 12th. In a more surprising twist, each song on the self-titled record is accompanied by its own music video. With the help of an Instagram video and an official press release, the stunning announcement put an end to swirling rumors over when Beyoncé’s next album would be released. The risky yet successful publicity stunt posed an interesting question: why does someone as powerful as Beyoncé still need a press release to announce her new album?

It’s no secret that the press release has seen its fair share of criticism due to the rise of digital communications.  So why did Beyoncé, one of the most beloved and acclaimed artists in the world, still need a press release to announce her new album? Here’s why:

Elle Magazine Quote

According to Fuse TV, “As photos of some of these video shoots had hit the internet over the past two months, fans had waited for any announcement of where they might officially purchase any of the songs.  But Bey didn’t release any comment until now.”

Journalists and fans alike could not rely on speculation from the internet as a credible source. However, the press release was able to definitively answer burning questions such as why Beyoncé chose a groundbreaking visual approach to her album and explains how her team was able to accomplish such an extraordinary feat in the public eye.

Some may argue that these statements were also accessible on her website and social media pages, but why send journalists on an information scavenger hunt? Press releases highlight the most important information in a concise format, perfect for republishing and retweeting, and provide links to relevant pages. Additionally, wire distribution services are more protected against hacking; it’s not as simple as obtaining the right password.  The album announcement dominated the social media realm, generating over 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours and amassing extraordinary media attention.

While there’s no disputing that digital communications has created a surplus of new channels for distributing information, there is no guarantee that this information is reliable. Press releases come straight from the source and strip away any uncertainties over whether the information is factual. So until there is no longer a demand for highly credible information, press releases will remain as a vital resource for businesses, media, and the public.

Read the weekend’s most talked about release right here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/beyonce-available-worldwide-now-235687181.html

Author Shannon Ramlochan is a member of PR Newswire’s marketing team. 

MEDIA Moves & News: Huffington Post, The Hill, The Onion and more…

http://prnbloggers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/agility-logo.png?w=127&h=125&h=125

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Department makes thousands of updates to the  database of journalists and bloggers that underpins our Agility media targeting and distribution platform.  Below is a sampling of recent media moves and news.  Learn more about Agility media targeting here. 

Huffington Post Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost): Kiki Von Glinow (@KikiVonGlinow) is the new Managing Editor.

The Hill The Hill (Washington, DC): The new Campaign Editor is Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) and Tristan Lejeune joins as an Assistant Editor.

Columbia Jrn Review Columbia Journalism Review (New York, NY): Former Washington Post Managing Editor Liz Spayd (@spaydl) tackles the Editor-in-Chief role at Columbia Jounalism Review (@CJR).

POLITICO Politico (Arlington, VA): Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) is the new Deputy Politics Editor.

Gawker Gawker (@Gawker) (tips@gawker.com): Joel Johnson (@JoelJohnson) is the new Editorial Director Gawker Media.

Roll Call Roll Call (Washington, DC): Sara Bondioli (@sbondioli) is the new Assistant Managing Editor at Roll Call (@rollcall). Cameron Easley (@Cam_RollCall) (cameroneasley@rollcall.com) has joined the political website as the Managing Editor.

The Onion The Onion (Chicago, IL): The satirical newspaper (@TheOnion) is set to transition from print to an online-only edition. The outlet will publish its last print edition this month.

The Pitchfork Review The Pitchfork Review (Chicago, IL): The newly launched magazine (@thep4kreview) will explore independent music and culture, past and present. For additional information, go to http://thepitchforkreview.com/ (info@thepitchforkreview.com).

Wis. State Journal Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI): The daily (@WiStateJournal) has named John Humenik (@JohnHumenik) as Publisher, replacing William Johnston, who previously announced his retirement.

Mashable Mashable! (@Mashable) (news@mashable.com): Jason Abbruzzese (@JasonAbbruzzese) has joined as a Media Reporter.

Cliff Brunt Associated Press – Oklahoma City Bureau (Oklahoma City, OK): Cliff Brunt (@cliffbrunt_isl) has signed on as the Sports Reporter.

Bleacher Report Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport): Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) is the new head Hockey Reporter.

Cumulus Media Network (New York, NY): The Mike Huckabee Show on radio aired for the final time Thursday, December 12.

Real Simple Magazine Real Simple Magazine (New York, NY): Former Editor-at-Large Danielle Claro (@clarodanielle) has been named Deputy Editor.

CNBC CNBC (New York, NY): Former Forbes Magazine Correspondent Morgan Brennan (@MorganLBrennan) is now a General Assignment Reporter @CNBC.

Harper's Bazaar Harper’s Bazaar (New York, NY): Charlotte Cowles (@CharlotteCowles) is the new Senior Features Editor.

Deportes Telemundo Deportes Telemundo (Miramar, FL): Joining @telemundosports is Ana Jurka (@AnaJurka ) as a Reporter.

Univision23DFW Univision – Noticias 23 – KUVN-TV (Dallas,TX): As of 2014, Sam Belilty (@Samilty)  will be the new News Director for @UnivisionDFW

Lucky Magazine Lucky Magazine (New York, NY): Christa Lee (@christajlee) has joined the magazine as Digital Beauty Editor.

Foreign Policy Foreign Policy (Washington, DC): Mindy Bricker (@mindykaybricker) joins the team as a Senior Editor.

National Journal National Journal (Washington, DC): The new Energy Reporter at NJ is Ben German (@Ben_Geman).

Sporting News Sporting News (Charlotte, NC): Editor-in-Chief Garry Howard (@SN_GarryD) has left the online sports publication (@sportingnews).

L.A. Daily News Los Angeles Daily News (Woodland Hills, CA): Education Reporter Barbara Jones has departed the newspaper.

Variety Variety (Los Angeles, CA): Blogger Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) has left to work full-time as Director of digital/print content for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Alexandra Cheney (@alexandracheney) joins the publication as a Senior Film Reporter from Wall Street Journal.

The Modesto Bee The Modesto Bee (Modesto, CA): The Bee (@modbee) has named Mike Dunbar  Editorial Page Editor, replacing Judy Sly who has retired.

The Press-Enterprise The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA): Michael Coronado returns to The Press-Enterprise (@PEcom_news) as the new Editor for the paper.

Cliff Brunt Associated Press – Oklahoma City Bureau (Oklahoma City, OK): Cliff Brunt (@cliffbrunt_isl) has signed on as the Sports Reporter.

Kiplinger Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (Washington, DC): Chicago Tribune Business Reporter Carolyn Bigda (@CarolynBigda) takes on extra duty as a Contributing Editor at Kiplinger’s (@Kiplinger).

Des Moines Register The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, IA): The new Business Reporter is Matthew Patane (@mattpatane).

Daily updates on Twitter (twitter.com/PRNmedia).

Detailed outlet and contact information is available at Agility (agility.prnewswire.com).

Do Newswire Services Work? PR Newswire Does.

In the wake of the recent conversation about the value of newswire services, I thought I’d share an email I received from an old friend, who works at a major print outlet in Chicago.

 Hey Sarah!

 I’ve got a work-related problem and wonder if you can help me find a solution:

I’m a digital news editor at XXXXX. For years we’ve had access to PRN releases through our subscription to the [major paid wire service] wire. It’s been a great source of business news, particularly before the markets open, and our early morning editor depends on it. But we’re about to end that [major paid wire service] subscription and switch to [another major paid wire service] — which offers PRN through its terminals, as you probably know, but not through the web-based portal we’ll be using to access the wire service.

 I’m wondering if there’s a way to get direct access to PRN releases right on our desktops. We’d be interested in filtering the tons of releases you move to focus on Chicago and Illinois and a universe of our top companies — but that might get into more detail than you care to know at this point, so I’ll stick to the primary question: How can we keep getting our PRN fix?

 We’re ending our [major paid wire service] sub at the end of the month, and our early morning editor is already getting the PRN-withdrawal shakes. Let me know what you think about this.

 Significant base of media subscribers

Across the US, and the rest of the planet, for that matter, thousands of media outlets devote technical resource and computer space to receiving PR Newswire press releases.  We know the technical and newsroom contacts at each outlet, and we work with them to tailor the news feed to fit the outlet’s needs.

In addition to the news feeds that are hardwired into news rooms as described above, more than 30,000 credentialed journalists and bloggers access PR Newswire for Journalists each month, where they tally more than a million press release views monthly.

Why do professional media & bloggers use PR Newswire?

So why is the PR Newswire feed of press releases still used by so many journalists and bloggers?  There are a few reasons why:

  • Efficiency:  It’s easier for an outlet to get a streamlined feed of news releases filtered by topic and geography from a company like PR Newswire than it is to manage individual messages from all the agencies, brands and organizations reporting news.  Press releases are coded and formatted using according to news industry standards, making it as easy and efficient for news editors to manage their press release feed as it is for them to manage their paid news feeds from sources like the AP, Dow Jones and Reuters.
  •  Credibility:   Every press release PR Newswire runs to its media circuits is authenticated – only people who are authorized to do so can issue a press release on behalf of their organization.   Additionally, we have stringent standards around attribution, requiring sources and contacts on every press release.  Receiving media know that the copy they get from PR Newswire is reliable and trustworthy.  As a result, major wire services frequently re-run press releases we issue in full text over their circuits and their spot news editors rip headlines from our wires to run on theirs.  Press releases received via email or found on the web have to be first verified, which takes valuable time in today’s deadline-every-second news environment.
  • Quality:   PR Newswire has a variety of copy quality standards, to ensure the press releases we issue contain newsworthy content our receiving media and bloggers can act upon.   Advertorial copy and stories about threatened (but not actually filed) law suits are two examples of the sort of content that doesn’t pass muster for distribution to one of our media circuits.

The audience is bigger than the media

Real time tweets of PR Newswire press releases.

Real time tweets of PR Newswire press releases.

We all know that the media environment is far different today than it was five, 10 or 15 years ago.  One reason why PR Newswire still delivers results today is the fact that our press releases are consumed by audiences directly.

  •  About 15% of the traffic to PR Newswire.com comes from people researching products and services via search engines.
  • Press releases are widely shared on social networks.  (Live feed on Twitter of tweets of PR Newswire press releases: https://twitter.com/search?q=PRnewswire&src=typd&f=realtime )

To get a better handle on audience behavior, I embedded trackable URLs within the press releases I issued to promote blog posts in the month of November.  Those links, which were all embedded in the third paragraph of the release (meaning people had to open the release, and really read it to get to the link) generated almost 1,000 clicks.  And think about it – by the time someone finds press release, reads it and then clicks on the link you offer them in the release text – they’ve demonstrated some real interest in your message.   The click-through numbers represent enormously valuable traffic.

So, press releases – and newswire services – still work.  That said, they both work better when the organizations issuing press releases make a point of developing the sort of interesting, visual and interactive content audiences appreciate today.  I’ve written an ebook detailing new approaches to press releases that are generating results, and it includes real-life examples and tips.  Here’s the link: New School PR Tactics  .

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the newly-published ebook Driving Content DiscoveryFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.